How do you successfully print heat sublimation items? One of the main things is correct print colour management. How do you do this? Human beings perceive colours differently, and the same hue feels different to different people. For any sublimation transfer machine, it is impossible to print exactly the same colour as the picture displayed on the screen. Every printing job has various factors that can affect the colour of the printed product. So how can you ensure colour with all the complications?
Tip 1: Printing CYMK colours instead of RGB colours
RGB is generally based on black and produces an infinite combination of colours in a mix of red, green and blue. But when you add it against a black background, it makes the darks stronger. Printed images, on the other hand, require CYMK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black), which is a subtractive colour method. When you print RGB colours on a CYMK heat sublimation machine, the printing software will try incompatible colours and the result will be a printout that is much darker than on the screen. SUBLICOOL suggests that you first convert the RGB to CYMK, and then print it on a CMYK colour space so that the result may be closer to the screen colours.
Tip 2: Use vector images when super-wide format printing
If the resolution of the image is not high, then it is difficult to type out a good presentation of the product. Rather than being a matter of managing print colours, this is a matter of overall image quality. Many image files such as JPEG, GIF, PNG, etc. end up using thousands of small pixels to generate the image. These “raster” photos look sharp when the image size is small, but when enlarged, the quality deteriorates. Vector photos (PDFs, etc.) on the other hand, maintain resolution whether they are scaled up or down. Software is required to convert raster images to vector images for large print runs.
Tip 3: Use the same printing materials
The material used for printing has a huge impact on the colour of the finished product. Switching from one vinyl material to another during a single print run can actually affect the colour rendering of the product. That’s why it’s important to have enough of the same substrate on hand before you start. In addition, when printing, the transfer surface, sublimation paper and the substrate need to be tightly bonded without gaps. Otherwise, it will become blurred.
Tip 4: Use the same sublimation printer
Printing jobs with large print runs may be completed faster, which is more time-efficient and affordable. But the more printers you use, the more variable the colour matching will be. Often there is a trade-off between cost and quality, and of course, you can try to choose a large format printer.
Tip5：Use the same curves and consumables
It is also important to be careful when printing to use the same curves, the same batch of dye sublimation transfer paper, and the same batch of dye sublimation ink.