Some images we are sent print onto fabric with brightness and intensity. Other images are far more subtle/subdued. Sometimes people ask us why their printed fabric is not as intense as what they saw on their computer screen (hopefully our colour school has already addressed that issue for you).
Some fabric printers automatically adjust the intensity and/or darkness of images before printing onto fabric. However, at Lacuna Press we do not do that, because we believe it is up to you, the designer, to make every design choice for yourself. This gives you a wider range of design options.
The Three Dimensions of Colour
Colour is commonly understood as having 3 dimensions: Hue, Chroma and Value.
Hue is what we commonly think of as colour; for example, different combinations of Red, Green and Blue.
Saturation, or Chroma
Chroma, measured radially from the center of each slice, represents the saturation of a colour, with lower chroma being less saturated (more washed out, as in pastels), and higher chroma being more saturated.
Lightness, or Value
Value, or lightness, varies vertically along the color solid, from black at the bottom, to white at the top. Neutral grays lie along the vertical axis between black and white.
Editing the 3 Dimensions of Colour in Photoshop
If the Adjustments Window is not already visible, Select Window, Adjustments from the menu. Then, in the Adjustments window, click on the Properties tab.
Photoshop Colour Presets
The following presets are available from the “Preset” drop down in the Properties Window:
- Increase Saturation More
- Increase Saturation
- Old Style
- Red Boost
- Strong Saturation
- Yellow Boost
Have a go with these presets, first, to see what sort of effects are possible by changing the colour properties.
Making your own Hue, Saturation and Lightness Adjustments
Alternatively, you can adjust the 3 different colour properties using the sliders. By default, when you do this, it will affect all colour values in your image. However, if you click on the drop-down that says Master, you can select different colour portions of your images. The options for colour selection are:
When you have selected the set of colours that you want to change, move the sliders to change the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness settings for that group.
Colour Gamut Warning
Once you have set up your custom soft-proofing settings, you can go on to check which of the colours within your image are not available in your selected printer colour profile, i.e., which of your selected colours the printer will not be able to print accurately. To do this, in Photoshop select View, Gamut Warning from the menu. Any colours that are outside of your selected colour profile will turn grey. Select View, Gamut Warning again if you want to turn the warning off.
Ensuring the Colours in your image are within the Colour Gamut
The reds seem to be affected in my image. To adjust them, I will:
- Click Master in the properties box, and then click on Reds.
- Drag the Hue, Saturation and Lightness sliders, until you find a position where the gamut warning grey disappears, and you are still happy with your colour outcome.