I have been getting a ton of questions about ICC profiles for sublimation ever since I converted my Epson EcoTank printer. Do you have to use one to use your sublimation printer? What exactly do they do? Can they really correct the colors that you are seeing on your projects? Well, I am here to answer all of that and more! Follow along below to understand ICC files and start using one if you would like! I also have an ICC profile for Hiipoo sublimation ink below if you would like to download it for your own use.
ICC Profiles for Sublimation
Want to learn all about profiles and how to use them? You can watch the video below as I walk you through using the profiles and even show you examples of how the colors change when they are in use.
Can’t watch the video or missed some of the steps? You can also follow along with the blog post below!
What is an ICC profile?
ICC stands for International Color Consortium and these files manage the colors from just about anything. You would have profiles on cameras, computers, monitors, printers, etc so that the colors remain the same no matter where you are looking at them. When you buy a printer, it comes with an ICC profile already installed in the printer driver and that’s how it handles colors. However, that ICC profile is meant for the ink that comes with the printer.
When you convert a regular inkjet printer to a sublimation printer, you have now altered a component that they used to create that ICC file. Traditionally on an inkjet printer, I would use standard regular copy paper and inkjet ink with the printer. Once converted, I am using Hiipoo sublimation ink and A-Sub sublimation paper. That means I can potentially get different colors out of that standard color profile.
ICC profiles are a way to fix that. You will need to find and install a custom ICC profile for your printer. This ensures that the colors you see on your computer screen come out of your printer consistently. So what you see, you actually get printed as well as pressed to your shirt or another substrate. If you have a problem with some of your colors, it is due to the ICC profile most likely.
How to Get ICC Files
You will need to go to the manufacturer of your brand of sublimation ink and see if they have a file for your exact combination. These files are based on the printer, the brand of ink, and the brand of paper. So the exact combination should be used for optimal results. Will you have good results without a file or with a different paper? You might! But you may have issues depending on the file and the changes you are making.
ICC Profile for Hiipoo Sublimation Ink
I was able to get one file for Hiipoo sublimation ink for my particular combination of printer/ink/paper. They are working on more files and I will update this post when they have them. For now, the file that I have is for an ET-4700 with Hiipoo sublimation ink and A-Sub sublimation paper. I will note that I had someone try it with an ET-2760 and she really liked it as well so you may be able to give it a try and see what happens.
To get the profile, just sign up for the newsletter here. Once you sign up, the file will be sent directly to your email address. From there, you will need to download then follow the instructions below to use the file. Please note that you can only use these files on a computer with something like Photoshop or Corel installed for use. You can’t open this file. You will just need to install it as instructed below.
What do you need to use ICC color profiles?
You will need a few things to get started with using custom color profiles.
- ICC file for your combination of printer/ink/sublimation paper – you can usually go to the ink manufacturer and see if they have one for your combination.
- Computer – these only work on a computer so you will not be able to use your mobile device.
- Software – you will need some type of software to read and handle the ICC profile. I am using Adobe Photoshop but Corel will also work. There may be other programs out there that will work but I do not have experience with those.
How to Use ICC Profiles
Now that you have your profile, it is time to use it on your computer for your sublimation printer. To do that, open up your the folder where the file is located and right click it. Then click “install profile”. It is important to note here that nothing will really happen as this is a super small file and it will install in about the blink of an eye. But once you install it, it will be ready for use.
Now we will need to tell our printer to use this profile. First, open up your printing preferences dialogue box. There should be an area that says “color correction” and it is most likely set to automatic. This is the default for most printers when you set them up.
Change that to custom and click advanced. You will then get a few options. To use your ICC profile, you will want to change this to “no color adjustment” and click ok. However, if you don’t have an ICC file for your combination, you can also click “custom” here and a dialogue window opens where you can manually change colors.
While I don’t recommend this in all cases, if you don’t have an ICC profile and are having color issues, this may be one way to help solve the issue.
For me, I picked no color adjustment then pulled up Photoshop to print and example page. Once you click print in Photoshop, you will need to change the color handling to “photoshop manages color” and the printer profile to the profile you just installed. Then click print! You have now used a custom ICC profile to print on a sublimation printer.
Do ICC profiles make a difference?
Let’s put it to the test. Do ICC profiles for sublimation really make a difference? I printed three Pantone color charts with the same sublimation paper, ink, and printer. One with the printer driver and automatic correction. One with color controls on but I didn’t alter anything manually. Then one with the Hiipoo color profile that I offer above.
I saw very little difference in the first two but the one with the Hiipoo ICC file was definitely brighter when comparing certain colors.
This was out of the printer, however, and before pressing. I wanted to take a look at these before and after pressing to see if I saw differences in both scenarios.
Then I pressed each of these to a 100% polyester cloth using the same settings each time. Again, I felt the automatic and color controls were roughly the same. You may even say the color controls were a bit more muted.
So, I decided to just compare the Epson profile to the Hiipoo profile and see what color differences I could see. Overall, the colors are brighter and there is more definition between colors with the Hiipoo profile.
However, while some colors look way different and way brighter, other colors look relatively the same when comparing both pieces.
I do think that overall, if you can get the Hiipoo ICC profile to work, you will see a difference in your projects with some brighter and more vibrant colors.
Do you have to use an ICC file?
Now that you have seen how to use ICC profiles for sublimation and what a difference they can make, the question is do you have to use them. The answer is no. If you are happy with the way your printer prints right now, just leave it and continue making amazing things! This is for those that want or need to correct their colors.
I find that people see the color correction instructions online or in a Facebook group and automatically think you have to have that before you can start with sublimation crafting. That is totally incorrect. I used my printer for many, many projects over several weeks with zero color correction and never had any issues with the projects. If you feel that way, then just skip this entire step and continue using your printer!
However, if you feel your purples or greens are just not coming out correctly, you might try ICC profiles for sublimation. I think you will be happy once you have the correct profile installed and it is working on your sublimation printer. Give it a try and see if your colors come out truer to what you see on your computer screen.
I hope this helps if you are looking for color correction options on your sublimation printer. ICC profiles for sublimation can sound scary and hard to use but it is actually easy! So, grab your sublimation printer and get crafty!
Can you download this on to a MAC? I have a et-4760, Hiipoo ink, printers jack paper. I am hoping this will help make my reds more vibrant!
It should work on a MAC as well!
Any idea on how to install it on a MacBook?? I can’t figure it out at all 🙁
I have Hiipoo ink, A-Sub Paper, and the Epson ET-2760.
I don’t have one so I don’t have instructions. I did have a friend do it and say it is possible!
Hey Ashley! I had to look this up too but if you open Library > then ColorSync > then drop it into the Profiles folder. Worked for me 🙂
What happens when you do a print and cut from Cricut Design Space, How do you make sure that it’s printing per the icc profile?!
It will not. If you read above, you have to have a program that will handle ICC profiles like Photoshop.
Right, I do have photoshop. Does that mean I have to print the artwork on Photoshop first, then have the same artwork loaded onto Cricut Design Space, then do a “print and cut” but pick that it’s already been printed so that it would just cut? Thanks!!
You don’t need to cut for sublimation at all. I just print from photoshop and put it on my surface.
Has Hiipoo created a ICC one for the ET-2720 yet with it? I have no Idea how to contact Hiippoo as I bought it off Amazon and cannot find a website. I tried the one you used and the browns, reds, are not coming out right.
They have not released more yet. This is the only one that I know of.
If I have an Eason er 2720 printer and using hiippo ink with Sub-A paper would this configuration work with it?
I have had people that use that combo and have tried it and liked it.
i cant find the link anywhere. help please
There is a box where you sign up and the file is sent to your email.
Where can I get the pantone color chart file?
I just googled it.
Anyone else having trouble with the link not sending to the email?
Since you are on gmail, please check your spam and “all mail” folder on gmail. They hide all sorts of things.
Hello!!! For some reason, I did’nt receive the hippo ICC profile. It never came to my email. Is there anyway you could forward to my email another way.
Since you are on gmail, please check your spam as well as your “all mail” folder. Gmail loses all sorts of things.
WHERE IS THE HIIPOO ICC PROFILE DOWNLOAD EVERYTHING IS TAKING ME TO AMAZON…..
Add you information into the sign up box and it will be emailed to you.
Hello! I’m trying to find the contact info for Hiipoo but can’t seem to locate it – where did you find it? I was able to install your color profile but I have an Epson 2720 and use Kilante sticky sub paper so I’d like to see if I could get an icc profile specific to that combo. I’m still having issues with my pinks turning orange so I’m trying to figure that out. Thank you!
You can reach out to them on social media.
I use Inkscape, I have the 15000 and Asub paper. Will the icc work in inkscape?
Sorry I am not sure about Inkscape.
Hi.. can I get the colors chart file please
Just google Pantone color chart and pick one to print.
I am wanting to install the ICC profile for my sublimation printing on my Epson 2720, but I also print printed graphics on a cannon printer for a different purpose. Will installing the sublimation ICC profile change the print colors on my other printer also? I print all files from the same graphics program if that matters.
Just pick the standard profile when printing to your other printer. You can easily just pick the one you want to use.
Wouldn’t you also need to include the fabric in the ICC profile making as that is the final product and sublimating on different fabrics can result in different color. The ICC combination for sublimation is usually ink/paper/printer/media isnt it?
It is on 100% polyester if that helps you any.
Hello! I have an ET-2720 and use Hiipoo Ink as well as the A-Sub paper. I initially downloaded the ICC profile for the ET-4700 and it definitely made my images crisper and blacks are way sharper which I love. However, I am having trouble with some colors printing drastically different from what I am seeing on screen. I also reached out to Hiipoo on their website and they had a ICC profile for the ET-2720 which I downloaded hoping it would help but unfortunately it did not. Any thoughts or ideas on how to get my colors to print more accurately from what I am seeing on screen? I print directly from Adobe Illustrator and I am sublimating on clothing. Thanks so much!
This is the only way I know of to correct colors. What are you designing in? There are different color modes. You might try a different mode and see if that helps.
After downloading this ICC profile, I’m still having trouble getting a correct green. I have a muted dark green leaf wreath and also a dark brown and blue tartan pattern and neither come out well. I printed a color spectrum to do comparison and the color spectrum came out great. Does anyone know if it is just my artwork? Do dark colors not do well? I’m using an Epson Eco Tank with A-Sub sub ink and A-Sub paper so I didn’t think it would be too far from the Hiipoo ink as that’s the only different item. Any help would be amazing! I’m trying to expand my Etsy business and really need the income. Thanks!!!
I would contact ASub and see if they have a profile.
I am using Procreate on an iPad. I can’t seem to figure out how to add an ICC profile to my iPad. Should I be using a computer instead? My sublimation prints are so dull and washed out once I transfer them onto my shirts.
You will only be able to do it on a computer. What are pressing them on? Washed out colors sound like lack of polyester content.
I bought sublimation spray for higher cotton blends. My colors are not coming out right either when I print them. For example, turquoise is more of a sky blue.
I would test press it on 100% polyester and see if the colors are correct. It may be the spray and what you are pressing on.
I tried this on my husband’s computer and the color’s aren’t coming out right. I’m so lost. My greens are blue.
Sorry! Was this your exact printer and ink? You may need another ICC profile.
Angie, could I get the ICC profile from you? I am using the same ink, paper and an Epson EcoTank ET-2800.
Just sign up in the box and it will be sent to you.
I have a Epson 2803 could I get the ICC profile? I’m using hippo ink and a sub paper
I just got the Epson ET-15000 and will use Hiipoo Sublimation ink with A-Sub paper. Can I use this ICC profile
Feel free to try it. I know others have used it and liked it.
where is the link to the ICC profile
Sign up in the box in the post and it will be sent to your email.