Soft Proofing & ICC Profiles

What is Soft Proofing and Why should I do it?

Soft proofing is a part of a color managed workflow that helps ensure the prints produced are as close as possible to your expectations. A "Soft Proof" is actually a process that uses an image viewing/editing software (such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, Preview on MacOS, or Affinity  Photo) and an ICC profile to simulate the colors on the display to represent what the file would look like printed.  

The process of simulating the print colors of a file is often called transposing OR rendering and refers to taking the file from the source (original/embedded colors) to the output (Printer) colors using color space and profile conversion tables. This process is purely mathematical and uses a lookup table to convert the color values - so almost any program that supports soft proofing and the same rendering intent settings (algorithms) should produce the same results. 

This will help eliminate some of the "guesswork" as to what your file will look like when printed. You can also get a gamut warning in some software applications to indicate which colors are out of gamut within your file and that will allow you to edit your file's colors knowing approximately how the printer will reproduce these colors. 

Note that this process uses an ICC profile that is specific to a single product's options - so make sure you download and apply the correct ICC profile in the image editing software for the product you are planning on ordering.  

How do I soft proof my prints?

First, you need to understand a few concepts related to color managed workflows and printing. 

  1. When soft proofing a file for printing, the soft proof will only be as accurate as the display device you are viewing it on.  If you are viewing the file on an uncalibrated monitor or mobile device - the results may vary dramatically from your soft proof (due to inaccurate colors being displayed on the screen). If you don't have a calibrated monitor, it might not be worth soft proofing.

  2. A file contains many colors defined by a color space and ICC profile - these colors could be within the gamut of the product's ICC profile, but it's also possible to have some, many, or all colors in a file out of gamut depending on how the file was created.

  3. We use a rendering intent when colors are out of gamut for a product to best estimate the closest color match that is within gamut of the product you are soft proofing. You must use the correct rendering intent settings in soft proofing to ensure an accurate soft proof. 

  4. While it's possible soft proofing will provide an accurate representation of the printed output of a file, the lighting conditions you are viewing the soft proof OR the final printed file can create colors that appear to be different (called Metamerism).

Now that you know some of the concerns about soft proofing, here is how to do it:

  1. Download and install an ICC Profile for the product you want to print from this web page (see download list below).

  2. Follow the instructions below for the application you will be using to soft proof your file.

Adobe Photoshop

  1. Open your file in Photoshop

  2. Choose the View > Proof Setup > Custom option from the menu (this will open a new window with options).

  3. Click the dropdown next to "Device to Simulate" and select the ICC profile for the product you plan to order. 

  4. Apply the following options/values in the window and check the "Preview" box to turn on the soft proof. 

    • Preserve RGB Numbers Checkbox = UNCHECK

    • Rendering Intent = Relative Colorimetric

    • Black Point Compensation Checkbox = CHECKED


  1. You can save these settings to quickly soft proof for this product configuration in the future. 

Downloadable ICC Profiles

Giclee Paper Prints

  • Photo Luster

  • Photo Gloss

  • Photo Metallic

  • Enhanced Matte

  • Elegance Velvet

  • Natural Rag

  • Eco Bamboo

  • Aquarelle Rag

  • Juniper Baryta Rag

Acrylic Prints

  • Photo Gloss + High Gloss Finish

  • Photo Metallic + High Gloss Finish

  • Photo Gloss + Smooth Matte Finish

  • Photo Metallic + Smooth Matte Finish

Canvas Prints

  • Gloss Finish Canvas

  • Matte Finish Canvas

  • Natural Finish Canvas

Metal Prints

  • Chromaluxe Metal (White Gloss, White Satin, White Matte, and Shear Gloss)

Glass Cutting Boards

  • Rectangular and Round Glass Cutting Boards

Decorative Tiles

  • Decorative Tiles - all sizes


  • Sandstone Coasters

  • Hardboard Coasters - Unisub