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Need Help How many profiles do you really need?

Discussion in 'RIP Software & Color Management' started by Bryce I, Aug 25, 2020.

  1. Bryce I

    Bryce I I'm Brie

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    Good Morning,

    Do you use a different profile for each type of media you print on?
    Do you have any across-the-board profile types you recommend for optimal printing?
    Could different profiles be the answer to color specific banding?
    Have you found that generic (or random) profiles deliver better results than the one designed for the specific media you're using?

    When i was trained on Roland Versaworks, profiles weren't mentioned once. My predecessor used one profile for every job ever, on a Roland Soljet XC-540.

    It may not have been the most efficient use of ink, but all the prints seemed to come out fine for years. I think boss wanted to keep things simple, and have untrained people from other departments be able to hop on and print stuff easily.

    Soon after i was hired, the company switched over to a newer printer and rip software (TrueVis Vg-540,/ Versaworks Dual), and i quickly learned that the old way wasn't going to work. Printing any small graphics with fine print are unreadable unless using a higher quality setting that takes twice(!) as long. For larger prints like vehicle wraps, the color difference between the specific manufacturer's media profile, and say, generic media 2, is vast. Like the difference between your primary colors popping or not. More times than not, the generic media profile is better than the one designed for the media. Any answers to the questions at the top would be great, but also any tips or insights about profiles in general would be appreciated.
     
  2. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    Absolutely you should have a different profile for every media. Go cut a square piece of every media you print on, and lay them out on a table and compare the shades of white. ALL colors are based on printing on white, so guess what? A more yellowish white material will give a different color than a pure white media. That's simply one aspect.....heat, ink saturation, and other variables determine how your final print will look. Not making or at least using premade profiles is just lazy and unprofessional.
     
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  3. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    When we had the mimaki we ran everything on the same profile.

    Since we switched to the Colorado and onyx, I’ve been creating my own profiles and I can assure you the output and consistency is better.

    Also when you print from onyx to the Colorado it just gets held in a queue on the actual machine. Which means I can send 3 days worth of printing, all on different media’s and it won’t try print, say floor vinyls, until I load floor vinyl and tell the Colorado it’s floor vinyl. So naturally this helps split the jobs and keeps me printing on the right media’s.

    Also got to remember that all your media are different weights as well, so that may be a cause of any colour specific banding if you’re using a generic profile.

    But the main benefit to the profiling is the colour consistency/output across all media. I can print on anything I want and the output is consistent across all the media’s which makes you actually look like a professional!
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
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  4. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

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    You should be using different media profiled for every single piece of media you have. for best results, you should create them yourself.
    Canned/generic profiles imo are crap. some may be okay but every media profile i use is created by us.

    Having good profiles can make your print shop look better than one who use canned/generic ones.

    For example, we print a lot of glass. our display is almost an art gallery. When we get clients who bring in competitors printed glass to get re done by us, they're already seeing the difference between the colours. Then when they compare their old print to new with the same image, 99% of the time our clients are speechless in the difference.

    So how many media profiles do you need? 1 min for each media you have. some you may have 2 for. (fast print speeds with lower quality and slow print speeds and high quality) or you can have ink saving profiles that use more K than CMY for less colourful and colour accurate jobs as your colour gamut will be slightly reduced. and profiles that use more CMY and minimal K for more colourful jobs.
    i even have custom profiles that will print anything that is 100% black (100/100/100 in RGB or 0/0/0/100 for CMYK) will only print with black ink. This is usually done for text to increase sharpness in small prints.
    That also depends on your software and what options are available to you.
     
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  5. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet DIY Printer Fixing Guide

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    A different profile for each media is the correct way to do things. That being said, I would say at least more than half of shops only use one or two canned profiles. When you have never used a proper color correction workflow, it's easy to ignore because you don't have anything to compare it to. Properly profiling your media can set you apart from the competition and also save you a ton of headaches when it comes to color consistency, gamut and quality.
     
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  6. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    Same when we had our Mimaki. It was the easiest setup we had. Just about anyone in the shop could run it. Not since switching to the HP though.

    As for being the "correct way". Don't care about that. I care about speed and making money.
     
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  7. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    Honestly that profile was stuff of legend, it was 4 pass, printed beautifully and never banded at all. Pretty sure it was a 3M profile and we’ve never used 3M in the shop.

    Easily printed about 300,000 square feet on that profile. Sad thing is it was on rasterlink and we use onyx now lol
     
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  8. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

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    FYI We've won plenty of clients over from our competitors just from having better colours than they can even produce on the same printer.
    Good colour profiles wont hurt you. We have our "fast and colour accurate" print modes too.
     
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  9. Joe House

    Joe House Active Member

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    It's all about expectations really. I've got customers that range the entire spectrum of color management from ones that use only 1 profile in the RIP and only one preset on the printer to full on G7 certified shops that profile every media on every printer and recalibrate every Monday morning and use check prints on every job to make sure they are printing within spec.
    What you really "need" is totally up to you and by extension is based on your customers' expectations.
    I can tell you that the G7 shops get more for each job and the jobs tend to be for larger clients with higher expectations. If you're getting push back from your customers due to print quality or color matching issues and you value their business, you probably need to up your game when it comes to profiling. If you haven't had any complaints and customers keep returning to you you're probably ok with how you're managing customers now. Or, if you're trying to reach an elevated level of customer and you can't seem to hit their targets, you should invest in better color management.
    I've got nothing to do with them really, other than being on their mailing list, but Color Casters is now doing their seminars online. Which means no travel expenses to attend their Color Management Bootcamp. I'm sure there are other training providers as well. If you're at all interested in learning better color management, this might be a good time to get in on their class. I will add that doing color training remotely is difficult and attending an in person class would probably be better or having someone come to you to train you on your equipment in your environment would be the best, you have to weigh the costs and risks involved.

    Good Luck
     
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  10. FrankW

    FrankW Very Active Member

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    I do RIP-Software-Training. One time a customer want me to show him how to do color replacement and color adjustment because he have big problems with color accuracy while using generic profiles.

    After creating profiles on his specific media, color replacement and color adjustment was off the table, because he never had unacceptable color deviations anymore.
     
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  11. Joe House

    Joe House Active Member

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    I had a similar experience. New customer to us had been proofing every print, making adjustments in the RIP to get color matches, then storing the RIP'd files so he could reproduce. When we sold the new printer and gave him proper RIP training he was able to use files without alteration and get correct color 98% of the time. The ones that didn't match were due to gamut limitations. His life became a lot easier after that.

    I don't recommend the one profile/one preset method, but it works for some customers.
     
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  12. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

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    I guarantee that those who have been using canned a canned profile for all their work, if they get a profile made with the same quality (DPI) and speed. you would be pretty surprised on some of the colour your printer isn't printing.

    Or think of the ink saving using high GCR profiles.
     
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  13. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    It’s very possible and often preferable to use the same ICC output profile across different media so long as the they share the same (or very similar) coating as well as share the same print mode and workflow settings. The reason being the ability to match, very closely, prints between the different media varieties. In fact, some companies have available in their repositories the exact same profile but only named differently according to their target media.

    A considerable reason NOT to have separate profiles for like-media is due to faulty spectrophotometer measurements of close-up color due to “texture.” Texture often invites glare at the very close-up level. Media for large format machines vary greatly and most typical devices were only designed to measure paper-smooth, small swatches from other types of machines.

    Using a standard tool found in most sign printing shops is a lighted BetaMag 12X loupe which will reveal what most spectrophotometers might see. One can readily notice the surprising amount of reflective differences (often glare or no glare at all) among various media and substrates. The color close-up is not necessarily the same as perceived from the normal viewing distance.

    The latest X-Rite i1Pro 3 Plus with its larger aperture and polarizing filter begin to really help here. It addresses what they call “color measurement variability.”
     
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  14. KatePhillips

    KatePhillips Member

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    Hmm, we use the canned one for our low qual stuff, like temporary for sale signs etc., and then have the recommended profile downloaded for all our vehicle films, banners, higher quality vinyl, wall vinyl, etc.

    I'd love to have the time/know-how to profile some of my own, but I'm not the boss, so I'd have to request hours/vinyl to do it, and I can't imagine it taking that much of a priority while we're busy printing stuff. Someday when it's slow (hah) I'll probably have a chance.

    I'd definitely suggest using the correct profile for any large jobs or jobs that might come back to haunt you (it's not fun to try and guess which profile/color settings you used when replacing a smashed car wrap panel, for instance). Consistency has helped our workspace a lot.

    Plus if you have a vinyl failure or issue with a roll and have to call an Avery or 3M rep, one of the first things they'll ask is "Are you using the right profile?" and if you're not, they'll just say "well next time you have to do that, sorry we can't help".
     
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  15. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

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    If you go to the extent to use OEM profiles for OEM materials. why not use OEM profiles for you "cheap jobs" only difference it makes is your cheap signs will look better with no extra cost.
     
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  16. Andy_warp

    Andy_warp Member

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    How may medias do you really NEED to hit neutral grayscale on?!

    If you have the software and spectro you’ll save yourself so many headaches!

    Does building custom profiles allow you to print every color perfect? No! It does not. There are always needs for tweaks.

    Custom profiles will build a baseline for the next time you upgrade software or hardware. It’s nice when you profile your new gear, and your Pantone chart is very similar to your old.

    We did a full swap to our workhorse 10 foot dye sub, we were down for a day.

    Custom profiles will solve problems like ink-pooling/reticulation, a thing often overlooked that can wreak havoc in finishing, and shifted gray scales.

    Its a drag scanning swatches, but every one you scan is like putting money in the bank. Bet on it!
     
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  17. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    This sounds like an owner who doesn't care about quality.....I don't even comprehend someone not wanting to take the time to do things right and create your profiles. Being busy isn't an excuse.
     
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  18. KatePhillips

    KatePhillips Member

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    I haven't had any issues with our downloaded Avery/3M/Orofol profiles or the occasional canned one we use, so I haven't made it a priority. It seems, though, that this is a really valuable process, so it will be worth me looking further into.

    We're a chain, and that kind of thing simply wasn't talked about while they set up.
     
  19. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

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    downloaded profiles are canned profiles.
    A lot of the times, owners aren't aware of it or does not realise the difference it makes.
     
  20. KatePhillips

    KatePhillips Member

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    Ah see I didn't know this either - I thought canned was something like "generic II" on versaworks, while we often use the matching profile from Avery or 3M's website instead. We did have a problem, for instance, with an 3MIJ180 roll quite a while back, and the first thing they asked was "are you using the profile from our website?????" (turns out it was a bad roll anyway :confused: ). They basically said if we're not using their profiles (we do) they won't help with any issues.

    Soo safe to say the majority of people here are profiling their media independently? Does it take a lot of vinyl/time to do it? This is not something I know much about, clearly.
     
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