Having consistent quality output is a must for any print professional. Learning how to build custom profiles is the first step in making this a reality.
Here’s an example of a print without ink control, and one with full ink control and color management. Custom media profiles have four major parts: Single channel ink limits, Calibration, Total Ink Limits, and an ICC profile. To create a media profile with Roland VersaWorks, first set your measurement instrument settings and click OK.
Today, we are using the X-Rite DTP-41. Select the desired printer, and go to Versaworks Media Explorer. Select “Create New Media” and name the profile as desired and then select a template to use. Your new media is located in the bottom of the list. Double click on the new media to set the media characteristics. Then, we will select the 720 by 1440 10-pass print mode. Set your printer parameters and click OK to exit the window.
Find Your Limits
From the Print Quality Settings, select the desired halftone, print direction, head or carriage speed and feed speed. Now it’s time to determine the ink limits for each color. From the Calibration Settings, click on PRINT to print the test chart. Printing three across gives you an accurate read across the width of the media. Once the test charts are printed pull them off and lay them on a well-lit table to review. Start with one color at 0% and look to find the place where the color no longer gets darker with the next percentage jump. This should be your limit for that color. Identify any pooling on squares, and squares that do not have the needed density.
Repeat and Inspect
Repeat to choose the right limit for each color. On this chart, we have chosen 75 for Cyan, 70 for Magenta, 50 for Yellow, and 60 for Black. In VersaWorks, enter the adjusted ink limit for each color. Click PRINT to print a calibration chart with our adjusted ink limits to use on your measurement instrument. We need to calibrate the instrument before we can use it. So what I am doing now is the calibration process for the X-Rite instrument. Calibrate your measurement instrument. Then, read your printed calibration chart.
As the measurement scans each individual color, you will see VersaWorks acquiring the linearization data. You should have smooth curves on each color. If necessary, fine tune to smooth out any spikes. But it looks like with what we have here, there are no more adjustments needed. Next, we will determine the Total Ink Limit. Click on PRINT to print a chart to determine the total ink limit. Visually inspect the chart to determine the point where each color shows optimum brightness and depth without getting dark or muddy. On this chart, we have identified 210 as the ideal ink limit. In Versaworks, enter the adjusted total ink limit.
Create the ICC Profile
Now, it’s time to create the ICC profile. First, print the ICC profile target using your new parameters. Apply “Density Control Only”. Open your ICC color engine software. Read the swatches. This process may take 20 to 30 minutes. Once all swatches have been read, click “Start” to generate the profile. Name the profile as desired, and click “Save.” Copy the ICC profile to your desktop for easy access. Return to Versaworks Media Explorer. Select your media profile. Because we have not yet imported an ICC profile, the checkmark is grayed out. Double click. Click on “Select Profile” Import your new ICC profile. Click “OK” to apply. We can now see that the checkmark by the media settings is green, indicating the process is complete. Finally, print test files to check the quality of the newly created profile.
Ultimately, with the right custom profiles you will get consistent results from your printer every time.