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ICC Profiles

Ok, so what is an ICC Profile and why should you care?

ICC or International Color Consortium pretty much sums it up with it’s tagline “making color seamless between devices and documents.”  In other words, the ICC profile is a translator from what you see on the screen to what you produce on your printer.

When you purchase professional photo paper, there should be a downloadable ICC profile that you can find online.  You will want to use the specific ICC profile for the paper that you are using.  It’s really simple and can change the output drastically.  Here’s how…

1. Locate the ICC profile online
2. You need to download the specific ICC profile that matches your printer
3. Move your newly downloaded ICC profile to the following location:

Mac
Macintosh HD:Library:colorSync:Profiles

Windows
Windows\System32\spool\drivers\color

Time to use your new profile!  Printing from Photoshop

4. Select print to bring up the print dialog in photoshop

5. Select Photoshop Manages Colors in the Color Handling Menu

6. Select your newly downloaded ICC profile
*TROUBLESHOOTING – if you don’t see it in the list, shut down Photoshop and restart it

7. You ICC profile may have come with instructions on Rendering Intent.  Follow whatever they tell you.  If they don’t tell you anything, play roulette.

8. Click the Print button.
*If a printer dialog box pops up, make sure of 2 things:

1.  The correct paper type is selected
2. Make sure you are controlling the color, not the printer.
*Each printer is different for this step.  I use an Epson 3880 so I need to double check my paper under the setting “media type” and then make sure the color setting is set to “Off (No Color Adjustment)”

You are good to go!