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Hi Everyone,

Calling all Kornit DTG workflow owners and colour experts out there. I am having issues getting a consistent output of colour through my POD converter's print workflow. I will explain further below as its not as straight forward as what I am used too.

I’m new to this forum, however, well versed in digital print for all mediums for over 15yrs now. I recently started a little POD T-Shirt business (bit of lockdown fun) working with a facility near to my hometown in UK and apart from loving designing my shirts, my natural sway was to try and ensure a good colour representation from the facilities digital output, giving both myself and my customers a good likeness of final product. It’s an obsession which I’m sure you all can relate too.

I communicated with this company on several occasions looking to set up a non colour managed print workflow on their end and print a profile target on a white based dark tee, with a view to me reading in at home here with my i1Pro3 plus. This should give me a good enough soft proof profile to work with in my design program and get closest output and mock up possible. The company unfortunately did not want to go this in-depth with me.

So, regardless of the colour management presence (not ideal I know) I went ahead and printed a small 855 chip RGB target onto a black t shirt (so the actual white ink becomes the substrate) and created an icc 'soft proof use' only profile for colour work on my calibrated display. In order to test the onscreen colours, I soft proofed the exact same target through my new profile using Absolute rendering with the file itself using the sRGB working space. For the most part, this is actually giving me a really decent colour soft proof of most of the colour chips and I felt confident (after a few more sample prints) to supply my artwork at RGB PNG at 300dpi with sRGB profile embedded.

Unfortunately, I am still having colour accuracy issues upon production and I am not talking about a small colour shift. I printed a mid level saturation orange the other day (well within gamut of their Kornit fleet) and it has come out almost white / light orange. I know to expect a slight colour difference to what I am seeing anyway, however, not this drastic!

Previous answers to my complaints and from my customers is that I should be printing colour charts with RGB references and manually colouring based on these references to get what I want OR even I need to print a sample of every single shirt, which is pretty insane. Not a modern way of doing it really. Printing an ICC target or using an established output profile for soft proofing should give you a print sample of pretty much every colour you would need. I only printed an 855 chip target onto my shirt, so it would fit, however, the measurements are pretty smooth (all be it with colour management) and I expect a relatively accurate interpretation of colours in between the data.

The company, as do most, insist on receiving a 300dpi RGB png (prepared in sRGB), which they say is converted to CMYK colourspace before printing. I have suspicions that their terminology is incorrect. Just because the printer itself uses CMYK inks the image itself is not necessarily being converted In such a way.

Anyway, I’m looking for advice on how best to set up and save my artworks in order to colour convert correctly if anyone has had experience of such a third party workflow? Maybe I am doing something wrong or my theory is all to pot or they are doing something else I am not aware of.

It may also be that their set up is not properly calibrated and therefore will not convert colour values accurately, in which case I am playing a little blind anyway.

I hope the above makes sense and I appreciate your time, I'm not one for writing short I am afraid :S.

regards
Nick
 
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