Sunday, June 15, 2008

working with colour - commercial printing part 1

The first question that I am asked, when dealing with the topic of sending items for commercial printing is: "in which colour space should I colour correct?" The answer is RGB.

Work the workflow as normal. All of your tools and plug-ins are designed to work in RGB. Remember that ProPhotoRGB gives us the largest gamut in which to work and correct our images.

Contact your print provider for the specific ICC profile for the output device. In this way, the conversion can be made at print time, leaving the original unchanged (this allows for the most flexibility but requires good communication between you and your print provider).

But what happens if you can't get a specific profile from your printer? Then ... we'll need to make a process specific CMYK image. One that's optimised for a particular device, ink set, and substrate (or we'll have to make a good guess). This will mean that the colours and tonal range will have to be changed, or limited, accommodate to the printing device in our final output copy.

Tomorrow, we'll look at optimising an image for CMYK output.

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