Many of our trade customers are already using our custom profiles for soft proofing when producing canvas prints. Here is a quick recap for those who would like to use them as well. There is one fundamental condition for this to work - your monitor has to be calibrated. Otherwise the results are completely random and will not correspond with the printed results in any way. Even with properly calibrated monitors there is always some differences, despite all the science & innovations introduced by color calibration packages. But it is always a good point to make initial assesment of the picture.
The purpose of soft proofing is to see the simulation of the final printing results (as it is utiziling custom profile for the media/printer combination) and to make adjustment to the picture in Adobe Photoshop based on this preview. In theory monitors have much wider colour gamut than printers so they should be capable of displaying the range of colours available on the printer/media/ink combination.
First of all you will need to download our printer's profile. Please note that we use a selection of printers from 44 to 64 inch wide and it wouldn't make sense to display all media/printer combinations. Profile files are provided for illustration purposes only - if certain colours are absolutely crucial please contact us to arrange printing of proofs.
Here are our canvas profile files:
- Standard Polycotton canvas we use - Polycotton Canvas Profile.
- Premium Chromata White Archival canvas - Chromata Canvas Profile.
(please right click and select 'Save Target as'.
Second - On a PC - right click downloaded file and select - 'Install Profile'. On a Mac - you need to copy the file into the following folders: OS X - Library/ColorSync/Proflies, OS 9.2 - System Folder/ColorSync/Proflies.
In both cases you need to restart Photoshop if it is running. If yoy have any issues with the profile installation on a PC you can manually copy the profile into:
- Windows XP, Vista - Windows/System32/Spool/Drivers/Colour
- Older versions - Windows/System/Color
Seeting up soft proofing in Photoshop:
1. Open a file first (this way you will be able to see the effect).
2. Select View/Proof Setup/Custom
3. If you have properly installed the profile you should see BC_Polycotton_Canvas_9880.icc on the list - 'Device to simulate'.
4. Please leave 'Preserve RGB numbers' unchecked.
5. Rendering Intent should be left as 'Relative Colorimetric'
6. Please select 'Black Point Compensation'
7. Now we can save this setup. Choose appropriate name i.e. Canvas Print Studio Polycotton. Photoshop will save this set in Proofing Folder.
8. Click 'OK' to close the 'Customize Proof Condition' window.
9. Now you can use View/Proof Colours option which will show good representation how based on our media/printer profile and your monitor profile your picture will be appear once printed.
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you require any help with setting up your pc/mac to utilize our canvas media profiles. As a word of advice I would suggest to never show your customers photos on the monitor screen in RGB preview mode. It is asking yourself for troubles - as what they see can be in many cases not achievable when printed on canvas.
Just wanted to add that for soft proofing purposes it is a very good idea to hide all Photoshop tools - and have only image filling up the screen. The reason behind that is that with any tools/windows visible our eyes see white of them and uses them to acomodate our perfect viewing system. If they are not present our eyes will acomodate to paper white and we will see colours more acurate. With this is mind the two options - 'Simulate Paper Color' and 'Simulate Black Ink' can also be used as a reference. Please note - we can never guarantee that what you see on your screen will look identical when printed. Some colours are not possible for the monitor to display, but biggest issue is the way that your monitor has been set up and calibrated. We have recently had some discussions on that - on one occasion our customer realized that he was looking at his screen at the wrong angle.
So once the right soft proofing options are selected we can close the above window. Now pressing Ctrl+Y or Apple+Y will switch between our new custom proof view. We can now use this preview to add any adjustments to get better results. It is a very good practice to make any alterations to the original file on directly to the layer containing your artwork. Instead of that we create adjustment layers which can be saved in a .tif or .psd file. That will allow your printers (us) to asses the adjustments made in more detail and make further amends if necessary. At this point we also advice to save the new file under a different name - we will need it very soon.
Now please open both files, the original one and the copy. The master file should be left without custom proof while the copy should have this option on. It is easy to tell what viewing conditions are applied - custom proof will have '*' and description of media which is soft proofed. The task is now to get a print copy to look as close to the original as possible. Variety of tools will be used - most likely they will include saturation, curves, levels. Make sure to make adjustments on new layers. If you plan to use same file to print on more than one media, you can also group adjustment layers together and give them a meaningfull name. Once you are happy with visual look and match to the original save the file as photoshop .psd or .tiff (only those file types will keep all layers and editing capabilities).
Please note that 'Rendering Intent' also plays an important role in how colours are translated - we generally use 'Relative Colorimetric' but 'Perceptual' will work better for some images - it is worth to check.