Printer profiling guide

Often, during printing on a printer, problems arise related to incorrect rendering of colors relative to the monitor. To eliminate this “misalignment”, you should profile the printer.

The content of the article

What is a color profile?

In general, color profiles are files that contain descriptions of the characteristics of a particular equipment, as well as settings for working with colors. Such data is reflected in a certain way when the finished image is reproduced on paper.

All color profile files have the following extensions: .icm and .icc. The abbreviation for icc profile stands for “International Color Consortium”. This name was obtained thanks to the color consortium formed in 1993. Several well-known companies took part in it, namely: Kodak, Adobe, Apple, Agfa and some others. It is thanks to the cooperation and fruitful work of these companies that icc profiles appeared, which significantly facilitate the printing of high-quality and well-processed images.

Factory settings

The first thing to say is that you can use the printer’s factory color profile. Usually it is recorded on a CD along with the software and comes in one set with the device. If it is not on the disk, then open the manufacturer’s official website and download the already configured color profile from there. But there is no certainty that this color profile will provide optimal color rendition when printing images, even if you use only original consumables recommended by the manufacturer. The key reason that using the factory printer profile can result in incorrect color reproduction is that in this case there is no consideration of the individual characteristics of the device. But in general, if you do not plan to print some high-quality photographs, where it is very important to match all tones with those displayed on the monitor, then the factory settings should suit you.

Creating a color profile: methods

If you want to create or set individual settings so that color calibration suits you completely, then take this task seriously and responsibly. To get the calibration done the way you want it to and the print color ultimately to your satisfaction, download the Color DarkRoom plug-in for Adobe Photoshop. This method, which allows you to make a change in the profiling of the printer, is that the user, in order to achieve the desired result, needs to print a test scale one by one and change the arrangement of channels and RGB curves at his discretion.

So, to set up the printer’s color profile in this way, start Photoshop and open the so-called. color map with which you plan to edit your color profile. To do this, select “File” => “Open” => “… .. Color DarkRoom Color_Card”. But it is worth noting that this plugin only works with files with the * icm extension. Therefore, change the extension * icc to this one in advance. Then follow all the following steps to calibrate:

  • Go through “Start” in the “Devices and Printers” menu in order to find out in the properties of devices which profile it is using at the moment. In the properties of the device, open the color management and click on the button of the same name. Find your device and remember the name of the color profile, which will be displayed below. Find this profile in the System32 spool drivers color folder, copy it and rename it – this way you will create the basis for the new color profile.
  • Print out a color map so you know which colors need to be calibrated. In the settings, be sure to specify “printer manages color”, because the printout will be done using the printer’s color filter.
  • Go to Photoshop with the above plugin and an open gray card. Open “Filter” and go there from “AMS” to “Color DarkRoom”. Through the window that opens, add your profile that you created earlier.
  • Now you can start performing a task such as calibrating a profile. To do this, find the “Graph” button in the “Print Colors” menu and click on it. Next, your profile will open in front of you, presented in the form of a graph consisting of curves of red, green and blue.
  • Configure the profile settings as you see fit. It is very important that both at the beginning and at the end of this graph, all lines in color converge to one point. Save the calibrated profile.
  • To solve a problem like “how to set a color profile”, open the properties of the printing device, click on “Color Management” and the button of the same name. Next, in the section for selecting a profile, click on “add”. Then select the required profile from the list that opens and click “OK”. Highlight it and set it to “default”.

Another way to solve the problem of how to adjust the optimal color transmission settings of the printer is to use a scanner. The essence of this method is that first you need to print a test target, i.e. profile card, and then scan it without preliminary color processing. The file obtained after this procedure must be loaded into Adobe Photoshop, or more precisely, in the Pantone Colorvision Profilerplus plug-in. This plugin will generate a new color profile in a semi-automatic mode. The difference in the source file and the color of the reference image of the profile card will be taken as a basis.

But this method of solving the problem “how to change the transmission color of the printer” has a drawback, which is the possible deviation of the scanner color transmission. It will be possible to approximate the results to the most suitable one using the plug-in used in the first method of profiling the printer.

How to profile your monitor at a glance

In addition to calibrating the color reproduction of the printer, it is very important to solve the problem related to how to calibrate the monitor. Without proper communication between the monitor and printer, it will be very difficult if not impossible to achieve optimal results. To accomplish this task, you can use the factory settings by installing your monitor software.

If this profile does not suit you, then to manually create a new version you need to use a calibrator (colorimeter). This procedure consists of measuring the ambient light and setting the initial settings using the display controls, namely: brightness, contrast and color temperature. Then you need to compare the colors that are actually reproduced on the screen with the reference values. Finally, you need to generate an individual profile for your monitor, taking the ambient light into account. Thus, it is not so easy to customize the display’s color reproduction for specific conditions.


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