Current Printing Handout:

Processing a Digital Image for PRINT rev4.13.pdf

Printer Profile File Names: profilenames

Color Management Resources
- see contents of directory listing below for various white papers:

Printers - Materials - Supplies

Device/Paper Profiles - additional resources:

The purpose of the ICC is to promote the use and adoption of open, vendor-neutral, cross-platform color management systems.
The ICC encourages vendors to support the ICC profile format and the workflows required to use ICC profiles. - Resource Center


Ilford Paper Profiles

Inkpress Paper Co.

Red River Paper Co.

Print Permanence
- An Epson White Paper -

Color Field Guide - how to install and apply
Epson's ICC Profile Guide

Red River Paper -How to Install and apply profiles.Epson(PC)
Red River Color Profiles -How to Epson(MAC)


Digital Art Supplies (San Diego based, print supply )

PS Print (LA based commercial printer)
Preparing files for print - Pagemaker, Illustrator

---------------local printers/suppliers santa rosa

Jeremiah's Photo Corner!.html

Digital Grange
Joe McDonald/Bill Kane

Skylark Images

The Lab

Lenny Eiger

---------------local printers san francisco

Urban Digtial Color (SF, printer)

The Blow Up Lab

Dickerman Prints


The New Lab



Apple iPhoto


A great site on color and its impact on psyche, the body, the culture, the planet, design, etc. -

BandH: Color Management – A Very Basic Primer
(Or How to Make Good-Looking Prints without Making Yourself Nuts)
by: Allan Weitz

Of all the pluses of digital imaging perhaps the darkest cloud for many enthusiasts has to be color management. In a perfect world, the tonal qualities of the image coming out of your printer should match the tonal qualities of the image you edited on your computer screen, which in turn should match the tonal qualities of the image that appeared in your camera’s viewfinder.

But that's in a perfect world, and you might have guessed by now, life is often less-than-perfect. The good news is that with a bit of time and effort on your part, you should be able to print images that should - depending on your choice of printer, paper, and ink - closely replicate the color and tonal qualities of the image you toiled over on your computer screen. Before moving on however, it's important to understand the variables that come into play from the time you click the shutter to the time you view the finished print.

It Starts with the Camera


Pigment vs. dye inks - Which is best?
By Rick LePage

For the past five months, I’ve been living in printer heaven, testing some new inkjet printers designed for professional photographers and graphic artists. I have reviewed Canon’s imagePROGRAF iPF5000 (3.5 mice), and Hewlett-Packard’s Photosmart Pro B9180 (4.5 mice), and am getting ready to look at Epson’s new Stylus Professional 3800. I have printed more than 1,000 images on many different paper types, and had quite a few discussions with printer vendors, photographers, paper companies and people interested in printing. It’s been fun, trust me.

All of these printers share one primary characteristic—they print using pigment-based inks, instead of the traditional dye-based inks found in most inkjet printers sold today. Epson was the first company to ship a printer based that used pigment inks, which are made up of tiny, encapsulated particles that sit on top of the paper, instead of being absorbed into a paper’s fibers, which is what happens with dyes. When I talk about this with photographers and people who haven’t lived with these printers, the biggest question I get is, “Why should I care about what type of ink my printer has?”

The most important reasons for using pigment inks are archival print life and color stability. The dye inks used in most early inkjet printers exhibited signs of fading or shifts in color after a short period of time (as quickly as days, in some cases). As a result, the graphic art and fine art markets turned to pigment inks. Pigment inks are much more stable and can last more than 200 years on some paper types under ideal (museum-quality lighting and framing) conditions, according to testing done by Wilhelm Imaging Research, the leader in this field. (You can find out just about anything in this field on Wilhelm’s site; I highly recommend it if you’re interested in lots of information on the topic.)

It’s important to note that the paper (called the substrate by printer
geeks) is as important as the ink in measuring print life. Glossy papers, with their slick finishes, are usually the worst offenders in terms of print life, but any paper with so-called optical brighteners—used to make a paper’s finish bright, bright white—will have some issues with either ultraviolet light or atmospheric pollutants, as Wilhelm terms gases like ozone, which can quickly break down dye inks on unprotected prints. This is why companies like Hahnemuehle, Crane’s, and Moab, to name three, have been so successful with their natural-fiber papers, even though they don’t have the brightness that we have become used to in the world of the consumer inkjet.

The drawbacks of pigment inks
Pigment inks aren’t perfect—they’re generally more expensive than dye inks, and they don’t have the brightness and broad color range (or gamut) that dye inks have. And, most printer manufacturers continue to push the print longevity of dye inks. Right now, many dye-based prints, kept under glass and away from direct light, can last for up to 25 or 30 years, which is more than adequate for most of us. But Wilhelm has tested a few dye/paper combinations that show archival life of nearly 100 years—that’s the primary reason why dye printers aren’t going away any time soon.

Another problem that some early pigment inks had was a phenomenon called metamerism, which is essentially the human eye detecting a shift in color when viewing a print under different light sources. For example, an image might look normal under fluorescent light, but exhibit a greenish color cast when viewed outside in bright daylight or under a reading lamp.
Metamerism plagued the first generation of pigment inks, but Epson, who pioneered pigment inks as a mainstream technology, worked extensively to reduce this (through more chemistry than I need to know about), and companies like Canon and HP are reaping the benefits of Epson’s initial forays into this market.

Metameric failure

The term Illuminant metameric failure is sometimes used to describe situations where two material samples match when viewed under one light source but not another. Most types of fluorescent lights produce an irregular or peaky spectral emittance curve, so that two materials under fluorescent light might not match, even though they are a metameric match to an incandescent "white" light source with a nearly flat or smooth emittance curve. Material colors that match under one source will often appear different under the other.

Normally, material attributes such as translucency, gloss or surface texture are not considered in color matching. However geometric metameric failure can occur when two samples match when viewed from one angle, but then fail to match when viewed from a different angle. A common example is the color variation that appears in pearlescent auto finishes.

Observer metameric failure can occur because of differences in color vision between observers. The common source of observer metameric failure is colorblindness, but it is also not uncommon among "normal" observers.
In all cases, the proportion of long-wavelength-sensitive cones to medium-wavelength-sensitive cones in the retina, the profile of light sensitivity in each type of cone, and the amount of yellowing in the lens and macular pigment of the eye, differs from one person to the next. This alters the relative importance of different wavelengths in a spectral power distribution to each observer's color perception. As a result, two spectrally dissimilar lights or surfaces may produce a color match for one observer but fail to match when viewed by a second observer.

Finally, field-size metameric failure occurs because the relative proportions of the three cone types in the retina vary from the center of the visual field to the periphery, so that colors that match when viewed as very small, centrally fixated areas may appear different when presented as large color areas. In many industrial applications, large field color matches are used to define color tolerances.

The difference in the spectral compositions of two metameric stimuli is often referred to as the degree of metamerism. The sensitivity of a metameric match to any changes in the spectral elements that form the colors depend on the degree of metamerism. Two stimuli with a high degree of metamerism are likely to be very sensitive to any changes in the illuminant, material composition, observer, field of view, etc.

The word metamerism is often used incorrectly, to indicate a metameric failure rather than a match, or to describe a situation in which two colors are highly metameric, and hence the metameric match is easily degraded by a slight change in conditions, such as a change in illuminant.


Micro Piezo Print Head

PRINT Image Matching

Print Permanence
- An Epson White Paper -

Quad Tone Ink Links - True Grayscale printing on an inkjet printer.

B&W Inkset is a set of 4 archival black inks in which 3 have
been diluted with a clear base stock to produce 3 shades of gray and 1

Ultrachrome equivalent Archival color ink. Use for making fine art prints
with high fade resistance. It is for both matte and glossy media.

MIS PRO CARTRIDGES - These cartridges contain MIS PRO Archival color ink.
It is an improved version of the MIS Ultrachrome Equivalent ink. It has
less bronzing and higher gloss. Use for making fine art prints with high
fade resistance on Epson C84, C86, C88, 4000, 7600, 9600 printers. It is
for both matte and glossy media. It can be used for other Epson prints,
but a profile will be required.

Below is the workflow provided by Paul Roark for making Variable Tone
prints using an Epson printer and MIS VM or VMS inks. The MIS variable-mix
ink and the adjustment curves produce beautiful prints that can be either
warm-tone, neutral or cool.

Currently, the main vendors for quadtone inks are MIS Associates,
Piezography, and Lumijet. Check their web sites for lists of currently
supported printers.