Archive for the ‘colour’ Category

Photo Printing in Linux

August 15, 2007

A recent article in LXer points out that printing photos in Linux is a nightmare. And while I can’t comment on most of the apps that she’s tried, I can say that I’ve been quite satisfied printing in the Gimp.

I recently bought a new Epson R380 printer. So new in fact that Feisty didn’t have support for it. It turns out that the Gutenprint project added support for this printer as of version 5.0.1. Installing these drivers was a bit of a quagmire, but I got it done. And luckily, the next release of Ubuntu (Gutsy) will support this printer out of the box.

So contrary to the LXer author’s findings, I can print photos quite happily in the Gimp. Yes, even high quality borderless ones (I’ve printed borderless 8×10’s and 4×6’s so far). Colour profiling and correction for the printer is not easy, but I have to say that with a little tweaking to lower the greens and increase the magenta levels, I’ve managed to get very nice colour prints. And besides, my dad has an older model Epson R300 that he uses with XP (and the Epson drivers) and his prints always end up magenta-heavy, so colour profiling is not something that’s really easy on any platform – it’s a feature that requires simplification everywhere – and no, getting your printed output to match your screen in Photoshop is not that easy either – definitely not easy enough.

Colour Scheme Tool – Or How Not To Make Nauseous Colour Combinations

March 7, 2007

If you’ve been reading this weblog for any length of time, you’ll certainly know that I like to pretend to be a lot of different things. Depending on factors such as my current hobbies, projects and interests (and the phase of the moon) I might pretend to be a photographer, programmer, tech pundit, writer, or any number of other things.

Lately, I’ve been running around with a beret and palette doing a bad impression of a graphic designer. Let’s be clear. I’m no graphic designer. But I do enjoy pretending to be one and sharing what I learn.

In that vein, my sense of colour coordination is not finely honed. I can draw things, but when it comes to making things look attractive with splashes of colour, I’m not your go-to guy. I need a little help.

I did a fair bit of reading about colours and web design in the days immediately prior to starting this blog (at that time I was pretending to be a web designer and HTML codemonkey). I read enough about colour theory to know I had no sense of taste when it came to combining things – I know a relatively tasteful colour combination when I see it, but for me to come up with one is quite painful.

But that little bit of research did explain that there was a method to colour-combination madness. Things like colour wheels and triad combinations told me that there actually was a science to this, and that it wasn’t all black magic.

Since racking my brain to submit some decent logos for the Open Font Library logo contest, I went in search of a free colour combination tool to help me out. I found Color Scheme Generator 2 which seems to do what I need it to do at the price I like the most ;).

So if you really are a graphic designer (or just playing one on the web like me), you might find it a useful tool if you’re all thumbs when it comes to colours.

I know there are lots of other similar tools on the web. If you’ve got a suggestion for a better one, please post it in the comments.