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I keep hearing about programs for your computer so the color comes out "true". Is it necessary and if so which one should i use and how much are they? thank you.
 

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Well, I don't know about any PROGRAM that can do that; they make calibration tools that are external and match up colors on screen with printed colors or such.

Personally, I'm just going by trial and error; print on scrap paper until it finally looks right and then print on transfers.
 

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The best thing to do is to pick up a pantone guide or chart. By selecting a pantone you are quaranteed to get the desired color results. Resetting the calibration on your monitor, with software, does not alway render true results. To get scientific results you need something like this tool. If you trust software results try this.
 

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Photoshop is the best program when printing photos. Learn about color profiles. They are required to get good predictable color. Photoshop has settings that allow you to adjust the profiles. Color calbration software also helps. I use Monaco EZ Color. It's expensive, but works. I noticed an improvement in my prints as soon as I installed it. Epson printers come with profiles that allow you to print with Epson brand papers and inks with excellent results. You should create profiles for every brand of ink and paper you use. I have a profile for my opaque heat transfer paper and for my transparent paper. This software is expensive, but well worth it if you make a living in this business. A Pantone book or a less expensive color reference book will help in printing accurate color also.
 

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I just purchased an Epson 1280 and a Geo Knight heat press...they should be comming next week. I was going to use my Dell inspiron laptop for my set up, and I was eyeing Pantone Eye-One Display 2 which supposedly works with laptop calibration too. But I am not sure how well it works.

As for the using Photoshop's color profiles, I assume they can be used to match up any computer to any printer?

Any recommendations on books on learning about color profiles in Photoshop?

Thanks
 

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I added a pantone color guide on my videos link. I suggest you print it up and keep handy also if you have a glossy photo 8 x 10 paper I would use that so the colors look vibrant. These recycled papers make everything so dull.
 

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Hey Lou

Thanks for the link to the chart. Your vids are also very handy. My main newbie question regarding how to use the color chart.

I have a piece of artwork I want to transfer, I convert my image in Photoshop to pantone color mode and the Epson printer is able to read the color codes? Is that how it works?

Thanks
 

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The pantone colors are primarily used for doing plastisol transfers. You can view your work on screen and print them out but the true color is the what the actual transfer colors are. I have 3 computers here and if I looked at each one at the same object the color would be different. If I am making my prints using my printer I do not have to worry so much about the color as it is not being screen printed. I hope I made that clear. I have a client that sent me a design and the greens were 2 different shades and the image was jpg. I had to covert to vector and change the color to pantone to as close to his colors as I could get. I inform all my clients, that unless it is black I would be using pantone colors for plastisol transfers and may in fact chnage their colors. Never had a problem. If you are with a client and they say to you I would like my wording in purple then what would you do. To him it is just purple but I show him the chart and he says number 258 then I know what color it should be and pass this info to the people making my transfers.
 

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Well, I got my Epson 1280 printer and bulk ink set up with my Dell Inspiron laptop hooked up. As suspected, ran tests and colors are all over the place. I have a 6 year old HP Photosmart that has been printing decently (colors on print somewhat match my monitors) with little to tweaking. I was messing around the 1280's and photoshop and illustrator's color management options, frankly I am completely lost. I can't figure out what options to pick. There are literally hundreds of combinations of color setup.

For example, I have one illustrator file where the grays are literally printed as green...untill I convert them to PS or tiff files, even then they are still off (everything has a bit too much red).

Untill I get this color issue fixed I can't get anything going. I also read the Epson 1280's don't play nice when printing straight from an Illustrator file because of some post-script issues?

Anyhow, I would appreciate some guidance. Computer engineers have sent rovers to Mars but color management is still a black hole! Thanks
 
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