BookSmart color management made easier

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Updated March 2010

A lot of you, especially professional photographers, want to know how to get color reproduction in Blurb books that’s closer to what you see on your color-calibrated monitor at home or via different color printing processes.

Blurb uses HP Indigo print devices which are used in a number of commercial book- printing businesses. It is a “workhorse” for producing good image quality at a high output rate. The HP Indigo uses a CMYK ICC color profile that you can find in our Color Management Resource Center.

You can use this profile to soft proof your images if your photo-editing software supports ICC profiles, prior to replacing your images in BookSmart.

Using color profiles to soft proof your images is only as valuable as the monitor you are viewing them on. Be sure to calibrate your monitor as best you can. Information regarding calibration can be found at Rods and Cones or X-Rite.

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24 Comments

  1. This may have been answered previously. I want to know if Burb supports blog printing. So far what I have seen and read makes lurb the perfect tool to design a personal book. What about downloading my blog’s content to make a book with it?

    By Yari
      January 13, 2007 – 12:21 pm   Permalink
  2. If Blurb uses the HP 5000 then why not make the ICC profile available to your customers so that we can have a color managed workflow with your product?

    By Dean Hornsby
      January 15, 2007 – 6:11 am   Permalink
  3. Yes, we suppport blog-to-book with our Blog Slurper. If you use TypePad or WordPress.com, BookSmart slurps in all of your content. Check out our blog page for more information and let us know when you turn your blog into a book.

    By Kathy
      January 15, 2007 – 12:39 pm   Permalink
  4. I am planning on putting together a book and after going through the troubleshooting, it was suggested to calibrate your monitor. Sorry, but I am new to this so how do I color-calibrate my monitor?

    By Karen
      August 23, 2007 – 9:22 am   Permalink
  5. I recommend reading the entry on Wikipedia for color calibration. It offers insight and links to devices you can purchase. The link is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_calibration

    By Samuel
      August 23, 2007 – 12:55 pm   Permalink
  6. hi is there a way to get a 1 page proof

    By question
      October 18, 2007 – 12:25 am   Permalink
  7. Hi…new guy here. After reading all the posts concerning image quality issues/color management, I was afraid I was gong to have to start from scratch, deleting and uploading my images again. I checked my color settings in PS (v.6), and found I had been working with the US Web Coated v.2 profile. After DLing the HP profile, I felt a lot better, not seeing too much difference in images. BUT…since I’m using the “Darkroom” theme for my book, I checked the “Ink Black” box for paper simulation. Glad I did. BIG difference. Should I go ahead and tweak my images accordingly, or leave that “Ink Black” box unchecked?

    By Dave
      November 6, 2007 – 10:34 am   Permalink
  8. I reckon I should add that I’m shooting a Nikon D40 in sRGBIII, and do not assign a profile when I open images in PS6. Images look good in the book preview…it’s just that simulation thingie has me concerned.

    By Dave
      November 6, 2007 – 10:42 am   Permalink
  9. Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the great questions. I suggest you post your comments to our Forums: http://forums.blurb.com/. You’ll get a quicker response from the community at large than from me, and you’ll get a lot more suggestions.

    Hope that helps.

    – Kathy

    By Kathy
      November 6, 2007 – 12:23 pm   Permalink
  10. I am wondering about the paper color. When I assign the HP5000 color profile to my images they look really bad. I expected the color to shift but not this drastically. In selected the profile, should I or should I not select “Simulate Paper Color”???

    Thank you!

    By Jacqui
      January 22, 2008 – 4:42 pm   Permalink
  11. How long does it take a book to get printed and dispatched. Anthony

    By anthony
      January 23, 2008 – 9:40 am   Permalink
  12. Hi Anthony. Here’s a link to our shipping information:
    http://www.blurb.com/create/book/pricing#shipping_rates

    Once a book is made, uploaded, and ordered, it is printed and shipped in approximately 7 to 10 business days.
    -Allison

      January 23, 2008 – 10:22 am   Permalink
  13. Hi Jacqui. All of our information on color profiles can be found in our Help section. Just search the FAQs.

    We also encourage you to post this question in the Forums: http://forums.blurb.com/. The community will chime in with their insight and suggestions.
    -Allison

      January 23, 2008 – 10:33 am   Permalink
  14. sorry, but I don’t find the answer I’m looking for… what about CMYK ? I’ve found I had to export in sRGB. (I’m doing my own layouts from Indesign and will export them)…please explain…

    By Marie
      January 31, 2008 – 10:35 am   Permalink
  15. Hi,

    I typed CMYK into our FAQ search box and came up with several FAQs that answer your question. You can find out more about CMYK here and here .

    Hope that helps.

    – Kathy

    By Kathy
      January 31, 2008 – 10:43 am   Permalink
  16. yes, perfect ! thanks for your help.

    By Marie
      January 31, 2008 – 11:03 am   Permalink
  17. It would be tremendously helpful if Blurb would just provide a 1-2 page summary of basic specifications for preparing your own files & templates. I’m currently hunting around all these blogs and Q&A forums for basic information that should be compiled in a single place. If everyone started with the same set of facts, it would decrease the number of Q&As.

    By Gene
      February 3, 2008 – 6:14 pm   Permalink
  18. how can I solft proof my images using LightRoom.

    By Tony
      June 4, 2008 – 11:42 am   Permalink
  19. Hi Tony, there is no soft proof ability in LightRoom. Don’t know if LightRoom V2 has it. But this feature is a must do, if you want to have absolute ability to ensure your image will look right in the book or on prints on your printer at home.

    I agree with Gene above (putting a 1-2 page summary together of basic operations) would be a tremendous help for users.

    Here is my workflow:
    1) Copy my processed TIFF images (shoot and processed in Abode RGB space) to a new location on my hard-drive (I call it ImagesForBlurbBook)

    2) Open all images and convert to sRGB and save it. Use Edit->Convert to Profile in PS

    3) I now have all my images in sRGB color space. I open each image and start to soft-proof each image using the HP Indigo Press 5000 profile provided by Sam Edge. In PS use View->Proof Setup->Custom

    Viewing the soft-proof image and correct the image using curves, levels, saturation, etc… until the image looked like the one I have initially.

    4) Flatten the image with all the adjustment, convert to 8-bit (if you edit your image in 16-bit). Do a Save As and select JPEG 12. This will ensure a high-quality jpeg file

    5) Import the image into BookSmart

    Hope this helps…..

      July 30, 2008 – 8:33 pm   Permalink
  20. What kind of printing paper blurp offers, like weight and son on….
    JC

    By juan calle
      August 3, 2008 – 6:56 am   Permalink
  21. It’s easy enough to find the HP 5000 generic profile on the web. In a post above Peter Pham gave his workflow and said:

    2) Open all images and convert to sRGB and save it. Use Edit->Convert to Profile in PS

    I would caution against this if you’re going to use the HP press. I examined the HP profile in ColorThink Pro 3 and compared it to the sRGB gamut. In general, the sRGB colour space is noticeably larger than the HP colour gamut but the HP press is able to produce some saturated blues – greens which lie outside the sRGB gamut. If your image has any saturated blue/green you’d be better off converting your files to the HP profile than converting to sRGB, otherwise you’re losing part of your image’s colour before you even start.

      April 10, 2009 – 5:23 am   Permalink
  22. I’ve just received my first blurb book back. The colour isn’t too bad. So many of the images are too dark. Everything looks fine on my screen and my local professional lab sends back prints I’m happy with and they don’t colour correct them. I could just lighten them all but I would be doing this just for blurb and it’s quite hard to deliberately make them all look too light on the screen.
    I’m on a Mac, shooting srgb on my Canon 5D.

      September 29, 2009 – 3:06 am   Permalink
  23. I use a Mac OSX Leopard (soon to update to Snow Leopard) and my iPhoto doesn’t have any of the calibrating stuff that I’m reading about on Blurb. Does anyone have any suggestions for Mac users about using color? How do I calibrate brightness on my monitor? What programs do I need? I always thought Mac was superior to a PC but it doesn’t seem like it when it comes to printing. Thanks.

    By Robyn Mar
      October 28, 2009 – 4:25 pm   Permalink
  24. So..reading the blog, and Q&A, I conclude since Blurb only takes SRGB or greyscale (No CMYK nor AdobeRGB). Customers send SRGB JPEG format and then Blurb will convert them into CMYK (HP5000)

    Color proofing (HP5000 profile) is optional just for customers to see approximately how the color would look printed.

    I want to make sure that I understand all this before I submit my order.
    Hope to hear ASAP from Blurb

    By Jane
      March 5, 2010 – 6:07 pm   Permalink
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