Piezography and AltProcess (PiezoDN) Universal ICC Profiles

Many people email me privately and publicly about how Piezography “does not match my screen” and then I have to patiently walk them through the linear workflow and how to soft-proof one’s print to make the screen match the high-fidelity linear “scientific” printing process of Piezography. After some effort and work, everyone is satisfied and they see the wisdom and the reason for such highly sensitive shadow rendering and controls even though it means a bit more imaging work.

BUT, there is always the alternative approach and this is to print with an ICC in combo with your normal Piezography curves that everyone is used to.

The normal approach is the print from Print Tool set to “No Color Management”. This will result in linear tonality that will most-likely print flatter than one’s contrasty screen unless you soft-proof properly in Photoshop. If you want the quick and easy way (you may lose a tiny bit of shadow detail) and want to print from photoshop or lightroom and you DON’T want to soft-proof and fiddle with your images you can use these ICC profiles below. After installing them into >Library>ColorSync>Profiles you can use “Application Manages Color” at print-time and select the profile. These profiles will work either with rendering intent set to “perceptual” or “relative colorimetric with bpc”. Every other part of the workflow is the same, choose the same curve(s), etc. If you are printing an image that you’ve already worked on for the “linear” approach it won’t work. You’ll want to go back and turn soft-proofing off and just make the image look good onscreen. These ICCs will attempt to match your screen contrast in the print instead of the opposite (piezography way) where you soft-proof your screen to match the print’s linear environment.

Use with all HighGloss papers (Epson Ultra Premium Glossy, etc):
Piezography-HighGloss.icc.zip (1.9 MB)

Use with all SemiGloss papers (Hahnemuhle Pearl, etc:
Piezography-LusterGloss.icc.zip (1.9 MB)

Use when printing to Coated Matte papers (Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, etc):
Piezography-Matte-Coated.icc.zip (1.9 MB)

Use when printing to Uncoated Matte papers (awagami Bizan, etc):
Piezography-Matte-Uncoated.icc.zip (1.9 MB)

Use when printing with Platinum/Palladium/Kallitype/Cyanotype/etc:
PiezoDN-PtPd.icc.zip (1.9 MB)

Use when printing with Gravure:
PiezoDN-Gravure.icc.zip (1.9 MB)

Use when printing with Silver:
PiezoDN-Silver.icc.zip (1.9 MB)

A big note: These ICCs do not (in and of themselves) make your printing magically better. These profiles assume that you have a calibrated and linearized workflow already in place. They are simply there to tweak the output contrast of your print to match the higher contrast of your monitor (just like normal ICCs do with color inkjet printing). These profiles are distributed AS IS, no warranty, etc. At some point I will put them in the Piezography Community Edition.

Another Note: These ICCs were created with a workflow and method that is new and not the same as the QTR-Create-ICC method. They work a bit better IMO and (importantly) allow for Relative Colorimetric BPC printing which the QTR-ICC profiles do not.

One last note: Use these profiles with Grayscale Images!

best and cheers,


Hi Walker, one thing I’ve been suggesting for years is that you guys record your relevant classes. Not everyone can make the trek to the USA - and selling tuition videos could be very helpful. In addition, you used to produce ‘what’s new’ email every now and again, which was very useful to help us dedicated Piezography users keep up to date with your latest developments, curves, etc. Would be great to start receiving that again!

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I’m not at all surprised that this happens. It’s been an issue on and off for all my time with Piezo, and that’s around a decade. IMHO it wasn’t properly documented, and I never understood why. It’s why I wrote that blog post of mine about whether or not to print with an ICC and how to soft-proof if you don’t, although that was partly prompted by Jon’s earlier insistence that the linear workflow was the only way. Times have partly changed.

So I commend you for making this post and posting these ICCs. Given the importance of issue I suggest that it needs more prominence than a forum post. It deserves a post on piezography dot com and some prominence in the manual. I did quickly glance through the latest version of the manual a few days ago and didn’t notice it, but the manual is long and I find that its complex structure makes it hard to browse quickly, and so perhaps it is in there. Hence why I said “prominence”.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that the Pro Tools enable you to create your own variant of these ICCs (apparently - I’ve not seen the tools yet). I assume that these ICCs came from that source, and so are quite different (i.e. less shadow-crushing) that the tools that Roy’s QTR-Create-ICC produces.

Dear @jerrab. We have been talking about this a lot ourselves but these workshops (truly _work_shops) are so individualized and free flowing that documenting the process would take more work than running the workshop. These things get updated workflow-wise every couple of years too. When people take workshops here they realize this . . . .

but yeah, we are working on some more generalized videos about workflow and imaging that we’ll be able to put up as a soft online-only type thing . . .


@Brian_S Yes. Linear print workflow has always been a default since Piezography went to QTR (not so before) but not exactly as well documented as it should have been as the switch to QTR was also at the same time as StudioPrint (the professional side) and studioprint was non-linear (it was Gray Gamma in the images and DotGain20 on the output calibration). I think a lot of this was simply missed a while back. I have a very long essay on linear vs icc to go up on the blog and then manual etc. It’s something we’ve formalized in our workshops (and service offerings at CEP) since last year so it’s ready to publish and stand behind properly.


If Iremember correctly, this approach only works with a MAC, not a PC. (I hope I am wrong!)

yes, mac only unless you manually convert to the profile in photoshop before printing with the PC software.


Thank for these profiles. I did place them in color sync>profiles as instructed. but when I tried to use them in Print tool, the only one seen was for Piezo DN icc. Is there something else I need to do?

@Jeannie_Hutchins - It’s Mac-only if you don’t want to save a copy of the image tagged with the ICC specifically for printing. Personally I wouldn’t call that Mac-only, just a different workflow. You can use an ICC with Piezo on Windows. I do it from time to time, depending on the image.

BTW, these two approaches don’t give identical results. Fairly close but not identical, as I discovered. Print Tool and PhotoShop have difference CM engines.

They are higher up on the list!


I just was working on a “challenging” image that I couldn’t get right in either a black and white print or a digital negative (to say nothing about the final cyanotype). The problem areas showed up clearly on screen once I installed and applied the correct icc. profiles to a proof copy is Photoshop. Guess I can hold off on getting a MAC for a little while longer. So, thanks! Your post was perfectly timed.



This may be a silly question, but I want to make sure I’m not going to waste precious ink and Pictorico: if I’m using Print Tool to print (not Photoshop or Lightroom), I would pick the PiezoDN-PtPd icc under “Print Color Management” in QTR, using “Print-Tool Managed”?

The manual says to use “Perceptual”, but it appears that doesn’t matter anymore with these new curves?

Finally, this icc replaces the old “PiezoDN_PtPd_Default” icc in Print Color Management in PrintTool?



Yeah. Either will work with the new ICCs.

It will not. The new one will not be in the bottom list but somewhere in the middle of the middle (color) list.


Got it, thanks.