[scribus] Colour Profiles

Hal V. Engel hvengel at astound.net
Thu Sep 3 00:49:59 CEST 2009

On Wednesday 02 September 2009 02:29:18 pm Gregory Pittman wrote:
> On 09/02/2009 04:35 PM, davecs wrote:
> > I have been searching, without success, for colour profiles for my
> > monitor and printer. The monitor is an LG W2242S, and it is displaying a
> > photo exactly as I want it printed. The printer is an HP Photosmart 7760.
> > If I don't use colour profiles, the dark parts of the print are far too
> > dark, meaning that slight shadows across someone's face, which look quite
> > natural on my admittedly cheap monitor, come out too dark, and detail is
> > obscured. However, if I do use the default ICC profiles, the photo comes
> > out darker still, with a horrible red cast as well.
> >
> > I've looked on the internet, HP site, etc, and cannot find an ICC
> > profile. What would be nice is a program where you can visually adjust
> > your onscreen image to match what comes out the printer, so that settings
> > can be recorded and next time the printer compensates.
> I think you've got it a little backwards. Having your monitor calibrated
> is a bit tricky, and really the monitor is a visual aid, which you hope
> to match to printed output. Fiddling with the colors using an
> uncalibrated monitor is generally bound to give bad results. If you
> cannot find some kind of baseline profile from the monitor from the
> monitor's manufacturer, you would have to buy the equipment (hardware)
> to do this yourself -- 

This is in fact the only way to get your monitor calibrated and characterized 
correctly.   The reasons that monitor manufacturers seldom make profiles 
available is: 

1. Users can change various settings that will make the profile invalid.

2. Monitor characteristics change over time which means that monitors need to 
be re-calibrated and re-characterized periodically (perhaps weekly for CRTs 
and monthly for LCDs).

3. There is significant sample to sample variation in the monitors as they roll 
off the assembly line.

4. Monitor vendors have no control over the viewing conditions where the 
monitor is used.

In other words any profile you get from a monitor vendor is or will become 

You can get measurement devices that will allow you to calibrate and 
characterize your monitor for as little as $50 plus shipping.  This is 
inexpensive and allows you to ensure that your monitor is properly setup.   
Why not bite the bullet and do it the right way?  

> there is free software to help with this. If you
> check the online docs about color management you will find more details.
> http://docs.scribus.net/index.php?lang=en&page=cms
> For photos, there should be an ICC profile for the image file that you
> want to use, and you can set this in Preferences in Scribus.
> One mistake some make with local printers (ie, one attached to your
> computer) is to use the "Printer" setting for the Color tab in PDF
> Export. You really should use the Screen/Web setting most of the time.

This might be true if you are using a printer with the Windows or OS/X 
manufacturer supplied drivers using the default driver settings since these 
drivers by default assume sRGB input.  However you will always get better 
results if you have and use a good custom or semi-custom profile for your 
printer.  Keep in mind that good profiles are:

1. Media (paper and ink) specific.

2. Driver specific.

3. Driver settings specific.

4. Printer specific.

For Windows and OS/X drivers some printer vendors and third party media 
vendors (ink and paper) make OK semi-custom profiles available for free.  For 
example Ilford (they make paper) has profiles available for many printers for 
Ilford papers that are of fairly high quality.   I have in the past used these 
profiles on Windows with my Epson R2400 printer with good results.  Epson and 
MediaStreet also do this.  In addition if MediaStreet does not already have a 
profile available for your combination of printer and media (assuming that you 
are using either a paper or ink from MediaStreet) they will work with you to 
create the profile and you will end up with a free custom profile. If your 
printer/paper/ink vendor does not make these available you will need to create 
a custom profile or switch to a combination of printer and media for which 
these profiles are available if you want free profiles.  

Creating your own profiles requires some fairly expensive gear ($400 entry 
level) and a significant amount of effort (fairly steep learning curve).   In 
most cases that do not involve high volume printing this expense and effort is 
not justified since there is another alternative.  For many users it makes 
sense to use a printer profiling service to create these profiles.  There are 
services that will do this for as little as $25 per profile.

> You might also check your printer settings in your OS.
> Setting Printer is for when you take your work to a commercial printer.

Or you have a good profile for your printer and media and know how to use it.

> Greg
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