Sawgrass Virtuoso Print Manager takes ICC profile colour Management to the next level

 ICC profiles have long been the standard for colour management in digital printing and product decoration. However, when it comes to sublimation printing, custom print drivers, such as Sawgrass’ Virtuoso Print Manager, take the power of ICC profiles to the next level.Virtuoso Print Manager overcomes some of the significant limitations ICC profiles have with sublimation prints. The result is the right colours the first time you print, less work and waste and less time spent troubleshooting.

Jimmy Lamb, Sawgrass’ Manager of Education explained, ‘An ICC profile ensures that when a specific colour is selected on the computer screen, the designated colour is consistently and correctly delivered. However, during the dye sublimation transfer process, certain colours can shift. The colour shift occurs because when the image transfer sheet is pressed onto a substrate, the ink turns into a gas that bonds with the polymers of the substrate. Also, the colours of the ink printed onto transfer paper can be very different from the final image that is created when heat and pressure is applied due to the nature of the chemical characteristics of the dye sublimation process. With a custom print driver these issues need to be addressed for each individual printer, ink, paper and substrate combination.’

He continued, ‘When using Virtuoso Print Manager with our SG400, SG800 and VJ 628 printers, each setting can be customised to achieve optimal colours. Each component of the Virtuoso HD Product decorating system is built to work together. This results in better colours, faster production and less waste all around. It’s a win-win-win!’Under normal profile creation, once the colour swatch for testing has been created, ICC profiling software knows how to adjust the colours to print out the correct ones onto the paper. The print on the paper is the final output. With dye sublimation, the printed transfer is pressed onto a substrate, the ink turns into a gas, and the colours change properties.

This change in colour properties can be quite dramatic (e.g. some blues look like green on paper), and it is, therefore, impossible to judge whether the print is correct until it is sublimated onto the final substrate. It is necessary to create custom sublimation profiles and print management uses of these profiles to create the correct sublimated colour, not the colour on the printed transfer paper.

Custom print drivers, such as Virtuoso Print Manager takes all these factors into consideration and enables operators to get the right colours, not just for the first print, but for every print. Virtuoso Print Manager enables you to select specific transfer papers, inks, colour modes and substrates, which the software takes into consideration when processing the file from RGB to CMYK. With the custom settings in Virtuoso Print Manager, getting the right colours is very easy.

Virtuoso Print Manager offers a singular solution for optimal print quality and production efficiency with Virtuoso HP Product Decorating Systems. It combines the best features of PowerDriver – the previous custom print driver from Sawgrass - and WinProfile / MacProfile ICC profile solutions into a single, powerful and easy-to-use RIP-like application. Virtuoso Print Manager makes it easier than ever to get great colour output with built-in ICC profiles for a wide variety of papers, substrates and image types as well as inks and colour modes. It streamlines production with an advanced array of features, including job and image nesting, hot folders with customisable presets, multilingual user interface and file- and web-to-print workflows. Combined these save time and consumable costs. It also works with SubliJet-HD CMYK, Pro Photo and Pro Photo XF inks, as well as ChromaBlast-HD.