ICC Profiles


Im a little unclear as to how to use the ICC profile I built after I have my linearized .quad. I thought the purpose of these icc profiles was to be used for Soft Proofing within Photoshop, and hence will alter how the image looks on the display to match how the paper print looks. The instructions seem to indicate that it is the other way around - that the icc profile is used within the print-tool to actually alter the contrast of the paper print so that the print matches the display.

Which way is correct?


Actually both are correct but should be done separately from each other.

The traditional way has been to soft-proof with the profile. This will simulate the “linear” “no-color-management” print on your monitor. This decreases contrast on your monitor to match your print.

The other way is to print with the profile in Perceptual mode. The profile will add contrast to your print to match your monitor in this case.

So, the first method decreases contrast on the monitor to match a linear print. The second method increases contrast in the print to match your monitor.

With high quality monitors, the first method is usually desirable. With low quality monitors that can’t faithfully soft-proof without losing bit-depth in the image, the second method can actually work better. This is a complex option that we have not published widely outside of PPE or PiezoDN because we don’t want to confuse everyone. It’s an advanced topic that I will be writing more at-length about in the next release of the Deluxe Manual (2017.1 is in final writing stage right now.)




Thanks for your quick reply. I have a NEC PA272W monitor thats been properly calibrated with a ipro2 and is in a properly dimmed environment, so i lean towards using soft proofing in photoshop. Just to be clear, when I do it that way, I select “no color management” within the print-tool, correct?


Yes, no color management.





HI Walker,

I could not avoid jumping on this subject and following James questions, as I had the same kind of thoughts when I first read about the use of ICC’s on PiezoDN…

I would suppose that the option of using the ICC profile for soft-proofing (the traditional system) would suppose that one will see the major loss of contrast on the display (the whites will adopt the paper white measured on the printed target while linearizing, and the maximum black on the screen will adopt the Dmax measured on the same target)… Then, one will manually decide on a boost of contrast (typically by darkening the shadows) in order to make the soft-proofed image on the screen get a certain boost of mid-contrast. To be clear, this will not change the fact the overall contrast of the print will match that on the screen (since no matter which changes we make to the file, the final Dmax on the print and the paper white will never change) but it can alter the feeling of contrast (the contrast of the mid tones).

This, which would be done manually and by deciding on the base of what one sees on the soft-proofed version of the image, is what the application of the ICC when printing from Print Tool gets done automatically… is this right?

I am asking myself because that is what I understood myself, hoping too to help James understand the concept…




Dear Rafael. You are correct on this.