ColorValet Pro - FAQ

What is it?

ColorValet Pro is an enhancement of our custom profiling service that we've been providing for almost 10 years! The biggest change in the service is that, instead of creating one profile for your printer, ColorValet Pro provides unlimited profiles for your printer for up to 18 months for one flat rate.

How can you do this?

Our ColorValet service has evolved over the years and we've continuously streamlined and automated it as we went along. Now we have our Maxwell system to provide the automation and muscle required to take color management to a whole new level.

How does it work?

After signing up for the ColorValet Pro service, you download our free ColorShuttle software and install it on your computer. ColorShuttle is Maxwell's client application and performs a number of functions for Maxwell users. In this case, you'll use ColorShuttle to print profiling targets on your printer and download and install the resulting ICC profiles.

How do I get started?

  1. Sign up for the ColorValet service.
  2. Download and install the free ColorShuttle software. It will be available soon (early April, all things going well) for Mac OS X and Windows XP (we're testing Vista).
  3. Run ColorShuttle and select "ColorValet Pro" to "Activate" (connect) your printer to Maxwell.
  4. Any time you want a profile for your inkjet papers, open ColorShuttle, select your printer, click "Create New ICC Profile" and follow the directions to print a profiling target.
  5. Send in your printed targets and we'll scan them on our pro-grade, automated measurement equipment. Each printed target is bar coded with a unique serial number, allowing us to provide you with rapid turnaround times.
  6. The resulting color measurements are immediately uploaded into Maxwell and your ICC profile is created. Maxwell's notifier function will alert you the moment your new profiles are ready. You can download them from the Maxwell website or have ColorShuttle sync them to your hard disk where Photoshop and other desktop applications can use them instantly.

Do I need to buy anything other than my normal printer consumables?

No! You send your prints to us and we worry about the expensive measurement equipment and software. In fact, the spectrophotometers we use are much higher quality than any hand-held readers that most people might buy (and are used by most profiling services). ColorValet Pro is all about high-quality professional-level equipment and software.

How many papers can I profile?

As many as you want. Just print the profiling target from the ColorShuttle software onto your activated printer and we'll generate a custom profile for that paper.

What kinds of printers does ColorValet Pro apply to?

RGB-controlled desktop printers at this time. So if you are printing to the printer using the manufacturer's printer driver, then it probably works fine. We are working on offering the service for CMYK and RIP-controlled printers soon.

What if I'm in a hurry?

Check Maxwell to see if a profile already exists for your printer and paper type. ColorValet Pros have access to all other users' measurements and profiles for the same printer. By anonymously sharing your color measurements with other ColorValet Pros you create a pool of color information that grows as more people use it and submit their measurements. Find a profile in the pool and you can sync it to your system and get to work immediately. At any time you can fine-tune your color with measurements from your own printer and get a customized profile. It's the best of both worlds.

Are the profiles I find in Maxwell's ColorValet Pro pool generic profiles?

Not exactly. They are profiles for another subscriber's printer. Typically they will work fine for your printer as well. If they are not quite up to your standards OR your printer is producing color differently than theirs, print your own target for a custom profile. Over time we will be able to average measurements together and create better "generic" profiles. The more measurements the better.

Can I create profiles for printers other than the one I bonded to the ColorValet Pro service?

No, ColorValet Pro is for a single particular printer. If you want to add another printer to the ColorValet Pro service, you can do so at the reduced rate of $149 for 18 months.

Can I use the profiles on different computers?

Yes, if you print to the printer from other computers, load the profiles onto those computers and print away. That doesn't mean you can share your profiles for use with other printers though.

Do the profiles expire when the ColorValet Pro service expires?

No, they are normal (actually, exceptional) ICC profiles that will work as long as you want to use them. That would just be mean.

Can I share the profiles with other people?

No, ColorValet Pro profiles are licensed for your personal use on your printer only. Sharing profiles will get you in trouble (and probably cause the cancellation of your ColorValet Pro account). If people want to share profiles, get them to sign up for the ColorValet Pro service themselves. The more people contributing measurements into the system the better!

How does the Track function work?

The ColorValet Pro service includes one Maxwell Track to keep an eye on your printer's color output over time. Choose one of your papers to use in your Track and all measurements submitted on that paper will automatically be added to your Track. You can even set up a Maxwell Notifier to send you an email whenever your printer's color shifts beyond an acceptable level.

What if I want to use Tracks to monitor other devices like displays and other printers?

No problem. Additional Maxwell Tracks are available singly or in bundles and can be added to your account at any time (an additional fee applies). Maxwell's DisplayWatch service is like ColorValet Pro for your monitor. ColorShuttle bonds your display to Maxwell and all calibration information is uploaded into Maxwell for tracking and trending.

Is ColorValet Pro good for scanning and verifying proofs we print?

No, for that you should use a conventional Maxwell Track and the ColorShuttle software. ColorValet Pro is intended for managing the color for a single printer by generating ICC profiles on multiple papers.

I already have ColorValet profiles built by you for my printer. Are they part of the new ColorValet Pro service?

No, but we are offering a deal for our previous ColorValet customers to upgrade to ColorValet Pro for only $169.

Does ColorValet Pro replace your original ColorValet service? How do they compare?

No, our ColorValet Print service will continue unchanged for now. ColorValet is a one-by-one profiling service which has full phone support and a 100% money-back guarantee. "Deep Color" measurements (which use special filters for bumpy and light-scattering media) and alternate target shapes are supported. It also includes different profile types such as press profiles.

Does ColorValet Pro carry the same 100% guarantee as the ColorValet service?

No, ColorValet Pro is a different kind of service at a different price point and we are unable to offer the same guarantee. There are limited refunds available depending on how far through the service term you are. Please see the service agreement for full details.

What type of technical support is provided with ColorValet Pro?

Email and ColorForums.com technical support are included in the base ColorValet Pro price. We regret that we are unable to provide telephone support for ColorValet Pro unless other provisions are made.

I've heard that you can measure specialty media such as translucent materials, canvas, tile and so forth. Are these included in ColorValet Pro?

No. We are able to keep the price of ColorValet so low by using automated measurement equipment. Materials that are translucent or otherwise unusual may not measure well or may be rejected by the reader. Contact us about our measurement services for such materials. For a reasonable measurement fee we can get your color looking great on unusual media!