Updated March 2010
This post pertains to BookSmart only and is not applicable to our PDF to Book workflow.
I recently read that Hewlett-Packard is “developing technologies with DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. to improve the color consistency between print and digital images.” Hewlett-Packard calls this new technology “DreamColor.”
Essentially, HP has created a closed loop system so that bits of data that represent color mean the same thing to cameras, monitors, and printers. Why? So that when light waves are captured by a camera they are perceived as the same waves that are seen reflected off of a print. Hello, does this sound familiar? Mac users are already familiar with Colorsync, Apple’s attempt to “synchronize” color across media. In fact, we’ve talked about BookSmart color management made easier in an earlier blog post.
Regardless of DreamColor’s future impact, Blurbarians can do three things RIGHT NOW to achieve more accurate colors in Blurb books.
- Calibrate your monitor. An accurate monitor is important because inaccuracies are passed to the printer and yield inconsistency.
- Leave your images as sRGB – convert images edited in another working space to the sRGB profile – since this is the color space that Blurb’s printers assume are embedded in images. Since BookSmart strips out image profiles, knowing that the printer “thinks” the image is sRGB allows you to view and tweak the image before it is imported into BookSmart.
- Soft proof your images. You might want to “soft proof” using the Blurb ICC Profile as a proofing destination space and then convert to sRGB after you edit. (Check out Color profile for Blurb books.)
DreamColor and Colorsync both attempt to make the perception of color consistent from the time an image is captured by a digital camera to the moment it is printed on paper. Any advance on either the PC or Mac platform is welcome. For these advances to really help Blurbarians, BookSmart and the publishing of Blurb books must be included in the closed loop or synchronized environment. Even given the current technology, there are steps Blurbarians can take to reduce inconsistencies. I know that Blurb makes every attempt to produce a quality product but if the quality of the images provided by users is not accurate to begin with, making the colors more synchronized is only a “dream.”