4. Files & Colour Management

DPI, PPI... what?!
You’ll often hear us talking about PPI, not DPI - the two are not interchangeable. PPI, or pixels per inch, measures how many pixels a screen can display in an inch. Higher PPI means more pixels are packed into each inch, resulting in a clearer and more detailed image.

DPI (dots per inch) describes the resolution of printed images. It refers to the number of ink dots a printer can produce in one inch. Higher DPI results in finer details and smoother gradients in printed output. High DPI is important, but that’s a printer asset; when we’re talking about your files, it’s PPI we’re concerned with.

Can you provide your ICC profiles so I can softproof at home?
Yes. We have custom ICC profiles made for each of our papers, and can share these with you on request.  

How do I set up my files for print?
Print ready files will be sized to their final print size (including preferred borders), have a high resolution, be in RGB and saved as either a TIFF, JPEG or PSD. Get the full detail in our file set-up guide. We are always here to help with file set-up if you’re unsure, or want to ensure your print is optimally prepared for print.

What if my monitor isn’t colour-calibrated?
While it's advisable to work on a calibrated monitor, we know it's not always possible. There are still some things you can do to get some insight into how your image will appear in print without the expense of buying a calibrator or wide gamut monitor:
  1. Decrease the brightness of your monitor - most monitors are far too bright for soft proofing. Because paper is a flat medium (unlike our backlit screens), the aim is to replicate these 'flat' conditions.
  2. Use our Photoshop printer profiles to help you soft proof. Soft proofing won’t be 100% accurate if your monitor isn't calibrated, but it will still offer some insight into how your image will print.
  3. Check for gamut warnings - they'll tell you if you're working with a color that the printer will struggle to print. To check gamut warning in Photoshop, go to View > Gamut Warning. Any 'tricky' colors will appear greyed out. Our printers will generally get a close match to the color in the file, but this is a helpful tip to identify any problematic colors.
  4. Make a screen-based appointment to view your images on our monitors, which are calibrated to achieve a screen-to-print match. This way, you can get an accurate read on what your files will look like in print.
  5. Test print! Test printing shows you exactly how your file is translating from screen to print. The proof is in the pudding.
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