Maxwell ColorValet Pro
- Congratulations, and thank-you for using ColorValet Pro.
- ColorValet Pro is a profiling service by CHROMiX that allows the user to profile their printer as many times as they want, on as many different types of paper as they need. For more information, see ColorValet Pro Unlimited printer profiling service by CHROMiX.
This wiki page describes how to use the Maxwell Client program to activate a printer for use with ColorValet Pro, and how to create a new profile.
Activate a printer
When you purchase the ColorValet Pro service from CHROMiX, you are given an "activation code" which allows you to bond your printer to the ColorValet Pro service. You need to activate your printer before you can start building profiles.
To activate your printer:
- Open the Maxwell Client program
- In the bottom left corner of the window, click the printer you want to use for the ColorValet Pro service
- Click the "Activate ColorValet Pro Service" button
- Enter the Activation Code you received from CHROMiX, and click "Proceed"
- Identify the brand of your printer, and your specific printer model name. In most cases the Maxwell Client will figure this out automatically and you just need to confirm that this information is correct, and proceed with the right arrow button. If your printer brand or model is not in the supplied list, you can add them by using the buttons.
- On the next page, identify the ink used in your printer.
- On the "Summary" page, confirm that the summary information is correct and click the "Activate" button.
- Click "I Agree" to the Service Terms.
This will activate the printer on your computer. The Maxwell Client is now setup to create ICC profiles for this printer.
Creating a New Profile
When you want to create a new profile for your printer, the process is very easy:
- Open up the Maxwell Client program,
- Choose your printer and click on the "Create ICC Profile" button
- Click the "Proceed" button
- Select the paper brand and specific paper or other media you are using. If your brand of paper or paper type is not in the supplied list, you can add them by using the buttons.
Note that if you have already made a profile for this particular paper/media, you can choose whether you are making a completely new profile, or are merely making additional targets for the same profile request.
- Confirm that all of your settings are correct, and click the "Print" button
- Ensure that your preferred settings are in place in the printer driver
- Turn off color management in the printer driver
- Click Print in the printer driver to Print the target image.
Follow the instructions for shipping the target print to CHROMiX.
Your profile will automatically be downloaded from our servers into your computer by way of the Maxwell Client program in a few days.
Notes on target creation
A common mistake
The most common mistake people make when printing profiling targets, is to fail to turn off color management (any use of profiles) while printing. With ColorValet Pro we make it as easy as possible to do this correctly. Color management is completely by-passed when exporting the target print from the Client program. The only thing that remains is for you, the user, to turn off color management in the driver.
Pay close attention to the instructions in the ColorSmarts Guide window. It gives specific guidelines for how to turn off color management in your particular computer operating system.
The yellow square test
If you are in any doubt that color management is turned off in the driver, check the target when it is printed. The upper left corner patch is a strong yellow. This patch calls for 100% yellow in this square. If you look closely (you'll want to use a loupe or magnifying glass) and find any other droplets of color in this square, then that is a sign that color management is still on, that something is getting into the system and making decisions about color.
To make the best possible profile for you, we need to have a target that reflects the raw color output from your printer. If you are getting other colors in that yellow square, you may need to hunt around in the advanced settings of your driver for "icc" or "ICM Method" or "color management" and turn it off or choose "disable" so that the yellow square is printed as a pure yellow.
More information on turning off color management in the driver can be found in our page on Printer Drivers Color Management
Some Mac systems have a bug in the workflow that will apply color management even when this option is turned off. See Tech Support Grab Bag for more information on a work around for this issue.
If you use different paper stocks, a new profile may need to be built for each kind of paper used. A target should be printed on each type of paper used. Each variation will result in a separate profile that you will use when printing with that setup.
Other printer options, such as dpi, printing speed, printing direction, may or may not significantly affect the color of the output.
Use of different media settings in the driver
When printing on unusual paper or other media you can affect ink levels and tonal smoothness by selecting different media settings in the printer driver. These are labeled with names such as ”Glossy Photo Paper,” “Premium Lustre paper,” and so on.
(Note: These are media settings, and not profiles. Using them does not apply color management). We recommend initially trying the settings recommended by the manufacturer or paper vendor. "Backlit film" and other settings may also give good results. Look for fully saturated colors and dark blacks while still showing smooth tones from paper white all the way through to black. If you note sharp transitions where highlight or shadow colors are lost, experiment with different settings.
Please do not alter or resize the profile target in any way. It is designed to be read by an automated spectrophotometer and any changes could break this process. You would then be required to print another target and mail it in again! The target is designed to fit on an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet (or A4), with a reasonable white border around the perimeter.
Is it all there?
Please check to see that all of the required patches are included in the target - that nothing has been cut off. In the target creation wizard in the Maxwell Client, there is a sample image of what the target print should look like.
The words around the perimeter of the target are not absolutely essential, but the color patches are!
If you are printing to a device that allows calibration (check your documentation to see if your device can be calibrated), ensure that it has been calibrated using a standard procedure immediately before printing the profile targets. For color laser copiers and many other output devices, regular and correct calibration is essential to creating accurate profiles that remain valid over time.
If you have an unusual workflow (and even if you don't!) it is a great idea to take notes of all the settings you have selected when printing the profiling target. When using your Chromix profiles, your workflow needs to include the same settings in order to ensure color accuracy. We find that oftentimes, enough time may pass between printing the profile target and your profile-corrected images that you could forget the settings you used originally. Consistency is one of the most important aspects of managing your color - and that includes using the same procedures and settings each time you print.
Send the target to this address
Send the printed target to:
CHROMiX ColorValet Service
8320 5th AVE NE, #B
Seattle, WA 98115
Phone: 206-985-6837 (for use with courier services only)
Click here to find out what happens next and how your profiles are delivered to you.