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Prepare image for print

Getting a photo ready for print with a few steps

19th of August 2013. It is not uncommon to be disappointed when your image returns from the print shop. This is because the print will not look like the image you see on the screen. Because the screen is back-lit, the images look much brighter. On the other hand, the printer doesn't manage to recreate the sharpness found in the original pricture, making it more washed out. In addition, your colors can be off. Regardless of tips, you will have to check the end results, so it can be difficult to get it right the first time. If you are sending your print shop you should:

1. Brighten the image. The method I prefer is the one mentioned by Scott Kelby in his book (see "more information section), where you duplicate the layer. Choose blending mode "screen" and opacity level to around 20-35%. This is to make the image not be too dark when printing.

2. Increase sharpness. When printing an image it will soften. As a result you should "oversharpen it". Generally you should use the unsharp mask with a setting of 100-150%. (Radius and mask should probably be around 1).

3. Saturation and color balance. If you are very serious about printing, you should check out the section below. Perhaps also invest in a monitor calibration. In general, however, you might have to increase saturation for certain colors. Best is to take the image for print in a local shop to adjust the colors.

4. Most places want you to keep the color format to Srgb and your image output should be above 200 ppi.

More information

The main sources for these hints are Scott Kelby and Serge Ramelli

Video made by Serge Ramelli:

More in debts hints by Scott Kelby: