Here at the Bureau we take multiple steps to ensure that colors stay consistent from print to print, by calibrating our machines and monitors often and using the same profiles and settings.

Click here to learn what you can do at home to maintain color consistency from screen to print.

Color Laser Printing
Calibration Schedule Daily, a series of tests to maintain the closest possible reproduction of color*
Profile Web Coated SWOP Grade 3

*Despite our best efforts and yours, due to the nature of color laser printing, colors will shift throughout the day and from day to day.

Inket Printing
Calibration Schedule Custom-made paper-specific profiles are relinearized (checked for color consistency) every 3 days.
Profile AdobeRGB (1998)

Maintaining Color Consistency

There are steps you can take, beyond the test strip, to ensure that your final print looks as close as possible to what is on your screen.

Step One: Monitor Calibration

Monitors are not inherently programmed to check color accuracy. Colors shift over time, and while some monitors are better at maintaining color accuracy, all monitors need to be calibrated.

To properly calibrate your monitor you need an Eye One Calibrating Puck. You can check one out at any of the 3 Media Centers on campus. The Eye One does most of the work for you and the kit will include directions. Just be sure that your settings are as follows:

Desktop computers should be recalibrated once a week. Laptops should be recalibrated as often as possible. Any time the lighting situation where you're working changes, you should recalibrate.

Step Two: Color Profiles

These directions are specific to inkjet printing only. Calibrating your screen is a good idea whether you are printing with a laser or an inkjet printer.

Every image has an assigned color profile that limits the number of colors in that image. Ideally, you want to start with the largest color profile possible and only reduce or change that profile when absolutely necessary. Here are some common color profiles from the largest (with the most possible colors) to smallest.

Color Profiles

To find out what color profile your image is currently using:

Profile Check 1

Profile Check 2

Step Three: Soft Proofing

Converting your file to a different color profile changes the way it looks, sometimes dramatically. By Soft Proofing your file you can see how your image will look without permanently changing it.

To soft proof for inkjet printing at the Service Bureau:

Soft Proof

Step Four: Converting to Profile

Converting to your final profile permanently moves your image into that color space. It's the last step before saving the file to be printed.

To convert your file for printing at the Service Bureau:

Convert to Profile