Digital File Preparation
Take a digital photo of your artwork with a gray scale at your camera's highest quality setting or a digital file sized to 300ppi at desired physical size and saved as a .psd, .tif, .png, or .dng file. Use .jpg only if nothing else is available and re-save the image as few times as possible.
Be aware that the file compression used in JPEG format throws away a small amount of "unnecessary" information each time a file is saved. This will begin to show up in larger prints as digital noise (grain or snow) particularly in shadow areas.
The gray scale can be placed within a plain background area where we can clone it out or placed next to the art work where it can be cropped out. The gray scale is used to determine the neutral color of an image therefor it is necessary that it is a true photographers gray scale and not one printed with your printer.
An alternative would be to create three rectangles along one side of your image (increase your canvas size to fit). Fill one with RGB 255, 255,255 from the "Color Picker". Fill the second rectangle with RGB 128,128,128. Fill the third rectangle with RGB 0,0,0. Flatten the image.
For color accuracy the monitor you use for preparing your file must be calibrated to ICC (International Color Consortium) standards.
Hardware calibration is the most accurate and can be done with a colorimeter or spectrophotometer.
If these are not available, software calibration can be done. On Macintosh computers Display Calibrator Assistant is built into the monitor control panel in System Preferences.
Windows 7 & above have Display Color Calibration. (or try "QuickGamma" by Eberhard Werle).
On Mac OS and Microsoft Windows systems, if you are using an Adobe product such as Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, Adobe Gamma may also have been installed in your Control Panels.
If your image editing software allows you to simulate print output or "softproof" using ICC profiles, here are the profiles we use for our most common print media. Download the files and install in your profile library: Mac OSX: ../library/colorsync/profiles/recommended/; Windows: right-click on the profile and choose "Install Profile".
LexJet Archival Matte (this profile is used for PhotoTex adhesive backed fabric and Tyvek); Hahnemuhle Photo Rag smooth paper; Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Bright White; Hahnemuhle William Turner watercolor paper (cold press texture); Simply Elegant Matte Canvas; AlphaRag White (used for note cards); Polyester Fabric; Ilford Gloss photo paper; Blockout Vinyl Scrim Banner; Self Adhesive Polypropylene Film.