Thursday, February 17, 2011

Colour Correction for Photo Book - Part 2 of 2

To read part 1 of the story, click here.

Yesterday, we received the test prints back. And they turn out to be very close to what we expect. Let me explain:

When we sent in the colour corrected files for test prints, I put a 20% "discount" to the adjustment. For example, in the original print out, I think the red colour is 10 points too saturated. So the correction should be -10 points of saturation to desaturate the colour. However, I was afraid that I might have over-done the adjustment. So I reduced the adjustment by 20% and set it to -8 instead.

It turns out that my conservativeness is unnecessary. The colours on the test prints are in between those on the digital files and on the photo book. Specifically, the colours look more similar to the digital files. A full-strength colour adjustment should do the trick.

Now that we have got the colour sorted out, we can have them to reprint the sample photo book. And we are confident that our clients' photo book will have the colours we want.

I should note that for all the test prints, shipping, book reprint, my supplier does not charge me a thing. This is good customer service. It also makes the whole issue much more pleasant to handle. We definitely want to deal with them in the future.

Cheers, Gary.


  1. It should be the print shop's job to calibrate their printer to match the customer's file. In reality they don't give a damn.

    To be more acturatly, instead of getting into hue/saturation(or vibrance for sc5), adjust the megenta/yellow channel in curves maybe easier to match the printer.

    The way I do it is, instead of guessing it. Imagining you are about to calibrate your digital copy to match the prints. I'd add all the adjustment layer to match the prints(if your prints get too saturated then add saturation to your digital file for preview only). Then base on your calibrated digital copy, add additional adjustment layers to tone back down to desire colour. Afterall, delete all the calibration adjustment layers.

  2. Yeah, I was doing exactly the same thing as in your 3rd paragraph. I add a layer group named "colour cast" to change the colour of the digital file to match the print. Then I add another group "adjustment" to do the opposite and get back to the original. Then I take out the "colour cast" and keep the "adjustment" for printing.

    I will try curve and CYMK next time. Thanks for the advice.