It is very important to have a properly calibrated and profiled monitor to insure that the colors on your monitor match the colors in the prints you receive from The Imaging Depot.
The best way to calibrate and profile your monitor is with a hardware monitor calibration device. We recommend the X-rite i1Display Pro. This device costs a couple of hundred dollars, and will provide a comfort level that the image you are seeing on your monitor will match the prints you receive from The Imaging Depot.
The i1 device attaches to the front of your monitor and reads color patches displayed by the software. Using these readings, the software helps optimize the brightness, contrast, and color output, of your screen. The software then creates a profile describing how your monitor displays color.
When calibrating and profiling your monitor, we recommend that you set your target whitepoint to 6500k and your gamma curve to 2.2. These, however, are only recommendations; you may find that your viewing environment has warmer lights, in which case you may want to use a whitepoint of 5000k.
Configuring Photoshop’s Color Settings
- Open Photoshop
- Mac OS X Users
- Go to Photoshop in the Menu Bar > Color Settings
- Windows Users
- Go to Edit in the Menu Bar > Color Settings
These options, along with the ‘Color Management Policies’ will make sure all images are in the proper color space for printing by The Imaging Depot. They will alert you if not so action can be taken to correct the problem at the beginning of your workflow.
The environment or lighting conditions where we view our prints can have a drastic effect on the way our eyes interpret the reflected colors.
Although we perceive daylight and artificial light as colorless, they are in fact both hugely variable and unreliable. To make matters worse, color digital prints will absorb and reflect different colors depending on the type of illumination they are evaluated under. There’s no sense spending time, money, and effort on calibrating your monitor if your working environment is lit by orange tinted domestic lights or green fluorescent tubes. Correct color evaluation in these circumstances will be impossible.
For accurate color reproduction you must view your documents in an environment that provides a consistent light level and color temperature. Ideally, you should view your prints in a viewing booth that is daylight balanced to either 5000k or 6500k.
How to Prepare Your Files
All of our photographic output devices are based on a color managed sRGB workflow.
Please save your files in sRGB color space in 8-bit color, not 16-bit. For best results do not submit CMYK, Grayscale, RAW, PSD or LZW compressed files, and if you work in layers, be sure to flatten the file and remove any extra channels before saving. We print from JPEG format files. Lossless or highest quality JPEG compressions are more than adequate for high quality printing.