Understand how profiles can aide your print accuracy.

Managing colours with soft-proofing.

The full range of colours that are contained in a image differ from what a monitor may show and vary between printing techniques and papers. To predict which of the colours at the edge of the printable gamut will be we use soft proofing. When the correct soft proof profile loaded into photo shop and the image is viewed on a high quality calibrated monitor the out of gamut colours can be seen.

Soft proofing should not be used without first calibrating your monitor and only after following our Photoshop instructions.

Soft proofing does Soft Proofing does NOT
Show you how individual colours will reproduce on a specific paper and will help you adjust these colours. Change the overall colour or density of your image. It is not a replacement for correctly calibrating your monitor.



Using soft proof profiles will not show you any shift in colour balance caused by a discrepancy between the white point of the monitor and the base white of the media. This isn’t a substitute for a correctly calibrated monitor for the printer/media combination that you intend to use, it’s more of a fine tuning tool. We have made available softproof profiles of all our media for download along with full instructions for their use.

As the illustration shows, all devices and media have their own unique range of colours that they are able to reproduce, which is why 100% colour matching across all devices and media is impossible to achieve. For example a professional studio monitor is able to show a larger range of colours than a laptop monitor.

Adobe 98 colourspace   Adobe 98 colourspace
Pro monitor colourspace   Pro Studio Monitor colourspace
Laptop colourspace   Laptop Monitor colourspace
Printable colourspace   Printable colourspace


Print viewing

It is best to view prints under daylight conditions as prints can look a different colour when viewed under non daylight balanced light sources. (metamerism).

The ideal conditions for viewing prints is too bright for viewing your monitor and vice versa. Studios will usually have a separate viewing booth located away from the workstations to avoid glare.


Spectrum’s Softproof Profiles

Using Spectrum ICC Soft Proofing Profiles you can see a preview of the printed output on your screen.

Separate Soft Proof set up files are needed for the printer and paper combinations that we use. Softproofs are downloaded in a zip file and contain installation instructions:

Photographic C-type Papers

Digital C-Type GLOSS paper »
Digital C-Type LUSTRE paper»
Digital C-Type MATT paper »

Giclée Papers

Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308gsm »
Hahnemuhle German Etching 310gsm »
Hahnemühle Fine Art Pearl 285gsm »
Hahnemühle Studio Enhanced Matt 210gsm »
Ilford Prestige Smooth Pearl 310gsm »
INNOVA FibaPrint White Matte 285gsm »
INNOVA FibaPrint Semi-Matte 300gsm »

You can also download a Photodisc test image to help monitor and print calibration.