Color Management | Free Download Epson® icc Profiles | Canon® icc Profiles

Please see this page for Breathing Color ICC profile downloads, as well as our step-by-step printing instructions

ICC Profiles and Color Management for Epson, Canon, & HP Printers

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How do I evaluate an ICC profile?

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  1. Natural appearance of flesh tones
  2. Shadow detail in woman’s hair
  3. Smooth transition in density of blue sky
  4. True black & white (watch for duotone or sepia-tone output)
  5. Look for true color and detail in the fruit
  6. Wine labels should be crisp and sharp in detail
  7. Knife should have lots of clarity
  8. Color swatches should not have any visible mottling, ink pooling, framing, lack of density, and any spotty color
  9. Check each color bar for a smooth gradient, and no harsh jumps in color values
  10. Check the overall print for excess ink, bleeding, and of course color Dissertation Estrich De

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  1. Printing with ICC profiles (what is an ICC profile?) that are typically available from your paper manufacturer (recommended in most cases - this is the quickest way to great results)
  2. Printing without an ICC profile, having the printer take control off all of the color management (only recommended when ICC profiles cannot be readily downloaded, or when you are less concerned with accurate color)
  3. Creating your own ICC profiles (recommended for the discerning professional who wants to most accurate color)

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2. How to Print Without ICC Profiles

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Choosing the right media type to maximize your ink capacity

The media types in the Epson driver have set ink loads that will differ depending on what you are printing on. Canvas, for example, can absorb more ink than a typical photo paper so it’s important to use a media type that outputs more ink. If you do not utilize the maximum capability of your media, the prints can appear washed out and dull. However, outputting more ink than the media can handle will result in over-saturation, mottling, pooling, ink bleeding, and lack of sharpness in the overall print.

To find the right balance, it’s best to do a small test print and visually check if any of these instances occur. Check out Scott Martin's Onsight Media Selction Image along with his great article on how to determine the optimal media selection for your printer. For Breathing Color Lyve Canvas, for example, the "Canvas" media type setting typically produces just the right amount of ink to push the output and color gamut to its threshold without any problems. Depending on your print room temperature/humidity, your results may vary slightly so it is best to test multiple media types before determining which is best to use. As long as you do not see any of the artifacts described above and the color looks vibrant, you are ready to proceed.

Which Print Quality Should I Select?

The Print Quality is best determined by what media you are printing on. Under Quality Options, you will find various resolution/print modes. 1440x720dpi offers great resolution without sacrificing speed when printing on canvas. 2880x1440dpi may be considered “over-the-top” since you will not notice additional resolution sharpness on canvas due to its texture and porous look. 2880 will also slow your printer down considerably and use slightly more ink overall. However, if you are running high res photos 2880 will give you a noticeably sharper results in the shadows and detailed areas of your image.

Of course, these resolution settings are moot if the file you are printing is relatively low in pixel depth (also referred to as low resolution). High Speed mode should be left on as this utilizes bi-directional printing (print head fires ink in both directions of travel). If you are not sure how a particular image will print, click on the View menu and select Actual Pixels in Photoshop. This will accurately show the resolution of your image at 100% (the size the image will be printed at). While canvas tends to be more forgiving in terms of output (in regards to a low resolution file), a typical photo paper will not be as forgiving.

Quality Options 

Which Print Mode Should I Select?

Below Print Quality, you have a Color Mode. When set to Automatic, the Epson driver will apply a color mode to the print. Usually this will raise the overall saturation of the image being printed, especially in the Reds and Blues. This should not be applied to building a profile due to color shifts that may occur. These settings can be experimented with during the printing process, but for profiling they should be turned off.

To do so, change the Color Mode from Automatic to Custom. When Custom has been selected, click on the pull-down menu below and select Off (No Color Adjustment). This will leave the target file unaffected. Now that all of these settings have been made, you are ready to print out the targets for profiling.

Media Settings

Scanning the Printed Profile Target

When the targets have been printed, allow them to dry for at least an hour minutes prior to scanning with your spectrophotometer (give it 24 hours, if you can wait).

Naming the Profile Target

Something as simple as the profile name may not immediately seem important, but get a few profiles saved and confusion can quickly set in when switching between different papers. It's best to adopt a standard nomenclature that you use across all of your profiles. Take our Breathing Color profiles as an example: BC_Lyve_9900_MK_Canvas. Here you can see that we label it as a Breathing Color profile with BC. Then we tell you which BC media it's for - Lyve. Then the printer model it's for - Epson 9900. The MK signifies that matte black was used to print the target. Finally, "Canvas" tells you that it was printed with the Canvas media type setting. You could go into more or less detail in your own naming convention if you wanted, but this is a great starting point.

Using the ICC Profile to Print...Finally!

What I do next is print out an evaluation image. This image should have a wide range of image types to help show how well your printer profile is made. You should find a great image and use that same one for each new media that you profile. This way you can maintain consistancy, and eventually spot irregularities very quickly because you will be so used to how the image should look. Scott Martin's Onsight Color Evaluation Image is a great example of a great evaluation image. The PSD file even contains some text fields so you can add your media type, date, etc... allowing you to keep track of everything.

You want to use the same settings (media type, print quality, mode, etc...) when printing your images as you did to print out your profiling target. Only this time, you will of course associate your new target with the print in the printing program of your choice.

Have questions? Email us. We are more than happy to help, or at least get you pointed in the right directon.

Tips & Tricks

Mac Snow Leopard Users

Many users have run into a profiling problem when upgrading their Mac’s to OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard). Apple computer’s API (Application Programming Interface) for color management is ColorSync. This application not only holds all of your monitor ICC profiles, generic printer ICC profiles, and custom ICC profiles; it controls how those profiles are used and output to the various devices they are for.

Unfortunately, upon upgrading Snow Leopard from your existing version of OSX, a ColorSync “bug” is introduced to the system. While some of your current profiles will be unaffected, you may come across certain profiles you have successfully used in the past to now have a noticeable color shift. This is most common in the white areas of the print. They tend to print as a light gray cast, and can vary depending on the white point in the image file. One solution to this is to have your profile calculated using version 2 ICC specification. This is an older calculation that will not be affected by the ColorSync bug in OS 10.6.

Snow Leopard 

If you are certain that you have a version 2 ICC profile, then you will need to have a new ICC profile created. Whether you have your own device, or are printing targets to send to us for profile creation, you’ll want to follow the steps below:

Open the profile targets in Photoshop

Edit > Assign Profile > Adobe RGB. Click OK

File > Print

Set Color Handling = Photoshop Manages Colors

Set Printer Profile = Adobe RGB

Set Rendering Intent = Perceptual

Uncheck Black Point Compensation

*You do not have to pick Adobe RGB as the profile. You can use whichever profile you prefer, as long as the embedded profile (step 2 above, which assigns an embedded profile) matches the printer profile.

This seems counterintuitive, but it works because you are matching the embedded ICC profile of the targets with the printer profile. In other words, there will be no color shift when the targets get printed. Beyond that, the rest of the driver settings should remain the same. This will allow the targets to be printed the same way they are when you print using “No Color Management”. When printing your image with the new profile you’ve created, just use the profile under the Printer Profile setting in the driver. It does not need to be embedded in the Photoshop dialog prior to printing.

Additional Education on Color Management

To learn about the basics of color, ideal viewing conditions, calibrating your computer monitors, or building a profile for your camera, take a look at the informative videos below:

Color Basics

Ideal Viewing Conditions for Color Management

Match My Display to My Printer-Part 1

Match My Display to My Printer-Part 2

Seth Resnick and X-Rite ColorChecker Passport

Compatible Printers for Breathing Color ICC profiles

Compatible with Epson, Canon, and HP Printers

Breathing Color paper and canvas is compatible with just about any printer that uses pigment or dye-based inks. We also make paper and cavas that works with solvent, UV and latex ink! If you're not sure, just give us a call - 1.866.722.6567 - and we would be happy to help. The below list is a compilation of commonly-used printer models. If you don't see yours listed, give us a call!

Click here to download Breathing Color's ICC profiles and view our simple, step-by-step print instructions for your specific printer. You won't find this type of tool anywhere else! We are experts in printing and all things color management-related, so contact us with any questions you may have.


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