Monitor Calibration & Profiles

File Type and Resolution

Files should be in the RGB space at a minimum of 150 ppi at final size.
We accept TIFF, JPEG, PSD, PDF, AI, and INDD files.

Click to Download >>

How and Why to Calibrate

Calibrate your monitor
Color Management ICC Profiles

Begin with a calibration system in your studio.
Accuracy begins with the state of calibration of your computer, its monitor, and the neutrality of your viewing environment. An inaccurate or improper calibration of your monitor will yield inaccurate, inconsistent and unreliable results. We recommend the use of the X-Rite i1 Display 2  colorimeter :

i1bug1 300x102 Monitor Calibration & Profiles
This colorimeter, though discontinued is prized for its accuracy, consistency, reliability and affordability. From time to time, you can catch really great deals on this device on ebay . The idea of profiling is to make your monitor “Honest” in its representation of the file. The reason to profile often is to maintain the display’s honesty, so you get predictable results job after job. If you are in the Denver area, you may rent one of these units from us at a nominal $20 per business day.

Monitors :

Think about buying the absolute best display you can afford. Your monitor is your representative to the contents of your file. Higher gamut and accuracy in your display, combined with proper display calibration (profiling) means greater accuracy in your final product. Stick with a good name in displays such as Eizo, NEC or LaCie and look at spending at least $600 for a good display. Technology is changing constantly so be sure to do your research in the color management forums on the internet before buying. Shy away from used displays since the expected professional life span of the display is around 30 – 40 months. As displays age, their available colors (gamut) and their contrast-range diminish below professionally acceptable levels.

And please: no laptop displays or tablets for critical color correction. They are inconsistent, even when profiled.

Your Viewing Environment:

Daylight balanced illumination is a must. Bulbs that spec to 5000 Kelvin with a color rendering index (CRI) of 98 or better. Either florescent or tungsten bulbs can be used, but not just any daylight bulbs will do. For florescent, look into GE Chroma 50 and Solex for tungsten bulbs.

Your walls should be a neutral color, as should as much of the remaining environment as possible. It’s a great idea to wear neutral clothing. I know this sounds a bit much, but pro lab techs have known for years how clothing can affect your color perception.

Always, always check with your lab for the proper color space for your files.

You have probably heard Joe “The Guru Photographer” tell you to always do things such and such way, and maybe Jane “The Photoshop Queen” Tell you something similar or totally different. Those two, while knowledgeable, have always done it the way their lab tells them to, but they may be using different labs who then have differing criteria for workflow. It’s no wonder so many people are confused at what to do, then baffled when their prints don’t meet expectation.

Neither Jane, nor Joe knows what YOUR lab expects in the way of color space. Just like Joe and Jane, every lab has their own opinions of what is the best way to produce your work. There is nothing wrong with that, we are just different. Since there is no official standard, we all get to pick and choose. But sometimes, the equipment we use dictates the choice. Some labs insist on forcing their clients’ files through profiles. That means your files are being profiled without your permission and you may be completely unaware that it is even happening.

We want you to have a choice. While profiles can improve consistency between multiple types of printing equipment, they always alter pixels values and can damage the integrity of a file by causing banding and other artifacts, so we leave it up to you to decide if you want to force your file through a profile.

So here are the working color spaces we recommend when working with us. These working spaces most closely match the output devices ability to create color, and thus yield greater predictability – i.e. a closer approximation to your calibrated display:

Giclee Large Format Photo Mini-Prints and Proofs
Recommended Working Color Space Adobe 1998 Adobe 1998 or sRGB sRGB
  • If Light Jet output is your goal, we suggest a working space of sRGB or Adobe 1998 and converting to our output profile.
  • If you are submitting for Giclee, we suggest Adobe 1998 and no profiles.
  • Our Fuji Frontier is designed to work in the sRGB space and should not need profiles and acceptable results can be obtained using Adobe 1988 with some experiementation.

 

Download and install our color output profiles: Click to Download >>
With the profiles downloaded, moving them to the folders below will make themavailabletophotoshop and other color management aware applications.

Mac OS X: \Library\ColorSync\Profiles

Win 7, Vista & XP: \Windows\system32\spool\drivers\color ( or right-click on the file and select “install profile” )

 

Softproofing settings:

If you are adjusting your file based on what you see on your monitor, it is critical that your display be properly calibrated and you use the correct softproof settings for how you will be submitting your file.

If you are sending in the working space(i.e.Adobe1998 or sRGB):

PreserveRGB1 Monitor Calibration & Profiles

 

If you will be converting your file to our output profile prior to submission: ( edit>convert to profile)

convertToProfileSettings Monitor Calibration & Profiles

Why Calibrate?
Quality, time, and money. You will get more of all three if your system is properly calibrated. You will need to start with your display system in a state of excellent calibration, and a set of our output profiles. These are available here: Click to Download >>
Without great calibration, predictable results between your system and our calibrated printers will be very challenging. With proper calibration and the correct color management setup, you should see on your monitor, a reasonable approximation of our output from your file.

Color space:

  • If Light Jet output is your goal, we suggest a working space of sRGB or Adobe 1998 and converting to our output profile.
  • If you are submitting for Giclee, we suggest Adobe 1998 and no profiles.
  • Our Fuji Frontier is designed to work in the sRGB space and should not need profiles.

Have a question?

Our TrueArt™ Creative team is ready to help you. Fill out the short form below and a member of our team with reach out to you as soon as possible.

800.999.8084 / 303.573.8084
TrueArt@reedphoto.com
Monday - Friday; 8:30 am to 5:30 pm