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Profiling Epson Desktop InkJet Printers in a Windows OS

Need Custom Profiles? InkJetCarts offers this as a free service to our customers.
June 2012 Update. (New Charts attached) as we updated our older i1Pro to the new i1Pro2 spectro and the automated scan table now upgraded as well to accommodate the new i1Pro2 spectro. New Charts required and we have added larger color blocks. Only the charts attached should be used. Older charts you have downloaded previously should be discarded.
This document will help you navigate through the process as swiftly as possible.
It is important to realize that you will need a third party photo printing application/program in order to use ICC profiles and even to print the test charts properly.
InkJetCarts uses the latest GretagMacbeth/X-Rite ProfileMaker 5.0 Professional software and automated equipment in the production of our icc profiles. The results are astounding and cannot be duplicated with low end 1 page chart Spyders and other types of general consumer retail equipment. We can generate custom test charts (any sized charts on request) for specialty needs and test charts from 1 page to infinite numbers of pages (blocks of color). For instance you might want to profile a finished 8x8 ceramic tile after pressing. We do highly recommend finished product profiling where applicable. Our equipment can handle up to 10mm thick sample pieces, so we are not limited to just sheet media in our profiling efforts.

MAKE SURE WHEN DOWNLOADING CHARTS BELOW THAT YOU DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE SERIES. CHARTS FOR NORMAL WORK ARE NUMBERED 1_1 TO 1_4 AND HIGH END CHARTS FOR TRULY PROFESSIONAL RESULTS ARE 7 PAGES TOTAL NUMBERED 1_7 THROUGH 7_7. YOU MUST PRINT ALL CHARTS IN EACH SERIES TOGETHER AS THEY ARE ACTUALLY ONE CHART JUST BROKEN UP INTO A PRINTABLE SIZE.  
 
It is VERY IMPORTANT to realize that your profile needs to be the best print job you will ever do. As your profile will be ever lasting. A print can be trashed if incorrectly done but the profiling takes time. You printer should be nozzle checked between every page, making sure you have plenty of inks to complete the job and ensuring (maybe even printing bar charts in between every page that you are laying down color effectively). You should also inspect every printed chart for banding, color drop out (color loss) and cleanliness. It is a waste of time to profile a badly printed chart. It is a waste of time and money to mail us badly printed charts.
 
We have found over time that;
6 page charts (6552 blocks of color) work best for Professional Graphics Printers to High End Desktop Photo InkJet Printers. 
4 page charts  (4368 blocks of color) work best for Graphics and Photo Mid-Range Desktop InkJet Printers.
2 page test charts (2184 blocks of color) work satisfactory for normal everyday color management when using acceptably matched or custom inks.
 
You will need the following to do your own profiles;
1) Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements, Qimage or some other photo program that allows the use of custom icc profiles in its output driver.
2) You printer and its driver fully installed and operating correctly and know how to get to the screens you need to manipulate.
3) The custom test charts downloaded from our servers
4) The appropriate media that you intend to profile and the manufacturers (recommended settings) for using that media on your printer. Go to the manufacturers website and see.
5) Mail us the completed charts with the following;
a) Clean well printed charts (with nozzle checks between each chart page on separate bright white paper)
on a sticky note on back of each chart page
b) the media settings you used to print the charts with? save the settings in your driver, for example "My RedRiver Silky Photo" a screen shot print of your selections is best.
c) the printer model used
d) Let the prints dry 24-48 hours before stacking or mailing. Place the nozzle check pages between each print and mail in a photo (hard card type) mailer. It’s important we receive them in good condition.
 
Now how to do it?
1) Sample test chart below, download actual test charts from attached files and place somehwere you can find them.
Sample Profile Chart
 
2) Ensure your program will NOT apply automatic profiling. In Photoshop choose EDIT | Color Settings and ensure that you are ASKED about color management when opening files, see screen shot.
Photoshop settings
 
3) Open the first profile chart it will be labeled as 2P_TC2184 xxxx_1_2.tif   2P means a two page chart and can vary up to 6P (six pages) we will need ALL pages of the chart series to do a profile for you. ( _1_2) means chart 1 of 2. (_2_2) would mean chart 2 of 2 and so on up to chart (6_6) for a 6 chart series. You should now see this screen and if you don’t you should ensure your edit color settings is proper to NOT APPLY automatic color workspaces when opening the charts (this screen can vary based on the software used);
Opening the Profile Charts 
 
4) Now you should setup the printing of the test chart appropriately (your version/screen may vary but the important issues are no color management for the output device and appropriate sizing to see all columns and rows and proper printer selection and then editing of the printer setup) see below 5);
 
Photoshop print settings
 
5) Now go to the printer settings through the button link and edit for the closest match to a manufacturer’s recommended paper choice that exists in the printer driver. Speed, quality and other settings are very important. ICM and OFF no color adjustment are a must, or the driver will apply color management when it receives the file. Whatever you varied selections you should "Save these settings" and give it a name to recall the settings for future use. You will also use these same settings when you receive your profile via email to actually print documents with, so it is important to know what those settings are and to be able to recall the same settings for each chart page.
 
Printer Driver Settings
 
6) You will now Print the test chart, it is good to go into the driver settings before printing and make sure that they match your previous selections. It also might be a good time to check you have printed a nozzle check (very important for the refillers out there and good advice even for factory cart users. as well as having the correct media installed in the hopper. You should take extra time at this point to ensure you are NOT wasting good media for nozzle checks, nor printing charts on plain paper. Double check everything in the driver and what you are doing and take your time.
 
Final Double Check
 
7) Once you hit Print from the above screen shot you are dumping the file and your choices to the printer. You should have the correct media installed and ready for the print. You should have double checked your settings and made sure that you printed a nozzle check and also that you have plenty of inks. The chart will print and afterwards you should inspect it for color saturation, eveness, bandfree printing and cleanliness (no ink drops, spits, track marks or any other defects.) When inspected color saturation you are really looking for "unfiorm color flow NOT a perfect match to the test chart color blocks". For in essence the entire intent of printing this test chart is to SEE how your printer prints color onto your media so it can be analyzed and corrected to print color correctly. The resulting alogarthim (known as an icm or icc profile) is the correction that you will use to priint color correctly forever more.
 
8) After receipt of the properly printed charts we will process them and email you an icc profile. The naming will be as such (for example) Pro38 PLPP  (epson Pro 3800 Premium Luster Photo Paper for example). There could be an endless amount of acronyms in our naming and there may even be a date or further naming conventions. You should see our list of acronyms in our knowledgebase for the most commonly used conventions.

Custom chart sizes can be built to your specifications. Use the 4 page chart series for desktop printers and the 8 page chart series for largeformat printers or extreme color definition on any printer.
 
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