June 1st, 2016
Nina recently asked the following:
What color space people are using for their images: sRGB, Adobe RGB, ProPhoto? Do they convert images to CMYK for realtors to print and/or sRGB versions for web if necessary? Various kinds of printers sometimes result in bizarre color shifts or oversaturate images on flyers. One realtor I work with has the staff take down all the highlights and raise shadows to the max to avoid their office copier flyers from being muddy and over-saturated, and IMO it is cartoonish. I don’t care about their flyers, but when I saw my edited images were getting that treatment and ended up on the MLS like that as well, I started to deliver both MLS-ready and print-sized versions so that staff is not tempted to tweak.This same realtor’s company converted my images of a recent job I did to CMYK to plug into a national brochure, and even the second set of proofs I saw on-screen looked blown out and flat and with weird colors, just like the realtor’s tweaks, but her headshot photo was fine, so I know my calibrated monitor is not at fault. I have to assume the conversion of the ProPhoto jpegs I sent them was a problem. I tried converting the images to CMYK myself in PS, just to see, and they looked fine–can’t explain that. Another recent experience converting ProPhoto to sRGB for a book (print house only uses Adobe RDG or sRGB) has convinced me to go simple and stay sRGB, unless requested otherwise by a printer or publisher. BTW, another realtor I work with takes my images as is, but I have not seen his flyers. They look fine on MLS.
My take on Nina’s question is as follows:
- Deliver a set of sRGB images for MLS uploading and general web usage.
- Most laser printers that Realtors use of printing flyers do just fine with sRGB files. sRGB may not be perfect for flyers but the are good enough for the purpose.
- When agents intend to print larger brochures with off-set printers they do frequently require CMYK or sometimes Adobe RGB. But these situations depend on the specific printer being used.
So I agree with Nina’s approach of going simple and delivering sRGB unless you know the specific details of what printer is being used and what color space is recommended for that printer.
What do others do about delivering different color spaces for printing?