What is the SpyderPrint and what does it do?
The SpyderPrint will help you solve these typical problems which everybody who has tried to print an image has experienced:
- Color hues, saturation and contrast differ significantly between the calibrated display and the print;
- Color hues, saturation and contrast are vastly different when printed on different papers or after changing the inks;
- Specificaly for black & white printing, the prints are not neutrally grey but instead have clearly visible color tints;
- The transitions between half-tones are not smooth; they look jagged and form clearly visible bands;
- Colors in the print are way off or do not match the real life colors at all.
SpyderPrint is a professional grade spectrophotometer which is used to generate color profiles for an unlimited combinations of printing devices, print media and inks. With the help of SpyderPrint you will gain full control over the capabilities of your printer. You will be able to predict how images will look in print by viewing them on screen, and introduce the necessary corrections without having to make proof prints. If you are offering printing services to 3rd party customers, you will be able to send them the color profiles for all your printers, papers and inks, and allow them to make the required adjustments for print on their own, rather than asking you to do it (and staying behing your shoulder while you're doing it...)
When putting the images on paper, the color profiles generated by SpyderPrint are used by your graphics processing software to take over the full capabilities of the printer, rather than leaving that task to the printer driver which may or may not have the same ideas about what makes a good print.
How to use SpyderPrint?
The creation of a color profile is a simple process that requires some preparation work and takes between 15-30 minutes. Please note that you need to create a separate profile for each combination of paper and inks for each printing machine you will be using. Once you have these, you can use them as much as you want until there is a change in the input parameters (e.g. the inks are re-formulated or you are switching to a different ink supplier, or changing the types of media you will be using).
The process itself looks as follows:
- Generate a test chart according to the level of precision you require (you have several options: from 2 pages/225 color samples all the way to 9 pages and 967 color samples plus extended grays)
- Print the test chart using a certain printer, inks and paper combination
- Wait for the inks to cure (how long this takes depends on the media and inks, you should ask your supplier, but a good safe figure is 24 hours)
- Scan the printed test chart using the SpyderPrint
- Generate a color profile
- (Optional) introduce manual corrections in the profile before saving
After the color profile is saved, you will be able to use it within your graphics processing software for soft-proofing (simulating on-screen how the print will look like) and while printing (you will need to disable all color management features from the printer driver and configure the graphics processing software to take over color management). And that is all!
What you get
The SpyderPrint package comes with everything needed to get to work right out of the box:
- A SpyderPrint S4SR100 spectrophotometer
- A cradle stand that protects the sensor and is used for internal device calibration
- A plastic guide that allows quick scanning of the color patches
- A flexible USB cable for connection to your PC or Mac (1.8m)
- A CD including software, installation key and documentation