icc profile for Blurb

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    Topic: icc profile for Blurb Read 574 Times
  • John McCormick
    John McCormick
    Participant
    Posts: 7
    Printing Colour Management
    on: November 3, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    Louis Foubare’s wish for an icc profile for Blurb books has been granted.  Check out

    From Screen to Page: Color Management for Perfect Printing

    John

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 649
    Re: icc profile for Blurb
    Reply #1 on: November 4, 2020 at 1:13 am

    For those of us editing and sending books to Blurb from within Lightroom this profile is useless because Lightroom does not support the CMYK colour space. It can be used in Photoshop, which would mean editing the photos Photoshop, working them under the Blurb profile softproof there, then saving them back to Lightroom for onward used in the Book module. It may be a whole lot less cumbersome to find an RGB profile for a low gamut-volume inkjet matte paper and use that for soft-proofing. It could be adequate.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 292
    Re: icc profile for Blurb
    Reply #2 on: November 4, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    Blurb has had ICC profile(s) for years. Unless they’ve just provided new profiles, the Blurb ICC profile is definitely GRACoL2006 Coated1, right down to the paper white L*a*b*. What they’re using is essentially a copy of the IDEAlliance GRACoL profile and has little if anything to do with how they’re actually printing. I have measured all the papers Blurb provides, just the papers alone are not even close to GRACol 2006. In fact, the deltaE differences in just the two most different papers are nearly dE4!

    And sending books to Blurb from LR; your RGB data gets converted to sRGB first; far from an ideal Working Space for output to print.

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 649
    Re: icc profile for Blurb
    Reply #3 on: November 4, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    Andrew – it’s the same profile they’ve provided for years. As for sending to Blurb from LR, I’ve had several books made at Blurb and found, interestingly, one can edit the photos for a PK inkjet space in Lr, upload to Blurb through the Book module, select their highest quality paper (proPhoto Pearl), and the product coming back looks fine, recognizing that Print-on-Demand Indigos aren’t Epson Professional inkjets – but the newest models Blurb’s contractors use (I’m told) are pretty darn good. I did a book for a mural artist here in Toronto and he thought the photos were the most accurate rendition of the original work he’s seen. So perhaps the softproofing is less important than one may in theory think, at least for their best paper quality.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    John McCormick
    John McCormick
    Participant
    Posts: 7
    Re: icc profile for Blurb
    Reply #4 on: November 5, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    Would it be possible for someone versed in creating icc profiles for printers to create a Blurb book of icc profile charts and then use the printed book to measure a profile?  I’m new to digital printing so pardon my ignorance.

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 649
    Re: icc profile for Blurb
    Reply #5 on: November 5, 2020 at 7:20 pm

    If the intent is to edit and upload books to Blurb from Lightroom which cannot handle CMYK profiles, it would be ideal to obtain existing specific CMYK profiles for Blurb’s specific papers and press conditions, analyze their characteristics in ColrThink Pro and use that information for selecting the available Media Types that would then serve for creating RGB profiles useful in both Lightroom and Photoshop. The normal approach to making an ICC profile is then to print the profiling targets configured from a profiling application, with no colour management, in this case printing with the available Media Types that as closely as possible reflect the size and shape of the Blurb paper gamuts so discovered, for each different paper.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 292
    Re: icc profile for Blurb
    Reply #6 on: November 6, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    Would it be possible for someone versed in creating icc profiles for printers to create a Blurb book of icc profile charts and then use the printed book to measure a profile?  I’m new to digital printing so pardon my ignorance.

    Its possible and yes, I’ve done it with many digital presses. Here’s the rub; a profile only reflects the current conditions of the device profiled. And digital presses demand a LOT of work being kept in calibration (and an ideal calibration first). So if you had a profile make from Blurb today, then next week the device moved 6+ dE, or even during the press run, the profile would be iffy at best. It’s very expensive and time consuming to keep digital presses in ideal conditions throughout the day, let alone over time. It is doable but requires printing of specific targets thorough out the day and measurements to confirm or deny if the device is within an agreed upon stability or aimpoint. My testing of output from Blurb suggests they are not doing this degree of work where making a profile would be viable.

    Print a book today at Blurb, then print the same book in a few weeks; do they visually match or not? You don’t even need to measure anything to see if they produce (today) consistent work or not.

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 649
    Re: icc profile for Blurb
    Reply #7 on: November 6, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    Andrew, maybe I lucked-in, I don’t know, but I did recently have the same book printed at Blurb twice at an interval of several weeks and the consistency between the two copies looked very good to me – just visual of course, nothing measured. Admittedly, a sample of one. I used the same paper both times, and I suspect they were printed at the same plant in Georgia (US), probably using one of the newer Indigos. I discussed the printing with them before I sent it the first time, just to learn whether they were using the latest generation of those printers and from what they said, it seems they are. I wonder whether these latest models are less prone to the kind of wandering and process control requirements you correctly mention as major issues for softproofing through a profile.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Terence Wyse
    Terence Wyse
    Participant
    Posts: 1
    Re: icc profile for Blurb
    Reply #8 on: December 8, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    Interesting topic. I’m not sure what press platform Blurb uses but at Shutterfly we have a fleet of 50+ HP Indigo 12000 presses and a smaller fleet of Indigo duplex and simplex roll-to-roll presses that produce all of our cards and books. We also have inkjet printers for producing canvas and dye-sublimation products.

    Our color verification/calibration process consists of using HP’s ColorBeat system which monitors press hardware calibration along with a custom target of our own design that monitors both RGB and CMYK color management. Our standard for monitoring color is to run our target every two hours on every press doing live production (some presses are idled during the off-season). If a press fails color verification, it is stopped and serviced by either the operator or a technician.

    _____________________
    Terry Wyse
    www.photowyse.com

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