Fine Art Reproduction Conversation

Started Jul 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
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CMYK Profiles.
In reply to pilgrimage617, Jul 19, 2012

Keep in mind CMYK is NOT a profile. CMYK is a mode, like RGB. There are many RGB profiles: AdobeRGB(1998), sRGB, ProPhotoRGB, etc. Likewise there are many CMYK profiles.

By default Photoshop goes to one called SWOP. I often refer to SWOP as the sRGB of CMYK, because it is the lowest common denominator and most pressing can print SWOP, but it has a smaller gamut than other profiles, so you won't be able to reproduce as bright/vivid colors. Though to some extent, that is a significant understatement, because SWOP has a much smaller gamut than sRGB. So if you are using AdobeRGB(1998) so you can capture more colors, using SWOP is getting rid of all of those vivid colors you used AdobeRGB to capture. Many printing presses won't be able to reproduce all of AdobeRGB, and none will be able to reproduce all of ProPhotoRGB, but you don't want to shrink the gamut more than you have to.

I do advise keeping the image in RGB, but it may be helpful to softproof in CMYK (in whichever profile the printer will be using) to see how much variation there may be, and possibly make adjustments to better match the original visually.

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