Switching color profiles for print work

almost 8 years ago from , Bitter Southerner

Just when I'm getting into a groove with Monitor RGB, print work comes knocking at my door. I'd like to know if and when you encounter these situations - what print profiles do you normally default to. This quick job isn't much more than some business cards, etc and probably won't be going to an offset printer. But I recently completed an annual report where I used the "North American Prepress" profile. Does anyone have any tips when swapping between color profiles often?


  • Sean HendricksonSean Hendrickson, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )

    Being a pretty adept Prepress Technician for about 4 years, I can say that the standard has changed quite a bit and that it's not as complicated now, as it was maybe 10 years ago.

    Here's some rules I follow:

    • If you have images and the like in RGB, keep them in their native colorspace. It's easier to color correct in RGB.
    • Always contact your printer as to what profiles and spot colors they support so that you can get your best results (which will be the settings you use to export your PDFs).
    • Printed proofs help to get the color accuracy close to what you are looking for, but depending on the process and materials, may not be 100%.
    • For CMYK objects (your photos should be RGB based on the first point I mentioned), you'll want to keep the color numbers so that pure red and pure yellow stay that way.

    So basically, don't swap color profiles until the export. I use North American Standard (it's identical to Prepress Standard except you don't get missing profile warnings) and I also make sure to use the "Proof Colors" option in the View menu.

    Hope this helps!

    3 points
    • Todd Bennings, almost 8 years ago

      Thank you Sean. It has been about 10 years since I've first learned much of what I know about print, so its nice to know things are less complex than before. Thanks again for the tips!

      0 points