Color Management and Soft Proofing

ICC Profiles for Color matching


1. Download the profiles desired from below.
2. Make sure Photoshop is closed.
3a. Windows: right click on each profile one by one and select Install
3b. Mac: Copy and paste the profiles to the proper folder below.

Operating System ICC File Folder Location

OSX Library > Colorsync > Profiles
OS 9.2.2  System Folder > Colorsync > Profiles


Proofing is done in photoshop by going to the View menu and selecting Proof Setup and clicking Custom. You can quickly turn the last applied profile on and off using View>Proof Colors. When proofing, use the Relative Colorimetric rendering intent with the exception of Canvas, black and white prints, or prints where Relative Colorimetric tends to block up details to a noticeable degree. Otherwise, use the Perceptual rendering intent.

Art and Photo Framing - Canvas.icm Perceptual**

Art and Photo Framing - Fine Art Rag.icc Relative Colorimetric*

Art and Photo Framing - Satin and Plaq.icm Relative Colorimetric*

* Use Relative Colorimetric with black point compensation unless printing a black and white image or relative seems to block up details in some areas.
** Use Perceptual with black point compensation unless you are getting no noticeable blocking with relative, and prefer its deeper more contrasted feel.


Note: To get the best output on each media, send your images in either ProPhoto or Adobe RGB. If you want to replicate how your print looks when printed on a certain media, then embed that media's profile into the image. Warning this may clip colors in your image permanently. You should save your embedded file as a different file name.

Embedding profiles can be done in photoshop. Open your image, and go to the Edit menu and select Convert to Profile. Change the Destination Space dropdown to your desired profile. Leave the Engine at Adobe (ACE). Set the Intent to Relative. (Unlike proofing, you will always want to use the Relative intent.) Use Black Point Compensation should be checked as well as Use Dither. Whether or not to flatten the image to preserve appearance is up to you. Click OK. Now go to File>Save As to open the save dialog. Make sure that under the Save options at the bottom, the ICC Profile: SelectedProfile box is checked. This will embed the selected profile into the document so that the results can be replicated across multiple media.

If during your proofing you wish to use a different rendering intent other than the one suggested, make sure and notify us so we can replicate your intended output as closely as possible. Simply adding a comment with your upload, or giving us a quick call works great. In addition to embedding one of our profiles, we will accept images in sRGB, Adobe RGB, and ProPhoto RGB color spaces. Other possibilities may be available upon request. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please give us a call at (970)-744-4580.

Monitor profiling and calibration

Effective monitor profiling and calibration requires the use of a hardware calibration device.  Your eyes may be very good at distinguishing colors relative to one another, but just try to pick out the color with an RGB value of 230, 15, 52 from a chart with a bunch of other reddish tones and you will quickly realize your limitations.  A hardware calibrator comes with software that works together to measure how your monitor reproduces colors and then performs adjustments to make those reproductions more accurate. And since the behavior of your monitor changes over time, this calibration has to be re-done every so often (the frequency depends on the quality of your monitor and how critical color accuracy are to your work and ranges from a few days to weeks). If you’re doing any editing of your digital images and want your resulting prints to match what you see on your monitor, calibration is a must. We recommend the X-Rite i1Display 2 and the Datacolor Spyder3 devices as two of the best options, but this technology is improving so newer devices may come down the pipe.

ICC Profile Downloads

An ICC profile works with color management functions in software like Adobe Photoshop to help output correct colors, whether on your monitor or through a printer.  An ICC profile will have either an .ICC or .ICM file extension. The installation of an ICC profile is simple, the file just needs to be copied to the correct location; Mac OS X = “/Library/ColorSync/Profiles” for all users or “/Users/<username>/Library/ColorSync/Profiles” for a specific user; Windows = “C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\color”. If your image editing application is running you may have to restart it for it to recognize the new profile.


One of the advantages gained by the use of ICC profiles is Soft-Proofing.  In Adobe Photoshop, this allows you to see what your image will look like when printed on a particular printer/paper combination.  It may not be 100%, but certainly much closer than trying to guess.  This is in contrast to having an actual print (hard proof) made, which takes more time and money to produce.  In Adobe Photoshop, in the menus go to View > Proof Setup > Custom. In the resulting window that appears use the following settings as a starting point:

  • Device to simulate = Select the ICC profile for the desired printer/paper combination
  • Rendering Intent = Relative Colorimetric or Perceptual
  • Black Point Compensation = Checked

Select OK to apply your chosen settings. Now you can edit your image while taking into account the limitations of a particular media. This helps you to focus your editing efforts on changes that will actually be seen in print, or make changes that compensate for the limitations of the paper and ink. For instance, it doesn’t help to boost the saturation of a bright green when that color can’t be reproduced on paper, often you’ll just loose detail in the area.


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