I'm wondering if the embedded target profiles in the files I'm printing are being managed properly.

I had a "roland tech" from a local shop come by and set up the color management system within Versaworks. I completely overlooked the fact that "Japan Standard.icc" was selected for the simulation target profile in the color management properties tab. I don't know if it's too late to go back and correct it to the proper profile which should always be "USWEBcoatedSWOP". Our business occasionally has repeat customers who return and need the color to match existing prints.

Long story short, does the embedded profile (US Web Coated SWOP) I include in the pdf's sent to versaworks override the "Simulation target profile" (JapanStandard). I can't believe this guy didn't select the correct profile but if I can correct it now without any problems please let me know.

Second question: Illustrator should be managed with CMYK profiles and photoshop should be RGB profiles, correct?

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From what I see you have a confusion in palette vs profiles. 

1st it is important to select the proper profile for the media you are using - on the quality tab

2nd as for the precedence - in the color management area (properties tab)

-the bottom box checked use embedded takes charge if your graphic has them

-on the simulations - I use both RGB CMYK - the roland ones

- The others I use Adobe 1998 for RGB and in the CMYK USWEB depending on media the type gloss=coated

As for Palettes - I use RGB. Pantone, or Roland's Library - never use CMYK unless you want flat images regardles whether raster based (PS) or vector based (AI).

Raster images - Prepress US

Vector Images - Max Impact

Color Charts - Density Control

Any of the above will change to Custom when you use the property drop down

the answer to your question - yes it can be changed - if you want global changes then do it in your queue settings

Interesting. I have experience in wide format printing and to color match anything I find the CMYK palette to be most efficient. Perhaps it's because I have the most experience in that color space. I find it counter productive to use RGB palette when the output is CMYK and any variation of Light magenta cyan and black. I have a degree in advertising and print and this is the very first time I've ever heard anyone suggest using RGB outside of the digital realm. Thank you for your help.

Please define "Flat images" Do you mean the color will not be vivid? The flattening process i.e. flattening layers?

Understand that the RIP converts the other palettes to CMYK. The three color options I gave you are larger than CMYK and the Roland ink set can reach higher than CMYK and less than them. With your background it will be hard to accept so the best thing to do is to print two identical things one produced with CMYK and the other with RGB and see for yourself. Your machine the final option is always yours.

That wasn't my question. I understand that RGB and CMYK print differently and I've seen the differences. The point I am trying to make is that if a color is created with an RGB color palette and is converted to CMYK it would be very difficult to color match with differing color spaces. RGB is the monitor, as I'm sure you understand. My company has corporate clients who require their colors to be as accurate as possible. Even with pantone color swatches they are sometimes hard to get a dead on match. Therefore, color matching with RGB inputs and CMYK outputs would not be accurate or as flexible, 3 channels to adjust vs 4-8 channels.

So to clarify, the embedded profiles in a file are what versaworks uses to RIP unless a profile is not embedded, that is when the target simulation profiles kick in, if I am understanding you correctly.

Bottom line..........the only useful applications I've ever found to use a limited CMYK palette is for offset printing ( ie. business cards, brochures, etc)  I'm guessing that's why you use it and are most comfortable with it, Marilee.

In addition, I've found that the VW RIP is very 'smart'
It will take that wider gamut RGB palette and do an excellent job of converting it.
Conversely, when it 'sees' a limited CMYK and then goes ahead with its conversion process.......the duller colors often become even duller.

Sticking with RGB has always produced the most accurate and most vibrant colors in the world of Roland wide format digital printing for me........NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.

There's a rather long video floating around some place that goes into depth on this very subject. I don't have time to dig it up for you but if you're interested, it may be worth your time to find it.

Lady Di

I have always used CMYK for wide format printing. I don't know why Roland would be any different. We manufactured signs for zoos, museums, theme parks, and many other high profile clients. But, you do you...not trying to change anyone's mind about color management in an industry I've been in for years.

I still haven't gotten a clear answer to my question.

Answers to your questions are below. Please let me know if this helps. I have also put the link to the "infamous" color video Ladi Di references for anyone that is interested. I can offer a much longer discussion on color management and the hows and whys if it is desired but it is always better to talk rather than type as it gets very time consuming to write it out and often there can be misconceptions and confusion without the Q&A process. 

Long story short, does the embedded profile (US Web Coated SWOP) I include in the pdf's sent to versaworks override the "Simulation target profile" (JapanStandard). I can't believe this guy didn't select the correct profile but if I can correct it now without any problems please let me know.

     It would override the settings if you have the "Use Embedded Color Profile" checked, Versaworks will default to this profile from the document that you have imported into the program. I have tested it in the past and had mixed results. I know what it says, and what it is supposed to do, but it is dependent on having the correct setup in your graphic program and ensuring the profile is properly attached to the file when saving from Illustrator, Corel etc. 

     Most people do not understand how this works and the average user is not at a level to properly control the file from creation to output from their graphic software to have the settings correct and the .icc embedded. If you do have this process down, it will work and should produce accurate results without the color shift in Versaworks. ONE box unchecked, wrong setting etc. can throw the whole process in a tizzy and the results will not be what is expected. I generally do not recommend this process to users as it is confusing and takes a lot of effort to ensure consistent work every time. Add to this that most users are not creating their own graphics but rather relying on their end customer for supplied graphics that may or may not be saved appropriately and you get an even larger range of FUBAR! If you need a definition of FUBAR, please feel free to google it. I guarantee the military reference will bring a laugh to your day :)

     Also - from the Roland help file - 

  1. JapanStandard
    Applies the standard color (based on JapanColor) used for offset printing in Japan, which produces slightly pale colors.

     I do not recommend this setting and would switch back your color settings for prepress US to get what would be considered standard in the US. 

Second question: Illustrator should be managed with CMYK profiles and photoshop should be RGB profiles, correct?

     This is a tougher one to answer as it could be yes, or it could be no. The answer is maybe. It really depends on what the desired result is from the printer and how you would like to control color. 

      One thing to keep in mind during the entire below explanation; the inkset used in the Roland printers has a gamut (output) range that is greater than standard USWEBSWOPv2 and should be used to gain an advantage in your industry. It is not a standard offset CMYK and when mapped against other digital printers, Roland has consistently had a larger value range than the competitors. If I limit my output colors to USWEBSWOPv2 I am effectively cutting out color I could reach accurately and better than my competitors.   

     If I consider Illustrator as a Vector only program and am controlling output for only vector based graphics, I would agree that CMYK could be a good choice. It will lead to consistent output as I would be using CMYK values that can be mapped via Versaworks to an accurate output. HOWEVER - It would be better to use the Roland Spot Color Library to map colors. If I print out the Roland spot color chart, I now will have a physical reference to go off showing actual output from the machine on the desired media and can control colors VERY accurately from the printer getting consistent results every time. It utilizes the entire gamut from the printer and gives you a distinct advantage in mapping and controlling vector based output. There are videos showing how to do this properly and I would be more than happy to remote onto your computer and assist you with the settings and process on how to get this accomplished. 


     If I consider Photoshop as a raster only program and am controlling for output for only raster based graphics only, I would agree that RGB (Adobe1998 RGB) would be the best choice. This would take advantage of the increased gamut of the Roland inkset and give you the best range of output available. Versaworks is very good at mapping RGB to LAB, converting based on user preferences, and then mapping from the new LAB value to the correct output combination of CMYK for the best results. With raster graphics there is not a good way to map a specific value for a portion of the graphic and not affect the rest of it so the best route is to maintain the largest gamut from the beginning (graphic creation) at Adobe1998 and then allowing Versaworks to recognize the values and control them best for output. 

     Now comes the fun part :) - You didn't know this would be fun?! Allow me to introduce you someday to the rabbit hole of color control! 

     Inside Versaworks we can recognize, map and control graphics that have combinations of raster, vector, Pantone, Roland spot colors and even custom spot colors. It will identify each separate component and then it will follow the directions we set for each independently to allow for the best combined output for you. Under the quality tab, go to color management and select the button that says properties. This will be the dialog box you referenced in your question. Under this new window we have a large variety of choices. My recommendation would be to use;

- RGB - AdobeRGB1998

- CMYK - USWebCoatedSWOP

- Matching Method

- Raster - Perceptual

- Vector - Colorimetric

if you are using an embedded icc and have it properly setup, then the Use Embedded ICC profile should be checked. You will notice when you go to close this window that it now says custom up top. You could save these settings but I have found it takes longer to load the saved profile than to set it up when needed. You can also set it up as a default for the que if you want to move faster in future jobs. For a further discussion on what each of these matching methods is and why you would want to choose them, please reference the video link and watch the part showing how the colors are pulled into gamut for each matching method. Long story short - Colorimetric will maintain in gamut colors at their specified value and pull out of gamut colors to the edge of gamut which can lead to loss of color for out of gamut colors but accurate in gamut colors (usually not an issue with vector graphics). For the perceptual rendering, it will pull all colors in proportionally and affect the in gamut colors along with the out of gamut colors. Very good for raster graphics where we want a proportional, perceived, pleasing difference in the colors that will flow. Bad for vector graphics where we have a specific color I need to match. Using spot colors can prevent this or by having the vector setting at colorimetric will prevent it as well. 

Next - if you are using spot colors, you will need to make sure that the File Format tab has the box - Convert Spot Colors - checked or it will not properly control the output for those colors it can map. You will also need to see the colors desired listed in the box below it or they were not found in the graphic when it is imported. When you examine the colors in that box, you will see that you can modify the physical output for each channel as well as re mapping a color to a different one if desired. Pretty cool stuff!!

     I hope that this Color Manifesto has helped and would be happy to go even further into it if desired. My time is spread thin but this is something I enjoy helping with :)

Links and article that may help:

Color Management video - PLEASE DO NOT SHARE THIS! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESMsVQ9dxLw

 Color Management Presets in VW - https://www.dropbox.com/s/69buve16ezwb32o/Color_Management_Presets_...

Bravo, Steven
Just BRAVO!!!



Thank you very much Steven, you have explained and educated me on the part of our printer/rip that I needed clarification on for a while. I appreciate that you detailed the RGB color gamut for the roland printers but didn't just stop there. Bravo indeed :) Have a good one!


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