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Colour profiles

Just as different people see colours differently, different machines display or print colours differently. We manage this variation with colour profiles: computer-readable files (usually with a .icc file extension) that define how a machine should process the colours in a document. For good printing and display, it’s important to use profiles so that colours don’t vary among machines and printers.

We use colour profiles in two places:

  1. When converting images.
  2. When generating PDFs.

The template provides a number of profiles for different uses. They are in _tools/profiles, where you can add your own profiles, too.

The profiles then used for automated image conversion are named in gulpfile.js. It takes technical know-how to edit a Gulp file, but you can find the .icc filenames in the existing Gulp file and carefully change them if you need to.

You can change the profile for a PDF in a book’s styles/print-pdf.scss and styles/screen-pdf.scss files.

In high-end colour printing (e.g. photography or graphics arts), colour profiles should be discussed with your printer. The printer should provide a colour profile file suited specifically to your project and the printing press they will use to print it.

When printing in black and white, the darkness or lightness of images can be heavily influenced by the colour profile used. Here it is also a good idea to get an .icc file from your printer that’s designed to be used with their particular press or digital printer.

That said, the profiles included here should be suitable for most uses:

The PSO profiles are provided by eci.org. The sRGB profile is from color.org. The grey profiles were provided kindly by digitaldistributors.co.za.