Sorry for the delay: the ragworts have kept luring me further and further afield (others may have other excuses, or may be silently waiting, relying on my ansering as soon as I came back into the coolness of the farmhouse, hopefully not just waiting to pick on both of us).
I have created a few hundred quilt illustrations in CMYK. The colors in the illustrations are approximate, and there was no way around this. The illustration files were created long before I knew I would have to do the color management. I presume you have used a limited number of colours, corresponding to the fabrics, so you may edit swatches or use Select>Same>Fill Color, no?
My office will be as color neutral as I can get it, which won't be too hard. And it will have the desired ambient light. The book is going to 4x color press. The print service bureau has provided me with the ICC profile for their press.
Here's the first piece of the puzzle: The quilt is in Wisconsin, and I'm in South Carolina. So accurate color is a problem. I have sent the author a Pantone Coated 4 Color Process fan book and asked her to match the fabric colors with the Pantone colors as closely as she can then send me the CMYK values. The book will be printed on coated text papter. It seems logical that if I'm using the right profiles and using her CMYK values, we should get a reasonable rendering of color. (Notice I didn't say "exact.")
So question #1: As a starting point, does this approach make sense to you? It does: this may be the best way, presuming the book is based on the same colour ink standards as used by the printer (the book in front of me is Euroscale). This would mean that the author is rather deeply involved in the colour management, which may be a good thing (she more or less knows what is possible and what she gets).
Next peice of the puzzle: I will soon be recieving a photograph of the quilt in RGB (obviously). The photographer shoots in Adobe RGB.This photo will be the only source of color information I will have, other than a few fabric swatches from the quilt.
So question #2: If I convert the photo to CMYK so it has the same color profile as the illustrations, if a color in the quilt appears to be a reasonalbe match with corresponding color in the illustration, can I rely on that information? I doubt it: it all depends on the trueness of the colours in the photo (only the author can tell, maybe), and it involves two steps, fabric>RGB>CMYK. You may use it as an additional reference.
With regard to color correcting, between reds and greens, there are more reds and reddish browns in the quilt than greens, so intend to favor the reds in the profile. I believe you should go for a good match in greens (and other colours) as well, to have balanced and nice artwork.
I got further confirmation from AppleCare tech support answering a question about monitor calibration. The tech happened to have a solid background in color management. I guess things were slow late in the evening because he had time to thoroughly answer my questions.
Color management is slowly losing some of its mystery to me.
You are welcome, Toni.
And remember to get your swatch book back.
>And remember to get your swatch book back.
Not a problem. Aside from the fact that we have worked together extremely well and respectfully for the past three years, the swatch book can be replaced, whereas I am in possession of four of the author's irreplaceable antique documents for scanning. But it's really not an issue.