Colour Management / ICC Profiles

michaels Digital & Fine Art Printing services are fully colour-managed to guarantee colour accuracy & consistency.

In digital photography, colour management usually starts with the camera and concludes with the final print, and usually includes a display monitor in between.


Camera

If you are using a digital SLR camera, we recommend setting your colour space to sRGB, as this is the color space in which our printers are calibrated. If you shoot raw files and convert them in Photoshop or any other program, we advise leaving them in sRGB instead of converting them to any other color space.


Display

Correct color management is absolutely critical to achieving the professional results you expect from your images. For optimal performance, the first step to having a colour-managed workflow will be a fairly new high quality monitor and a calibration device such as Datacolor Spyder4elite. Older monitors (5+ years) tend to become unreliable and cannot be calibrated properly. A calibration device will create a profile for your specific monitor to ensure that you are viewing an accurately displayed image.


Print

ICC (International Color Consortium) profiles give you the ability to translate accurate color across a broad array of digital equipment. Custom ICC profiles for all of our Digital and Fine Art papers are available to use in your editing software, and by "soft-proofing", you'll be able to create printable files that will allow us to better approximate the color on your computer screen.

Soft-proofing is a tool which allows you to confirm that the colours that you are expecting to achieve will be handled by the paper that you have chosen. By soft-proofing your images from a calibrated monitor, you can ensure colour accuracy & consistency when printing your files each and every time. Each profile has been made in-house by our Fine Art Department and is unique to each printer.

To achieve great colour accuracy when printing with us it is recommended that you download the profile for the paper you are printing on and soft-proof your image with this profile.

Download All Profiles (Zip File):

Download Individual Profiles:

Additional Information

The custom ICC profile is used a guide for the monitor to describes the properties of a colour space. Essentially this will tell your monitor how the printer and paper handle certain colours; i.e. the bluest blues and the deepest blacks that can be produced. The last thing you want is to edit the file to your liking and then realise the printer is not able to print the deep rich blue in your sky on the paper you have chosen to print on!

Matte papers are a lot harder to get high detail in dark areas but tend to have a smoother tonal range in the softer colours. Alternatively, a gloss or satin paper will allow you to achieve rich, dark colours and maintain higher levels of detail. ICC profiles also allow you to see the impact that the whiteness of the paper has on your print.

Remember, no matter how well calibrated your monitor is it will never exactly match your prints. The monitor projects light and the prints reflect light, usually under various color temperature light sources.