Adventures in Sublimation -- Part 2
In my first article about sublimation, I went over the basics of sublimation, what you will need to get started, and how to "convert" a brand new, Epson EcoTank printer to a fully functional sublimation printer. Click here if you need to review that post!
In this article, I will go over the steps you will need for setting up your color profiles and how you can get started with sublimation right away!
Color profiles seem super scary when you get started, and WAY over my head, if we're being honest. But basically all it is doing is making sure that what you see on screen will be what you see coming out of your printer. It's a way for your computer to talk to your printer and say "Hey, use these colors!"
As I mentioned in my last article, I used Cosmos Ink for a variety of reasons, but one of the main reasons is because they offer VERY SPECIFIC tutorial videos that will literally walk you through the process of installing the color profiles onto your computer. Since Cosmos Ink is the one I went with, Cosmos Ink is what I am going to show you today. I should also note that I am working with a MAC computer -- I have both a MacBook Pro and an iMac. If you are working on a PC, you can visit Cosmos Ink's tutorial pages by clicking here and they will walk you through the steps on getting your color profiles set up. (No real reason here for me to reinvent the wheel and show you how to do it on a PC when they already did that.)
I ran into some issues because they did not offer the tutorials for Mac people, so I wanted to share with you what I did. The first thing to do after you have your printer converted is to add your printer to your computer. Go to System Preferences and click the little plus sign. It should automatically discover your printer (as long as you have it set up on your WiFi, as instruction in the steps that it will walk you through when you start the process). Select your printer and click "Add".
Next you will want to install the color profiles that you will receive from Cosmos Ink via email after you purchase their ink. All you do is follow the instructions that you will receive from them. It's literally just moving that little ICM file to your hard drive (Macintosh HD).
Finally, you will want to install the Epson drivers for your printer. Your printer instructions will walk you through that step by step, but the gist is that you will need to visit Epson's website, find your printer, choose your type of computer and select "Download" when you find the driver. Once that is installed, you will have your printer ready to create your sublimation printing profile!
Now that you have your printer set up, your driver installed and your color profile installed, you can create a design! For demonstration purposes, I will show you how to print a simple design using Photoshop, but Affinity Designer, Canva, and many other creation programs work the exact same way.
Choose File --> New. Make sure you select RGB and 16-bit for the color profile for your design. Scroll down to where it will mention "Advanced Color Settings" and choose the Cosmos Ink option. I am making my design at 8.5" x 11", 300 dpi, since that is the largest size that my printer will print.
If you just wanted to test a design that you may or may not use, you can visit the FREEBIE section of Design Bundles. They have SO MANY FREE options to choose from. Since this is more of a printer setup tutorial rather than a design tutorial, I will not be going over the steps of how to create a design, but instead I will show you how to use one that is all ready to go. I am using this cute sunflower design.
Once you have your image into your canvas and it's the size that you prefer, you're ready to print! We will print this design, but first we will set up and save our print settings specifically meant for sublimation. This way, the next time you go to print a sublimation design, all of the settings will be automatic and you don't have to worry with whether or not you remembered to mirror your image.
To do this, hit File --> Print. The following dialog box will pop up. You will want to make sure that you have the box that says "Printer Manages Color" checked.
Then you will click on "Print Settings". The box below will pop up. Choose "Color Matching" from the drop down box. ColorSync is what you want -- and you will choose the down box next to where is says" Profile. It will default to "Automatic", but we need to change that to the Cosmos Ink profile. Select the box and go to "Other Profiles".
You will find the Cosmos Ink color profile once you select "Other Profiles".
So now we're good there. The next thing we want to do is choose the paper quality. Select "Print Settings" from the main drop down box and then where it says "Media Type" choose "Premium Presentation Paper Matte". For Print Quality, change it to "High Quality".
Now - see that little "Mirror Image" button. MAKE SURE THAT IS CHECKED! This is SO important. If you don't mirror it, when you press it onto your garment, it will be backwards. So MAKE SURE IT'S CHECKED!
That's it! So now what we want to do is make sure that this profile gets saves so that next time we print something for sublimation, we don't have to remember all of this stuff. So go to the top where it says Presets. It will say "Default Settings." Click that drop down box and choose "Save Current Settings as Preset."
I just named mine "Sublimation". So now, when I have another sub design to print, I will just choose my Sublimation setting from that Presets drop down box!
That's it! Now you're ready to press your design onto your garment. In part 3 I will show you exactly how to do that, so come back within the next week and it will be available.
Here's the cheat sheet for Part 2. Click the image to download:
If you're ready to see how to do that NOW, you can watch the video below. In this video, I show you from beginning to end how to press your image onto GLITTER HTV (heat transfer vinyl) so that you can press it onto ANY type of fabric (sublimation is limited to polyester items...more on that later!)
I hope this helped you set up your Mac for sublimation! Email me or leave me a question if you need help!