[scribus] Colour Profiles

John Beardmore John at T4sLtd.co.uk
Mon Sep 7 22:21:04 CEST 2009

Hal V. Engel wrote:
> On Sunday 06 September 2009 04:35:33 pm John Beardmore wrote:

>>> This is basically correct.  These services used to be expensive (like
>>> $100 to $200 per profile) but in the last 5 or so years there has been a
>>> lot of new service providers entering the market.  In addition the cost
>>> of the equipment has come down significantly and these factors have
>>> driven down the cost.  Now days it is not hard to find services that will
>>> do RGB printer profiles for $25 and CMYK profiles for $35.  This makes
>>> getting good printer profiles well with in reach for almost anyone.  It
>>> is also a good idea for Windows and OS/X users to check with their
>>> paper/ink vendor to see if free high quality profiles are available.  In
>>> many cases they are and if your paper/ink vendor does not supply these
>>> then perhaps you should consider switching media vendors.
>> Are these widely available for laser toners or just inks ?
> They might be available for printers that use toners.  Since I don't use laser 
> printers I have not looked.  You need to check with your media 
> (paper/ink/toner) vendor(s).  Many of them have sections of their web site 
> devoted to this.

If Dell have one for the 5110cn it's fairly well hidden.
If their competitors who do toners at half the price have one, I'd be 
very surprised.

Given the cost of toner when used in quantity, this is a significant 
issue. If you wanted things under CMS it certainly would be a good plan 
to have your own Huey or whatever.

>  Again I know of at least three major media vendors that do 
> this (Epson, MediaStreet and Ilford) because I use their products and I am 
> sure that other vendors do this as well.  The 3rd party media vendors have 
> learned over the last few years that they absolutely must do this or customers 
> will take their business elsewhere.

An onerous task given the number of printers, ink providers and papers.

>>> Back when this was first put into LProf (around 1999) the equipment
>>> needed to do measurement based calibration and profiling of monitors was
>>> fairly expensive at around $400 for the least costly devices not
>>> including software.  Now days you can get measurement devices like the
>>> X-Rite Huey for around $50 plus shipping including basic
>>> calibration/profiling software.  The Huey is a better device than the
>>> $400 device was a decade ago since it will hold it's calibration better.
>>>   The older device would require re-calibration about every 2 years.  In
>>> other words the hardware is both cheaper and better now days than it has
>>> ever been.  There is no reason that anyone who is concerned about color
>>> should not have one.
>> Except that in most domestic and non specialist small business settings,
>> CMS will just be too much trouble.
>> I think this is something we need to recognise and be honest about.  The
>> fact that almost anybody can afford it doesn't mean that the cost is
>> justified, or that CMS would be more cost effective than having some
>> manual control that you can use to set the desired curves for printing.
> This is something that each person/business must decide.  If your work is 
> color critical it is a no brainer.  Get a color meter and calibrate and profile 
> your monitor and if you use a local printer for proofing or production work get 
> it profiled or get high quality profiles from your media vendor if they are 
> available.  
> If you color requirements are not that strict then it becomes a wobbler.  But 
> keep in mind that a box of high quality photo paper can cost $30 or $40 and 
> when you start doing seat of the pants trial and error color correction you 
> can go through a lot of paper very quickly and use a lot of time getting it 
> close enough.

:)  I think I can cope, though we are just printing reports onto nice 
quality 100gsm office paper. Further, the errors I want to correct are 
gross enough that as long as the test paper is basically white, it would 
be good enough to see what's going on.  We use / recycle all sorts here.

>  And you should add in the cost of ink/toner as well.   You can 
> get a color meter like a Huey and a custom printer profile for well under $100 
> and end up with a streamlined process that saves paper and effort and yields 
> better more consistent results.  In the end it will actually be less costly 

That depends if you are paying a premium for paper from Ilford or 
whoever I guess.

 > but there is an upfront cost and learning curve.
>   A few years ago when a 
> similar setup would have cost you closer to $600 it was very hard to justify 
> but now days anyone who does color related work is probably better off with a 
> basic hardware measured color managed setup.

Regardless of the cost of the instrumentation, having the option of 
adjusting curves for ad hoc work would be great from where I'm standing, 
and I suspect for many if not most users of DTP who are working outside 
of a CMS environment.

> Also keep in mind that a color meter can be used to calibrate and profile more 
> than one monitor because you only need to use every few weeks.  So in a office 
> setup you can share a single meter which makes the cost per user very low.

That certainly brings the instrumentation cost down.

Cheers, J/.
John Beardmore,MSc EDM (Open),B.A. Chem (Oxon),CMIOSH,CEnv,AIEMA,MEI
Managing Director, T4 Sustainability Limited. http://www.T4sLtd.co.uk/
Energy Audit, Carbon Management, Design Advice, Sustainable Energy
Consultancy and Installation, Carbon Trust Standard Registered Assessor
Phone: 0845 4561332   Mobile: 07785 563116   Skype: t4sustainability

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