What’s up with ISO Fogra 39 ICC?

Ok, so the title needs some explanation. I’ll get to that in a minute.

First, a big shout to Photobook Canada because they have the most incredible real-time chat tech support. I called (?) with a question on how their book design software handles bleed, crop, and color, and I was really impressed that at 10pm I was chatting in real time to Gary, who was super-helpful. Nice! I can see why they are popular.
Now a big tip to anyone using their software: if you want a sneak peek at the finished book, start the submission process, and the program will generate a .pdf file that you can view to get a much better feel for how the pages look, and you can stop at that point without committing to a purchase. My book was a standard 40 pages, and the Acrobat file is a hefty 65Mb, so it’s not something you could email, but is something you could post for clients to take a gander at.
Also, it puts a big ‘PROOF’ watermark across the page, so it’s not like you’d be giving away a file that your clients could actually print ‘for free’ and leave you high and dry. Again, nice.
Here is a sample layout; it’s the right-hand page of a two-page spread in wedding book I’m getting ready:

The software allows you to specify a source image as a one or two page background spread, and in this case I laid two more inset images over it for some extra interest… and I wanted the shots to intentionally run off the page.
One thing that came up during the tech-support chat was color management; the printer they use is calibrated, so if you output custom work and target your output to their printer profile (the mysterious ISO Fogra 39 of the title), everything comes out fine.
But the cool thing is that because the photobook software totally encapsulates your workflow of book production, you really can’t screw up the always-confusing world of color managed printing because you really don’t have any output choices to mess (up) with. One more time: Nice!
Next time: An update on starting my photo business, and how GTD is only half saving my life.

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