For work (which I'll be saying much more about very shortly), I've been having to consider color calibration with a printer. By printer I don't mean a thing the size of a bread box that sits on my desk and squirts ink onto paper. I mean a person who runs a printing shop using room-sized machines like an HP Indigo 5000.
I send him PDF files, and sometimes they look fabulous, and sometimes they look like someone dipped them in a yellow wash. I know a bit about printing technology, for example, I was Digital's PostScript expert for a while. I can even throw around terms like tristimulus values and color gamut without completely faking it.
But he and I don't see eye-to-eye on this problem. My PDF files are RGB, mostly because it was the simplest thing to do. He wants CMYK, but my understanding is that the mapping from RGB to CMYK is a very fluid thing, depending a great deal on the actual printing technology and printing machine used. How could I convert the colors into CMYK better than the HP Indigo's RIP could itself?
Does anyone have any insight or good pointers for me? I took a look at the International Color Consortium site (you know, the ICC in ICC profiles), but man, that's one thick site.
How does one make a PDF file that can be confirmed correct once it is printed?