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Color Management: The Guru List

(April 2010) posted on Tue May 04, 2010

More than 20 tips and tricks on wide-format color management from seasoned experts

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14. Calibrating Challenging Media
Uncoated papers, canvas, mesh, and fabrics are the most challenging to use. These substrates require careful calibration to ensure the best looking output. If you find that you have to reduce the total area coverage (TAC) to less than 200 percent (from 400 percent), consider dropping the printer resolution to reduce the quantity of ink laid down. Consider using a densitometric method for linearization (or calibration) to achieve perceptually dark-to-light gradients of each printer colorant for low-color-gamut materials.
—Dan Reid, RPimaging

15. Average, Average, Average!
When profiling a wide-format inkjet printer, it’s not a bad idea to print several profiling charts across the width of the device, measure all of them, and then average the results before creating the profile. Taking it a step further, compare the averaged results to the individual results to get an idea of how consistent your inkjet device is across the width of the printer (you may be in for a surprise, and not a good one!).

To eliminate your measurement instrument as a possible variable, measure the same chart several times and compare the results. If you find, for example, your measurements vary more than about 1 delta e, the instrument, or your technique if it’s a handheld device, might be suspect as well. Start with a minimum of three profile charts and possibly up to nine (three wide x three deep) for a good average.
—Terry Wyse, WyseConsul