Canson Certified Printer Program A New Way to Print Like a Master
Printing is part art and part science, but it’s the science that allows you to get the most out of your art and ensures your images ‘sing’ when printed onto paper.
The new Canson Certified Printer Program delivers that science to you, ready to use, and now it’s incredibly easy to produce prints that even a master printer would be proud of.
At the heart of the Program are Canson’s superb Infinity papers and specially-produced custom ICC profiles designed by Dr Les Walkling. Correct use of these profiles, in combination with Canson Infinity papers, is what produces the amazing print quality.
The Canson Certified Printer Program is open to enthusiasts who simply want to be able to print like a professional, and to professionals who want to show their clients that they are producing work to the highest industry standards.
Becoming a Certified Printer
The new Canson Certified Printer Program is based on the successful Canson Certified Master Printer Program. A Certified Master Printer has an understanding of colour management, uses professional quality graphics monitors like the ColorEdge series from Eizo, and has a colour corrected viewing booth or dedicated colour corrected D50 lighting, for viewing prints. Certified Master Printers also print on approved Epson printers with genuine Epson inks and Canson Infinity paper.
The new Canson Certified Printer Program uses the same printing processes as the Certified Master Program, but doesn’t require you to own or use the high-end monitor and lighting equipment.
And the new Canson Certified Printer Program is incredibly good value at $198 per profile. Signing up is easy - just visit the website and fill in the application form.
In addition to the ICC profile, membership includes free colour management workshops held periodically by Kayell Australia, listing on the Canson Certified Printer Program website and use of a special Canson Certified Printer logo.
However, to be a Canson Certified Printer, you still need to satisfy some technical requirements to ensure that what you are printing is of certification standard. In summary, these requirements are:
• print on Canson Infinity media;
• use a verified custom ICC printer profile for each media type;
• use a professional quality printer and inks from Epson, Canon and HP (accepted models are listed on the website);
• return a satisfactory test print (from a supplied verification file) for evaluation.
This process will demonstrate that you can print to the Canson Certified Printer Program standard.
To maintain your Canson Certified Printer status requires that once every twelve months, you will submit a satisfactory test print from a verification file. This ensures that your printer is not drifting from the profile because, if it is, you’d want to prepare a new profile.
World Standard Colour Management
Much is made of the custom ICC profiles produced by Dr Les Walkling. Les is a colour management advisor to museums, art galleries and photographers around the world and is often travelling to London, Paris or New York as a consultant.
Working from Melbourne, he designs ISO3664-2009 and ISO12646-2008 compliant colour managed workflows with specific working and viewing conditions.
The Canson Certified Printer Program generates custom ICC profiles from test charts produced on your printer. However, what separates Les’s ICC profiles are his superior measurement data and his exclusive perceptual tables. Decades of experience working with the world’s leading printers, archivists and artists have put him in a truly unique position - and it all flows into the custom ICC profile produced for your printer and Canson’s Infinity papers.
And let’s not forget Canson Infinity papers. Apart from their extended archival qualities and high manufacturing tolerances, the reason we all print on Canson Infinity papers is the reproduction of our photographs – excellent colour gamut, wonderful tonal range and a choice of surfaces and textures to turn images into works of art.
Canson Certified Printer Profiles
Colour management has become incredibly straightforward and it is as easy as following a recipe. To order an ICC printer profile for your printer and Canson Infinity paper (you need a separate profile for each paper type), Kayell will send you (via email) easy-to-follow instructions written in plain English.
Essentially, you copy the target file (a grid with lots of little colour squares) onto your computer and print it with your printer and the settings Kayell provides. Post the target print back to Kayell and a high-end spectrophotometer will be used to measure the colour squares, from which a custom ICC profile is produced, carefully tweaked with Les Walkling’s ‘secret sauce’ (his measurement data and perceptual tables).
The ICC profile is returned to you via email and generally it’s as easy as copying it to your computer and dropping it into the right folder. Again, full instructions are provided.
The final step is to print the verification file and return it to Kayell. There it will be critically assessed for:
• dynamic range;
• printer resolution;
• gamut volume and gradation;
• gamut compression and smoothness;
• chromaticity – hue and saturation separation; and
• spatial dimensionality and shadow separation.
Assuming the verification print meets the required standards (and if you’ve followed all the simple instructions, it will), you will be listed as a Canson Certified Printer and entitled to use the logo.
Explained Rob Gatto from Kayell Australia, “Most people would like to produce prints to a master printer standard and that’s why we have introduced the Canson Certified Printer Program.
“We want everyone to be educated about colour management and the whole printing process from screen and computer through to mounting, framing, laminating and viewing. But more importantly, we want everyone to be able to produce high quality prints they are proud of.
“This is what the Canson Certified Printer Program is designed to achieve.”
For more information and to become a Canson Certified Printer, visit the Canson Certified Printer Program website at www.cansoncertified.com.au
What’s in a Les Walkling Canson ICC Profile?
Dr Les Walking lists the differences between his Certified Canson ICC profiles and some standard canned profiles that are more generally used.
1. Much larger gamut (number of colours) – so your prints are capable of showing more colours. E.g. Les’s Canson Rag Photographique Certified Epson x900 MK Profile shows 905,517 colours, compared to a standard canned profile with only 604,347 colours.
2. Much blacker blacks - so richer prints with more impact. E.g. Les’s Canson Rag Photographique Certified Epson x900 MK Profile can produce blacks as dense as L*2.9, compared to a standard canned profile which shows a much lighter L*19.0.
3. Smoother transitions between colours.
4. More visually accurate representation of a paper’s white point.
5. Deeper, richer and far more eloquent tonal values and transitions.
6. More accurate soft proofing in Adobe applications.
Then, add in Les’s special Perceptual Tables built into the profile:
7. More luminous highlights.
8. Much greater shadow separation.
9. WYSIWYG. E.g. Shadow detail on an ISO 12646:2008 calibrated monitor is what you see in the print under 400LUX D50 illumination.
10. Better gamut compression will ensure less loss of colourfulness.
11. Incredibly accurate, guaranteed average profile round trip error (âˆ†E2000) < 1.00 (typically less than 0.80 which is way below our ability to see the difference).
12. Visually consistent tonal values and transitions between different Canson papers.