Monday, December 20, 2010

ImagePrint 8 - Why I use it and its benefits

If I was going to use one word to describe ImagePrint I would be profiles. By that I mean, the best printer profiles that I can find in the business. No matter what the paper, subject, and program that I am outputting from to my Epson 3880, it is unmatched. I use this setup with my Macbook Pro.

What is ImagePrint? ImagePrint is essentially a printer driver on steroids. The standard printer driver that Epson provides, while it has improved over the years, it is not of the caliber of the highly accurate profiles that ImagePrint provides. The people at ColorByte have profiled numerous inkjet printers and papers to ensure that you get the most accurate prints from your printer.

Who is ImagePrint for? ImagePrint is for anyone that wants to get the best quality consistent output that they can get from their high end inkjet printer.

This is not meant to be a complete review of ImagePrint by any means. For some reviews see:

My intent here is to show why I use ImagePrint.  I will say up front that the scans that I have utilized are from an older CanoScan 8000F and cannot begin to exhibit the quality of the prints that came out of my Epson 3880.  I did scan each of the prints on the exact same scanner with the same settings.

I can talk all day, but I figured that it would be better if I just show you 6 sample prints on Epson Premium Glossy paper. (other than print 4 on Premium Luster) I used a standard test print that I got off  The prints in order are:

1 PSD file from ImagePrint
2 InDesign Print Through App (PTAP) to ImagePrint
3 Photoshop through Colorburst RIP
4 InDesign Print Through Colorburst RIP using ImagePrint profile on Premium Luster
5 Epson Driver
6 Epson Workforce 600

Prints 1-5 are on my Epson 3880. Print 6 is for comparison to office printers with the same paper (Epson Premium Glossy) using my Epson Workforce 600.

These are each of the full size prints. I would like to point first to the color blending in the top center. Below are all of the prints in order, showing just the color blending at the top center. Please keep in mind that with the older scanner, the scans are a bit grainy. Keep in mind that these prints were not tweaked or optimized in any way other than by the output profiles that produced them.

The top two bars are from ImagePrint. These show consistent color blending. The others show either hard corners as in the last 3 or just a muddy output from overinking the paper (print 3).  I also want to point out that the ImagePrint prints were exactly what was shown in Photoshop and InDesign with the Proof profile loaded. Each profile from ImagePrint has a proof profile for Photoshop that is linked to it. What I got on screen was exactly what I got on paper. It was much better than I have ever done using color calibration equipment that cost as much as ImagePrint or more and required hours of my time per print, paper, and application combination. I am so glad that those days are gone.

Next I would like to direct your attention to the portrait in the bottom left corner. Look at the detail and color rendition especially.

Again, the ImagePrint profiles render the most accurate color and detail. The Epson driver is not bad though. The Colorburst version has warmed the color up. The ImagePrint profile used with the Colorburst RIP shows the difference in sharpening that is used by Colorburst on the same profile.

I hope that these images have shed some light on the quality that is consistently produced utilizing ImagePrint. Gone for me are the days of printing multiple prints on each type of paper and wasting days on end to get the print just right. With ImagePrint I have found that for me it really is as simple as clicking the print button, no matter what the print.

Note: For direct printing from Photoshop, Lightroom, or InDesign you will need the additional PTAP (Print Through Application) option. It is well worth it to save the step of printing to JPEG from InDesign.

In addition to the color printing profiles ImagePrint has black and white profiles as well. Not only that, if you like to add color accents to your black and whites like I do, you can use the black and white profile for the black and white parts and the color profile for the color part. It is great for those accented portraits, where I want those red lips or jacket to show through.


  1. >Again, the ImagePrint profiles render the most accurate color and detail.

    Except for the blues shifting on the gradient above to magenta (while the others do not). Not going to fly on images with a nice blue sky!

  2. Thank you Andrew for the comment. I had not noticed that aspect. Thank you for pointing it out.
    I will say that I have not noticed any problems with accurate renditions of blue skies in my prints since I started using ImagePrint.