i1Match Profile for Printing in Grayscale

i1 Match Profile for Printing in Grayscale

Q - Can I make an ICC profile using i1 Match for printing B&W photos on a color printer?

A - To print black-and-white (B&W) images on a color printer, you can create an RGB or CMYK ICC profile. The main concern is reducing color casts in images, as grays are highly sensitive to casts. Two techniques are described below. Use these if you want to (1) print B&W images that are already in grayscale mode, or (2) to print color images as B&W. When printing the above to an Epson or other printer that does not have perfectly neutral K ink, a slight color cast may still be present.

Printing Color Images in BW


This option is useful for printing images that are already in grayscale mode. To reduce the color cast, you can select a printer option that uses high GCR levels and maximum black, such as the "Laser Printer" setting (even if making an Inkjet profile). This profile can be used for printing images that are already in Grayscale mode (e.g., convert color image in Photoshop to Grayscale). GCR reduces CMY colors where they add up to gray, thus reducing the opportunity for a color cast to form.


You can print color photos in B&W on a color printer by editing the color out of the profile. Use the Profile Editor module in i1 Match 3.3 and higher:

  1. Before starting, open a test photo in Photoshop that you would like to use as a thumbnail. Resample to 72 dpi, convert to LAB mode, and save with a different name.
  2. Launch i1 Match and select the Profile Editor module (circle in lower right corner).
  3. Open your printer profile.
  4. Select the Printer editing direction (LAB-to-CMYK).
  5. Open your test photo from Step 1. Its mode must be in the starting point of the editing direction (LAB mode).
  6. In the editing window, select the Saturation tab. Click on the less-saturated thumbnail photo (left). Keep clicking this thumbnail until the saturation slider is all the way at the left and the photo gradually turns into grayscale.
  7. Save the profile under a different name.

A profile with the color edited out, as described above, can be used to print Grayscale or color photos. Color photos will have all of the saturation removed and thus print as Grayscale.


Several methods can be used to convert a color image to grayscale in Photoshop:

  •  Mode Grayscale. Open RGB or CMYK image, and convert to Grayscale (Image > Mode > Grayscale).
  •  Mode LAB. Convert the image to LAB mode (L* = luminance, a* = red-green, and b* = blue-yellow). Delete the a* and b* (color) channels, leaving the L* (luminance), which is grayscale. Then convert the image to Grayscale mode.
    • Calculations. Blend color from channels in the image (Image > Calculations). E.g., to create a grayscale from an RGB image using the red and green channels, in the Calculations dialog box, select the blend mode as Normal, first channel red, and second channel green. The opacity is the percent of the first channel used in the blend. After the calculation, convert the image to Grayscale mode.

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