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Printing Your Lettering And Illustrations Part 2: ICC Profiles

icc profile


In my previous post, I talked about creating an accurate display profile. If you’re still using a generic profile, then all the lettering and illustration artwork you see on your monitor will just be an approximation.

Your monitor will have one ICC profile. Printers, however, can have many different profiles, depending on the printer manufacturer, and the type of ink and paper used. Reputable paper manufacturers (Ilford, Hahnemühle, Red River, Canson, etc …) create custom profiles for each of their papers matched to a specific printer model. “Generic” papers from the office supply store typically don’t have custom ICC profiles.

This isn’t meant to be an in-depth, technical guide to ICC profiles. There are tons of resources on the interweb that go into far greater detail on how they’re designed. My goal here is to get you up and running quickly.

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Printing Your Lettering And Illustrations Part 1: Monitor Calibration


There’s just something about printing your work for display. Whether it’s simply pinning it to a bulletin board or framing it. It’s just more real. It also encourages me to want to produce more.

Printing at home can be frustrating. Sure, you don’t have the hassle of arranging shipping and the wait time. But the convenience of printing at home can come at a cost. If you’re like me, and want the satisfaction of producing decent prints yourself, then I’d like to share some tips that may make things easier for you.

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Display Your Illustrations

When I started getting into lettering and illustration, I wasn’t sure how to fit printing into my workflow. I wanted to display my illustrations, but was having mixed results.

It fell into two categories …

  1. Framing the print.
  2. Having the print sit in a stack of papers, or in a closet.

Framing my prints—even in “do-it-yourself” frames—became tedious. Cleaning the glass, positioning the print in the mat and finding a place on the wall all became a chore. After awhile I simply stopped doing it. So my artwork stayed as bits and bytes on my hard drive. I needed something that would quickly let me display my work.

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