Color Profiles and Soft Proofing

Color Profiles

Most monitors are capable of displaying a wider range of colors than printers can reproduce, so it is helpful to enable soft proofing (or display proofing) which will limit the monitors gamut to match the printer’s gamut. White it is not necessary to soft proof all images, it is advisable when images contain vibrant, highly saturated colors (i.e. flowers) or when choosing colors in a layout program for logos, graphics, borders, etc. Soft proofing will not work on an uncalibrated monitor.

Installing Color Profile

To enable soft proofing with Richmond Pro Lab’s profile, first, download the appropriate profile below from richmondprolab.com/resources/color-management.

To install on a PC, simply right click on the downloaded profile and select “Install Profile”. On a Mac, drag the profile in the folder “Profiles”, which can be found by navigating to the “Library” folder followed by the “ColorSync” folder.

Soft Proofing in Photoshop

in Photoshop select View -> Proof Setup -> Custom. Then the “Customize Proof Condition” window appears, select the soft proofing profile from the pull down menu next to “Device to Simulate”. Set the “Rendering Intent” to “Perceptual” and leave all of the boxes in that window unchecked with the exception of “Preview”. You can save this setup so you won’t have to redo it ever time you soft proof.

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Soft Proofing in Lightroom

After selecting your image(s) from the library in Lightroom, navigate to the "Develop" tab. Open the menu at the bottom and choose "Soft Proofing" if it is not already visible, then check the "Soft Proofing" box to go into Soft Proof mode. *Please note that not all versions of Lightroom support Soft Proofing. Click the background just outside of the image and change the paper color to "Paper White." Click "Create Proof Copy" from the options on the right; this will cause a Proof Setting section to expand in your Histogram. Within that section, select the proof profile that you downloaded previously from the list of paper profiles (ie. RichmondProLab_SoftProof_6-09). Choose "Perceptual" as the Rendering Intent within the profile and check the "Simulate Paper & Ink" box. You can choose the side-by-side preview from the menu at the bottom to view the original "Master" image without adjustments or the soft proof profile in comparison to the Proof Preview (using the soft proof profile) while you make changes to the image to better match how you would like the image to print. This video has an overview of the soft proofing setup process in Lightroom; please keep in mind that we recommend choosing the "Perceptual" Rendering Intent if you follow the video's instructions.

Color Settings in Photoshop

It is possible to set up the color settings in photoshop to ensure that your images will always be in the appropriate RGB color space. This is important for creating predictable colors in your prints, because when a color space is undefined in your image, one will be assigned automatically, occasionally resulting in unintended color variances in your final images. We recommend that you use sRGB.

In Photoshop’s Color Settings Dialog (Edit -> Color Settings) choose “sRGB” for the RGB working space, “convert to Working” for the policies and uncheck the “Profile Mismatches” and Missing Profiles” checkboxes as pictured below if you would like Photoshop to automatically convert to the working space. If you would like to manually convert to the working space, check the boxes and Photoshop will prompt you.

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Properly Saving with Profiles in Photoshop

Please make sure to check the “Embed Color Profile” box when saving your JPEGs in the “Save” dialog box. This ensures that your profile stays with the your image, and thus results in predictable colors in your prints. Never embed the soft proofing profile when saving. If you do, you will experience compromised quality. Instead, make sure you embed the color space (profile) you have been working in (ie sRGB).

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File Management

For best results, we request that files submitted to Richmond Pro Lab be 8-bit sRGB JPEG files. Working with a 16-bit or even 32-bit file is acceptable, but prior to submission for printing to our lab, please convert your files to an 8-bit JPEG.