I want to edit my images before printing. What are some tips for preparing my files for the most accurate results?

Digital images are go through multiple stages from initial capture in-camera or in software before being printed onto paper or canvas. Each technology interprets and reproduces color in different ways. Here are some key steps you can follow to be sure you excellent print results with your edited images.

1) Choose a high quality computer monitor, and calibrate your monitor before evaluating or editing your digital images. Make sure your monitor is not set too bright. This value can be adjusted in most high quality monitors and/or within monitor calibration software tools, such as I1Display, DataMunki, or SpyderX.
NOTE: The optimal screen brightness for previewing accurate print results is 80 CDm2 (not the default 120 CDm2), with the temperature D65.

2) Never edit images in direct light or in a brightly lit room. Avoid very yellow or blue light casts in the room which can alter your visual perception of colors on the screen, and allow your eyes 10 minutes to adjust to the room lighting before editing. Be sure the background of your editing space around your image is set to a neutral medium gray, versus a bright or dark color.

3) While editing; always work on a copy of your file – never the original. Use soft-proof preview functions to identify areas of your image which may be too bright or saturated to be reproduced accurately when printed. The proof setup (device to simulate) should be sRGB IEC61966-2.1.

4) AFTER editing is complete and you are satisfied with the proofed image, flatten the layers and *convert* – (do not “assign”) – convert the image color space to sRGB IEC61966-2.1. In Adobe Photoshop, go to “File/Convert to Profile…”

5) Save your edited file in the JPEG file format (or TIFF if hand delivering to us), and check the box that says “Embed color profile: RGB IEC61966-2.1”
* – Do not convert files to CMYK Mode

6) You’re ready to upload or bring your files in to be printed.

Ink and paper/canvas cannot perfectly reproduce all of the millions of colors that electronics are able to capture and display, but following these steps will greatly improve the accuracy of your printed images. Many more tips and detailed tutorials are available on YouTube.com and Adobe.com.