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Colour Profiles in Australia

Community Beginner ,
Feb 15, 2024 Feb 15, 2024

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Hi All,

 

I have recently moved to Australia and was wondering what colour profile I should choose for my general use?

North America General Purpose 2
CMYK - US Web Coated (SWOP) v2

RGB - sRGB IEC61966-2.1

 

or


Europe General Purpose 3

CMYK - Coated FOGRA39

RGB - Adobe RGB (1988)

In my current job, I create some web content, as well as print collateral (printed here in Australia) and packaging (printed in China).

I would love to get some insight from fellow Australian designers... All info I can find online talks about color profile standards in the US or Europe.

Many thanks,
Marie

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Engaged ,
Feb 15, 2024 Feb 15, 2024

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Hi Marie

 

It'm not sure if this helps, as it may be different in Australia, but in New Zealand we've always used sRGB IEC61966-2.1 and Coated FOGRA39.

 

Steve

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 18, 2024 Feb 18, 2024

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Thanks Steve!

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Community Expert ,
Feb 18, 2024 Feb 18, 2024

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I'm in Ireland and I've used Coated Fogra 39 for years too no problems. 

 

But in reality - you should get joboptions file from the printers in Australia that best suits their press settings.

 

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Engaged ,
Feb 18, 2024 Feb 18, 2024

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I don't know if it happens in Australia, but often if you ask for joboptions from a printer in New Zealand you're just met with confusion. They simply don't use them.
Asking even some of the big printers what colour profile they would like us to use for a particular job and they simply don't have an answer.

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Engaged ,
Feb 18, 2024 Feb 18, 2024

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Having said that - Eugene is right to say ask for joboptions from your printer.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 18, 2024 Feb 18, 2024

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If they don't have joboptions which can happen - mainly due to them not wanting responsibility for the outcome, I believe.

 

Then you either get a printed sample and sign off on it.

Or send them a printed sample to match and get them to sign off on it. 

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 19, 2024 Feb 19, 2024

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Hi @MarieMelb , generally speaking when choosing a Color Settings setup, where you live is less important than the printing method.

 

The CMYK profiles that ship with InDesign are all for separated offset printing. US Web Coated SWOP is a web pess offset profile for coated papers, and Coated FOGRA is a generic sheetfed offset profile for coated papers. None of the included CMYK profiles would be for a shortrun digital composite printer—typically composite printers use "RGB" drivers and the final conversion into the print space happens in the driver at output. So usually it is better to send profiled RGB color to a composite shortrun press rather than making an extra conversion to a random CMYK profie like the default US Web Coated SWOP, which will have to be converted again at output.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 25, 2024 Feb 25, 2024

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Thanks @rob day That makes sense. Would you use RGB - sRGB IEC61966-2.1 as your main colour profile then?
I just want to set up one colour profile as my main one, which is used every time I create a new doc. Then, change it on a few occasions when it's not suitable for a specific job, like if I print offset.
Many thanks for your help!

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Community Expert ,
Feb 26, 2024 Feb 26, 2024

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sRGB is a relatively small RGB space which clips a significant percentage of most CMYK print color spaces making their color gamuts even smaller than they already are. AdobeRGB or a similar large gamut RGB space is better for print. 

If you are working on a doc for both print and screens set the Export destination to sRGB for the screen version.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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Great, thanks @rob day 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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"typically composite printers use "RGB" drivers"

Not really, no.

It is true that lower-end non-Postscript printers and some inkjets are RGB-based, but any professional digital copier and digital press that you would find at quality copy shops with a RIP front end are usually PS/PDF and CMYK-based, so any CMYK data from the source file is sent as such. RGB-data files are processed and color-managed THEN converted to CMYK by the RIP.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 28, 2024 Feb 28, 2024

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Hi Brad, my experience with shortrun printers is they rarely print document CMYK values. An big online printer like Vista might ask for CMYK because they don’t want you to think they can print out-of-gamut RGB color, but they never print provided DeviceCMYK values—there‘s always an additional conversion.

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Participant ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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DeviceCMYK gets sent to plate, but gets the numbers changed with curves (calibration curves) so that you get the correct amount of dot gain on the press.

DeviceCMYK on a digital toner printer I assume is handled the same with simple calibration curves to get you close to the visual result you should be getting on an offset press.

If you want to acheive more than this method is capable of you need to convert from one icc to another icc. You would have to do this before getting to DeviceCMYK.

InkJets are different because the CcMmYKLkLLk inks are different Hue so they have to use profile to profile conversion but its not necessarily icc based at all.

I've no idea how big online printers go about this but have a feeling you get what you pay for.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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DeviceCMYK gets sent to plate, but gets the numbers changed with curves (calibration curves) so that you get the correct amount of dot gain on the press.

 

When I use a new printer I’ll order their smallest quantity with a target deviceCMYK file to determine whether they will be printing the document’s CMYK numbers or forcing an additional conversion. If the black ramp in the target below comes back as 4-color, I know they are not printing my CMYK values—calibration curves would not convert black-only to 4-color.

 

Most online printers will return the black ramp as 4-color—they make an assumption about the source CMYK space and convert to a different profile. In those cases providing profiled RGB is usually better than providing a random CMYK conversion, there’s just one conversion from RGB to output CMYK:

 

 

Screen Shot 10.png

 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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Most digital presses are meant to imitate the response of offset printing, even though their native gamut may be a fair bit wider. So, yes, there will be some CMYK profile adjustments going on.

For instance HP Indigo presses typically recommend using a FOGRA profile, while two other printers I use regularly use GRACOL with their Apogee RIP and Prinergy RIP workflows.

Either is actually quite fine as FOGRA and GRACOL have almost identical gamuts so when someone asks, those are the two I recommend usually. (I personally use GRACOL). US Sheefet Coated's gamut, on the other hand, is quite different: It was fine 20 years ago in the world of negatives and plates and the dot gain involved but using it now is inappropriate as most offset printing is straight to plate and digital presses have much less gain to worry about, so if you send a file processed with US Sheefted Coated to them, it will end up looking too light and thin in the midtones and highlights.

As far as RGB settings,  most prepress workflows have set their default RGB response to sRGB, as that's what they are regularly going to get from people sending less professional files, like Word PDFs etc. (the lowest common denominator response). Although many RIPs have the ability to recognize mixed embedded profiles and handle them appropriately, others may not.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024

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As far as RGB settings, most prepress workflows have set their default RGB response to sRGB,

 

If the printer is doing that I won’t use them—I have an 20-year old software RIP that doesn’t have any problem honoring and making color managed conversions from source RGB profiles.

 

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Participant ,
Mar 01, 2024 Mar 01, 2024

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I think Brad's default RGB RIP Setting would be used to handle DeviceRGB, not to treat calibrated RGB the same.

I also wouldn't be surprised if there are some printers who do have there workflow configured incorrectly.

 My bugbear is with how frequently printers receive DeviceRGB.

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Engaged ,
Mar 06, 2024 Mar 06, 2024

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If a printer is doing that I won't use them.

 

I'd love to be in the position of choosing which printers we work with, but unfortunately that is very rarely the case. Printers are most often dictated by existing contracts with clients, and most other printers we work with are chosen by clients based on price alone.

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