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There are several controlling factors when printing in color:

1. Assign the appropriate color profile

1a. For Print

CMYK:  U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2

1b. For Screen
RGB: Adobe RGB (1998)

1c. For Print & Screen Display
RGB: Adobe RGB (1998)

(tip: using the eye dropper tool, check that what you expect to be 'white' is in fact R255 G255 B255)


Color Profile Assignment in Photoshop
(and similarly for InDesign and Illustrator)

  1. Select the "edit" pulldown
  2. Select "color settings"
  3. Specify the following:

**Note: When embedding images into InDesign and/or Illustrator; be sure to be consistent with the color profile.  ie. Images should be profiled in photoshop and InDesign document should be set to the same profile.  Doing this at the outset with each individual image is a lot more effective than trying to convert a layout with multiple images from RGB to CMYK later.

(tip: once you have converted the profile; you can also Auto-Tone / Auto-Color found in 'Image' bar of the 'Menu')

2. Paper Type

'Plain paper' is not expected to achieve the depth and saturation levels that 'heavy weight' paper will and should be used for drafts. We do not recommend technical papers (vellum, mylar, clear film) for image or full bleed plots.

You may refer to samples in the UTSOA technology lab but it is recommended that you do a test print on a range of paper types for before printing your final posters.

3. Image Resolution

We recommend that your images are a minimum of 300 dpi and saved as either high quality .jpeg or .tiff files. If you notice compression artifacting (pixelation) on your plots, this is a result of your image file quality.

Images from the web will generally be 72dpi, which is fine for screen.

4. Screen Calibration

What you see on your screen is not necessarily what you get in print format!  Print a test strip to validate your colors!