Mismatched colors from ICC color profile

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by somberg, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. somberg

    somberg TPF Noob!

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    I tried out a new printing lab and received some test prints from them. After calibrating my monitor I compared the prints to the images on screen and they looked very close in color (though not quite perfect). I then downloaded their ICC profile and when I did a soft proof using it, the colors were WAY off...totally unsaturated. Maybe I don't need to worry about it since I was happy with the test prints, but I do want to understand why this might be the case. Any ideas of what could be going wrong?


     
  2. Watchful

    Watchful No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Too many variables to list all of them. It could be any of a hundred things, from press baselining routines and calibration to a conversion of color space that went awry, to a lot of other potential difficulties, I'd need more information about how they were processed and how and on what they were printed and how that device was set up and profiled. It could be as simple as an image transfer belt that was at the end of it's life.
    Did they pull a scan sheet before and after the run and what was the delta for the scan at both times? At Shutterfly we always held to a delta error 4 and the specs only required a 7 or better.
     
  3. somberg

    somberg TPF Noob!

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    Wow, thanks, but I am afraid you're a couple of miles over my head. I don't know the answers to the questions you posed, but I don't think the problem is in the printing since the prints they sent were pretty much what I expected. The bottom line is that the prints they sent me match my monitor to a MUCH greater degree WITHOUT using their profile than with using it.
     
  4. Watchful

    Watchful No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The ICC profile they sent was for your exact make and model of monitor? Even if it is, it still needs to be tweaked for slight differences between units of the same manufacture as the specs are a range and as long as it falls inside the range, is is passed.
    Try looking for your monitor here: TFT Central
     
  5. somberg

    somberg TPF Noob!

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    No, it is the profile that matches their printer.
     
  6. Watchful

    Watchful No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh, that isn't to be used as a monitor ICC then at all, it is to set up the printer calibrations. A monitor is a totally different animal working in RGB and being transmitted light whereas the press works in subtractive color (CMYK) and is reflected light.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    Yep. The ICC profile you get from a print lab should be the ICC profile for their print machine, not a computer display ICC profile.
    Check the color space their ICC profile is in compared to the color space of your image.
    When the color spaces don't match is a common cause of a desaturated looking soft proof.
     
  8. somberg

    somberg TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. Not sure how to do that. They tell me that the accept either sRGB or Adobe RGB files. I thought the profile was their color space.
     
  9. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  10. Watchful

    Watchful No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No, their colorspace is most likely CMYK if it's a digital press since those are the subtractive colors used to print full color. The press will convert accurately from the input colorspace to the output colorspace if it is correctly profiled first.
     
  11. somberg

    somberg TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, so much, Joe. That was very helpful. It seems the problem was that I had the "Preserve RGB numbers" option checked. When I deselect it, things look great. I appreciate the help.
     

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