Using the ICC Profiles


Settings for the “Colours” menu on your applications  

Creating input and monitor ICC profiles has become rather easy and qualitative profiles can be created with the help of the correct software and equipment. Creation of output profiles for offset presses is more complicated and demands very strict procedures.

Even if it is easy to create the profiles, it is still important to know how to use them in the right way. How do you adopt the working software to the images and layout? How do you carry out the conversions for the printer?

Settings for the “Colours” menu on your application is made easier by allowing you to synchronise your main applications, Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign by clicking on a single button in Bridge.

The advice would be to first set up Photoshop, which has the most complete colours menu, according to your requirements and then synchronise the other applications using Bridge.

Converting files and documents  

The conversion of RGB images to CMYK is an important and critical step in the graphics chain and it is crucial to use the right ICC profile. In fact, at this stage the settings for a specific printing system and type of paper are implemented into the files. Greyscale, maximum inking, grey values, under colour removal (UCR) etc… all these parameters are calculated for each one of your images. If the parameters don’t correspond to the ones that the printer needs to have to obtain the right results (according to the calibration and the selected paper) on the press, then you will never have a good print quality. The one that does the conversion (separation) from RGB to CMYK has big part in the responsibility for the final printed result.

The Photoshop >Profile conversion function allows you to convert your files from RGB to CMYK and is more reliable in terms of the settings used. By ticking the preview box you can see what your image will look like.

You can create your whole RGB document using your page layout software (InDesign or Quark Xpress). When it becomes a PDF the whole document can then be converted to a single destination.

Once you have separated your images or your documents from RGB to CMYK, all the parameters have been applied to the image. A balance of the specific greys, greyscale, maximum inking and under colour removal (UCR) corresponding to a clearly defined process will specifically have been calculated in order to make your images more printable. A document or image that is already separated to CMYK will lose its quality if it is once again converted in Photoshop or any other conventional tool. If you anyway must do this, software developed for this purpose should be used together with Device Link Profiles in a static or dynamic way which allows parameters in a CMYK separation to be adapted once again to another CMYK separation.

There is software that can be used on its own or integrated with an automatic workflow to carry out these tasks. It allows the colours in your images to be maintained while also recalculating the under colour removal, greyscale and total inking settings on a whole pdf document or on an image by image basis if you prefer.