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ICC Profiles

In online printing, an ICC profile refers to a set of data that describes color characteristics, limitations and the gamut of a device that captures, displays or prints color.

Developed by the International Color Consortium (ICC), these color profiles are very important in order to manage color properly between different devices, as it travels from the creative phase to the final product.

Types of ICC Profiles

There are several types of ICC profiles. The most common ones you’ll come across are:

  • Input profiles for cameras and scanners
  • Output profiles for printing devices
  • Working space profiles for creative purposes

Another type of profile is a device link profile. It’s important to note that it’s only used in color management software systems for transforming color from one space to another for specific purposes and goals.

Using ICC Profiles

All professional-level creative applications contain color management settings. If ICC profiles are removed or ignored at any part of the process, you’ll get undesirable results and inaccurate color shifts on your project.

Be sure to never choose an option that displays the following message: Ignore linked profiles, preserve numbers. You’ll always want to choose the option that embeds or honors the profiles, and when creating or saving a document, ensure ICC profiles are included.

As part of our online printing services, Smartpress can provide you with a Color Management Settings file that you can load and use if you are using Adobe Creative Suite applications.

Tips & Tricks

  • Always use proper color management settings and ICC profiles if you’re creating any project for an online printer that contains or uses color.
  • Never use the different types of ICC profiles in any manner other than what they are intended for.
    • For example: Do not set a display/monitor profile as a working space or a printer profile as a monitor profile.

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