Calibrate and Profile Your Monitor Before Printing.

So you’ve come to the conclusion that your product range is just too exciting to be promoted with drab amateurish photography,Guest Posting and you’ve called in a commercial photographer to record your products at their best and help enhance your brand image.

The photographs are back and look sensational, you’ve never seen your products look so great. Simply a little tweaking in Adobes Photoshop before you send them to the printers for that big new brochure release and that’s it, work done?

Your brochure comes back from the print house but all is not well! The photography looks nothing like it did on your monitor and now your products are wearing a rather ugly blue caste.

Well there may be several reasons to the root of these complications and could easily be one or a mixture of the issues mentioned below:

1. Coarse Image Editing. Unskilled or incompetent Photoshop operators will often engage in needless and damaging image manipulation approaches that will often result in very poor quality printing. Beginners will often unwittingly remove much of the delicate tonal information that is stored within the image file.

2. RGB to CYMK Conversion. The RGB profiled picture file your photographer presented you will commonly look very dissimilar onscreen to when it comes out of the printing press. This is a huge issue in it’s self and merits it’s own article but basically industry printing inks can rarely recreate the same precise colours that you see on your computer monitor. The image files need meticulous conversion and ideally proofing if precise colour accuracy is important.

3. Poor Monitor Calibration. A recurrent bug bare of mine. If you don’t calibrate your monitor correctly, or worst you’ve calibrated it badly, then what you see on it is as good as useless! There’s a good chance that your monitor is misleading you!

The last issue outlined above is by far the most widespread cause of unsuccessful and second-rate print jobs. Your computer screen is a essential piece of apparatus yet often disregarded and taken for granted. If set-up incorrectly or badly blacks can print grey, whites can be tainted with unflattering colour castes and photographs will generally differ extensively to how they appeared on your screen.

Monitor Calibration is the practice of altering your monitors controls to accomplish the most neutral display possible, including altering its luminance (brightness), white point (colour temperature) and gamma¬† settings. If you deal with professional images on a regular basis or you don’t exploit the services of a graphic designer or some other pre-press professional then I strongly suggest that you invest in some fundamental monitor calibration software and equipment. You won’t have to invest thousands, in reality for the price of a full set of inkjet cartridges you’ll be able to purchase a basic calibration device, but it will radically change your digital workflow and give you the results you deserve. If you do employ a design consultant or pre-press house that fully understands the significance or colour management then you might just be content to manually set-up your monitor, though remember not to modify the image files in any way as what you view on your screen will differ to what your designer and printer sees!

These relatively affordable devices will calculate your monitors imperfections and in conjunction with the software will work out a profile that is unique to your screen. Think of this profile as a ‘filter’ or ‘mask’ that once employed to your screen will get rid of any imperfections and will give you a absolutely neutral view. This unique profile is then saved to your computers applicable libraries.