Color Management Workflow (CMYK)

I am in the process of learning about color management and trying to impliment a workflow.

The designers/prepress are will be preparing files in Photoshop for three different presses and do not know which press the file will end up being printed on.

I have two questions:

#1 - is this general workflow okay- any putfalls to be concerned with.

[Prepress works in either supplied profile working space or ProPhoto RGB. They soft proof with most probable printer. They hard proof using the same source profile as was soft proofed. The RIP (Colorburst) RIPs the RGB with the actual printer profile]

#2 - If they prepress wants/needs to work in a CMYK working space, is there a good, generic CMYK space with an wide gaumet? Like the Pro Photo RGB but in CMYK, so they won’t have to worry about clipping colors?

Thanks for any help!


A couple of questions and comments:

You mentioned your photoshop operators work in either the supplied working space or ProPhoto RGB. I would suggest that the operators always convert to a known working space like ProPhoto RGB or Adobe 1998 RGB. The reason to convert to a known working space would be for; grey balance and gamut. If the supplied image has a supplied profile from the captured device, the grey balance might not be balanced. I am curious why you would work in ProPhoto RGB as your default profile. Not that I am against that workflow, I am just curious for your reason.

Number 2.
If you had to work in a CMYK color space, I would choose the largest gamut press profile you have out of the three presses. This way if the project switches to another press, at least you have not clipped the saturated colors.

However, you might think about using or creating one cmyk standard and have all of your devices including the presses match to the one standard. You could use the GRACoL 7 and G7 methods to achieve this standard. Or do your own fingerprinting of your presses and develop your own house standard.

Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks for the reply.

Please bare with me as I’m new to color management and still not familiar with some of the terminology and processes.

Right now prepress is working in one of the printer’s working space. If they get a file that is tagged they convert it to the printer working space. Then the RIP converts it to another profile if it is for a different printer.

This process works okay but I think we may be able to get better results with another workflow. I see two potential problems with the current workflow.

1 - Neither printer color gamut completely envelopes the other. So no matter which working space is used there will always be some colors clipped.

2 - If we need to change the profile or use another for different substrates then there is a lot of work updating and configuring the prepress work stations.

So I thought it might be metter to work in a consistent, large gamut working space. I don’t know much about the different generic profiles but I read ProPhoto RGB was large, so I thought that might be a good choice.

Any recommendations for a default RGB working space? Or would it be better to convert in prepress to CMYK? (It seems that the RIP preserves the color better if it handles the conversion)

Any pros and/or cons to my proposed workflow?

Some more info:

The printers we use are: 2 grand (super-wide) format digital ink jet printers with 16’ platens and 1 wide format ink jet printer with a 64’ platen. The ‘proofer’ is an HP3700 laserjet.

By the way, I am not familiar with GRACoL 7 but will look into it.