Optimization, Color, and Transparency

Understanding Transparency

Guide to Optimization

Document size directly impacts processing time. Optimizing your document can improve the processing time needed to print your document.

There are three main issues that effect image size:

  1. Flatten File Layers. Images and text stacked on top of each other have additional file information that is not needed during printing. Flattening layers removes the information under the stacked layers so that the print only has to process the visible information. Layer transparencies may also need to be applied to completely flatten image layers, (see FAQ: Transparency, for more information).
  2. Reduce Color Resolution. There is very little noticeable difference between color images printed at 150 dpi and those set to anything higher than 150 dpi. By reducing your color graphics to at most 150 dpi, processing time can be reduced considerably. Use “Bicubic Downsampling” rather than “average” for best results.
  3. Compress Images. Image compression may need to occur for documents that exceed the acceptable file size for the current A&AA Output Room printer models. If compression is necessary, JPEG compression can be applied starting at maximum (which will remove color information outside the range of normal human vision). Maximum and high settings should be safe to apply without changing color values significantly. Consider other optimizing methods before applying compression settings below the medium quality setting. Compression options such as ZIP or LZW, which require further processing during print time, should not be used.

We recommend that you address these issues just before printing, when saving your design as a PDF. This will give you more flexibility during the design process and give you some device independence if you later choose to output your file to another device with different capabilities. [NOTE: When using our large format printing service files need to be saved in a PDF/X-3 file format. See Submitting Jobs for Print].

Acrobat Professional has a great tool for assisting you to reduce the size of your PDF prior to printing.

For some additional information regarding PDF optimization visit:

Acrobat PDF Optimizer Review (version 8).
How to Reduce PDF File Size (alternative methods)
Optimize a PDF – Adobe Web Help
How to optimize your PDF File (video tutorial)

Understanding Color Management

Using the i1 Display Pro Display Profiler

i1 Display Pro box

Step 1

Watch the video on Display Profiling:

i1 Display Pro video


Step 2

Download i1 Profiler software from xRite support. Choose the latest version supported by your operating system.

Step 3

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Install Software
As with all USB devices it’s important to install the software BEFORE plugging the i1 Display Pro into your computer. When installer is complete, plugin the i1 Display Pro. On Windows systems when you do plug it in, the New Hardware Wizard will launch and it’s important that you let this install the drivers for the device before doing anything else. Once the driver is installed you can launch the i1 Profiler software. The i1 Profiler software will display options for printer profiling but since you are using the i1 Display Pro you can’t use these functions.

i1 Display Pro software

Click on Advanced. Then click on Display Profiling to begin. This article covers profiling a computer monitor, not a projector, although the workflow is very similar.

2. Default Display Settings

Technology Type: The i1 Display Pro can compensate for different LCD backlight technologies such as CCFL, Wide Gamut CCFL, White LED, RGB LED, and Projectors. Check specifications of your hardware to determine what type of backlight your display uses then select it accordingly. If you don’t know start with CCFL and make your first profile. If you are not happy with the result then try the other technology types.

i1 Display Pro color
White Point should be left at D65 (default).
Luminance should be left at 120 (default).
Contrast Ratio should be left at Native (default).
Flare Correct un-check this option.
Ambient Light Smart Control un-check this option.
Click Next to continue.

3. Profile Settings
Use default settings.
Click Next to continue.

4. Patch Set
Use default settings.
Click Next to continue.

5. Measurement
Automatic Display Control (ADC)
: This should be checked (default).

i1 Display Pro ADC

Get your ambient lighting as typical as you can. When making the ambient measurement make sure the ambient light diffuser arm is over the i1 Display Pro’s lens and carefully position the device where you would place a print if you were comparing it to an image on screen. Don’t place it under a desk lamp, in shadow or too close to the glow of the monitor.

Click Start Measurement when you are ready.
Follow the on screen directions.
Click next when measurement is completed.

6. ICC Profile

Give the profile an appropriate descriptive name, (username_device_date).
You can choose to get the software to remind you to recalibrate after a certain amount of time Disable Ambient Light Monitoring.

i1 Display Pro ICC

Click Create and save profile.

7. Before and After Comparison

Clicking the image symbol to allow a visual before and after comparison that shows the effect of your calibration. As some changes may have been made to the monitor hardware the before/after switch will not show all the changes but will give you an idea of the level of improvement and accuracy of the new profile. A range of default images can be used or you can load your own custom image from the menu. If you see little change then it may just mean that your display hasn’t changed much since the last time you profiled it.

i1 Display Pro before and after

8. Exit i1 Profiler Software