A lot of what we do comes down to making sure that the end result meets your vision. It’s important to have a clear idea how your work should look like when it’s printed. Photographers, artists and designers spend hours in front of screens perfecting their images until they look flawless so it might be disappointing when all this work doesn’t translate to print. This is where color management becomes very important. It might sound really complex when you first try to figure it out, but once you find a way to approach it, you will realize that it’s actually a very manageable process. We’ll be looking into steps you can take to ensure the best result.
When you know exactly how your images are supposed to look, you don’t want to compromise – and most of the time you don’t have to. However, you have to be aware of the technical details that can help you reach desired results. First of all, it’s important to properly calibrate the screens that you edit on. This can be done by renting equipment and doing it yourself or hiring a professional. However, it is not enough to do this once, the process has to be repeated consistently. This is important, because some of the most frequent questions that we have to answer have to do with the accuracy of color reproduction. Calibration helps to minimize these variations significantly.
It’s also important to get acquainted with ICC color profiles. These are usually small data files that describe how color is “seen” by devices. When you design and prepare layouts yourself, it is definitely one of the things you should add to your workflow. Keep in mind that this part of file preparation is quite technical and alternatively can be handled by prepress technicians or image processing professionals.
When it comes to artist’s publications there are a lot of variables and one of the most important must be paper. It’s crucial to know how to prepare files for different types of paper. The same image processing might look different when printed on coated and uncoated stock. It also depends on how rough or smooth chosen paper is and if it’s white, off-white or colored. You should always take that into consideration and discuss it with your account manager or designer.
It is also important to form a good relationship with your printing house. Designers and printing agencies sometimes work with several printing houses specializing in different types of publications, but one things remains the same – all of these companies are willing to listen to the client and find the best possible solution depending on the situation. Look for someone who is flexible and has a true passion for what they do. This goes not only for your account manager that you contact daily, but also the printing press operator, who should be willing to cooperate and help you reach the look that you’re going for. If it’s possible we always recommend participating in press-passing, this way you can see printing process for yourself, get to know your printer and ask as many questions as you want.
Whether you are a seasoned professional or planning your first publication, we are sure there is something we can help you with. Don’t hesitate to contact our team regarding color management or any other printing related matter.