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Selecting a Colour Profile

Learn how to Set the Colour Profile for your Image

The colour profile embedded in your image can have a huge effect on the colour outcome of your print.

Assign the Adobe RGB (1998) colour profile

We use the Adobe RGB (1998) colour profile to print. This has a wider colour range than does the sRGB colour profile that most images use by default; it can therefore give a closer match to the actual RGB colour values in your image. We recommend that you use the Adobe RGB (1998) colour profile when designing your image, so that you can get the best idea of what your printed Lacuna Press colour outcome will be. However, if you are not able to select this profile, a generic RGB profile is fine.

Assign the colour profile, do not convert to it

We strongly recommend that you assign rather than convert to the Adobe RGB (1998) colour profile.

If you assign a colour profile, the RGB values in your image remain the same. If you convert to a colour profile, the RGB values are changed to match what you currently see.

Here are some simple rules about changing the colour profile of your image

  • If you assign the Adobe RGB (1998) colour profile to an sRGB image, you will generally see a noticeable change on screen to your image; this often appears to be a brightening and intensifying of the image.
  • If you convert from one colour profile to another, you will see no change in your image, because when you convert, the actual RGB values of your image will be changed to match what was being displayed at the point of conversion.

Finding out what Colour Profile your Image has Embedded into it

  1. Open your image in Photoshop.
  2. Look at the information bar at the bottom left of the screen. By default it shows you what size your image is. If you click the small triangle to the right of this information, you will access a small menu from which you can choose Document Profile
  3. Now the information bar at the bottom of the screen will show you what colour profile your image has embedded into it.

Setting the Embedded Colour Profile of a New Image

In Photoshop, when you create a new image, click the Advanced menu at the bottom of the new image options box: you will see an option to select a colour profile. This is where you should choose Adobe RGB (1998).

Changing the Embedded Colour Profile of an Existing Image

  1. Open the image in Photoshop.
  2. From the menu select Edit, Assign Profile, Select the Profile radio button and set it to Adobe RGB (1998), then click OK. It is often the case that the image will noticeably brighten on the screen.
Free Fabric Swatches
In Photosho select Edit, Assign Profile from the menu to view and/or change the colour profile for your image
If the Assign Profile option is greyed out on your menu, it's probably because your image is not in RGB Colour mode - choose the Image, Mode, menu option to check this.

Recap: The Difference Between Assigning and Converting to the Adobe RGB (1998) Colour Profile

If you ASSIGN the Adobe RGB 1998 colour profile, the RGB values in your image stay the same, but the image colours may appear differently onscreen - the colours should now be displayed more true to their actual RGB value, since the new (Adobe RGB 1998) colour profile has a wider range of colours it can represent. You will usually see your image brighten noticeably on the screen when you assign the Adobe RGB 1998 colour profile.

If you CONVERT TO the Adobe RGB (1998) colour profile, the RGB values in your image are changed to match what is displayed by your current colour profile - you will not see any difference in your image on screen if you convert to rather than assign the Adobe RGB 1998 colour profile. Once you have converted, you can't then assign to achieve the same effect because by that time the RGB values in your image will have been changed.

At Lacuna Press we always ASSIGN the Adobe RGB (1998) colour profile - we never change the actual RGB colour values in your image.

Next - Controlling Your Colour Output - Soft Proofing