If you are a massive fan of prints, then a printer is an absolute must, as it saves time, money and you can print whatever you want, however you want and whenever you want. Photo books are easy to make and huge prints are possible and if you have something like Photoshop© or Lightroom©, then you could never see the light of day again.
However, there is an important point to make about printing from home. The colours that you are seeing on your computer screen, may not be the ones that appear on the final print, because monitors and printers have different colour profiles which invariably won’t match; but do not panic, as all is not lost.
This can be done within the Windows software, but it’s a pretty basic system and there are loads of software packages out there that calibrate screens far more accurately. Some of them require a very long chat with the Bank manager, but you get what you pay for and if printing is in your blood, just take a deep breath and suck up. Spyder software works well and has been around for a while, so has lots of history and although it can be tricky to use, works really well. ColorMunki is an alternative software, but it isn’t one that I’ve used. Oh, and remember to calibrate once a month, if you are printing for a profession (and once a month if you want perfection).
Well ..... set up your printer profiles is what I mean, but it didn’t follow on as well as I would have liked.
You may have heard of ICC profiles, but if you haven’t, these are instructions to the calibration software, that are very specific to your printer. ICC stands for International Colour Consortium and they have set the colour standards that the world runs by. They dictate the ink mixtures and deposit densities on the paper, so a great bench mark, for anyone wanting to produce top notch prints. As in a readymade suit, there are ‘off the peg’ ICC profiles, which will cover 90% of the profiling, but if you want to be absolutely accurate, then use ‘Custom Made’ profiles, which are generally given out free from paper manufacturers, that way, you know you are always right and who doesn’t like that sort of feeling?