These tutorials are aimed at beginners in making prints. It is important to recognise that there is not just one way of working. My own preference is to use colour profiles as I use PermaJet papers. See below for how to obtain profiles for the papers that you use. The tutorials are ©Christine Widdall and Mike Lawrence. You may download them for your own use but may not distribute or sell them to others.

First Step:

Calibrate your monitor – if your monitor is not correct, your prints will probably not be the right colour and your projected images will also not look correct. To properly profile your monitor, you need a profiling device e.g. Spyder or ColorMunki, which are colorimeters. Basically you just load the software from the CD, plug in the sensor and follow the instructions. 

If you don’t have a colorimeter, you can set up (calibrate) your monitor manually using various test cards. Calibaration is not the full answer but it will go a long way to ensuring that your prints have the correct density and contrast. There is an excellent site at Lagom.nl which takes you through various steps to calibration.

Second Step:

Then you need to set up your colour preferences in Photoshop using the video tutorial as a guide:

Download video tutorial: setting up your colour preferences in Photoshop

Third step:

Then decide which of the two colour managed workflows you want to use.

The two workflows are:

1. Allow printer to manage colours.

2. Photoshop manages colours.

Workflow 1 – Allow Printer to Manage Colours

The default setting for most printers. Photoshop does not convert the document. Photoshop tags the document and then passes it straight to the printer driver with instructions on how to convert the document colours into the printer optimised equivalent.

When to use?

If you don’t have ICC colour profiles for the papers you are using.

Note: Rendering Intent and Black Point settings may be disabled in many printers when using this option.

Workflow 2 – Allow Photoshop to Manage Colours

Photoshop will convert the document to the printer/paper profile that you have selected in the Printer Profile drop down dialogue. Colour Management must be switched off in the printer driver software. Gives you more control of the finished print and (hopefully) better results, but is just a little more complicated to use.

Paper Profiles

OEM paper profiles (the ones that are made for your printer manufacturer’s own papers) are loaded with the printer software.  Profiles for other papers can usually be downloaded free of charge from the paper manufacturers’ web sites. Download the file that you want then slect the file and then either, right click and select “install profile”,  or double click the downloaded file, to install in your colour profiles folder (Windows knows where to put it). For MAC users, please consult the instructions on the profile download page.

The following tutorial will show you how to start using the different workflows. Your printer driver will probably look different to those in the tutorials but most will have the same options…just explore now you know what to look for.

Download video tutorial – settings in your printer driver.