An Evaluation of Generic Output Profiles for n-Color Printing


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Jay Sperry and Liam O'Hara


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Generic Output Profiles (GOP) allow one to create new profiles for various ink sets by substituting colors into existing multi-channel characterization data. This study was designed to investigate whether or not generic output profiles could perform color conversions as accurately as profiles made from full characterization press runs. The study was conducted using a digital halftone printer and a waterless offset lithographic press, in which ICC profiles were created for each device from full characterizations conducted with various colorant sets (including 293 Pantone Blue, Pantone Warm Red, and Hexachrome Orange in addition to cyan, magenta, yellow and black) and genericoutput profiles were created by substituting the various spot colors into previously run baseline characterizations of cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Test targets comprised of various color swatches in Adobe98 RGB were converted with each of the ICC profiles and the generic output profiles. The printed color patches were measured and CIE ?E2000 values were calculated between the generic output profiles and their corresponding ICC profiles built from full characterizations. It was determined that generic output profiles with one- and two-color substitutions performed color conversions nearly as well as the fully characterized profiles, with an average ?E2000 of less than 0.5 difference in color conversion accuracy. The digital proofer study demonstrated that in the case of a three-color substitution, the GOP workflow was less accurate by 4.17 ?E2000.

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