PrintHuge.com uses the Epson 9900 44" Ultrachrome HDR printer. The printer is fed with Epson Ultrachrome inks, custom calibrated through a driver-bypassing RIP and then custom profiled using GretagMacbeth's ProfileMaker Pro 5 and an GretagMacbeth Eye-One Pro UVcut spectrophotometer. The UV-cut filter makes the spectrophotometer independent from software compensation when profiling papers and other substrates which may contain optical brightening agents (OBA's) in their coatings. OBA's absorb UV light and re-emit it as bright white light which help the substrate look brighter than it is. OBA's skew the results from reading targets using a non-OBA compensated profiling workflow and, when software-compensated, profiles suffer from deficiencies in blues. While the fine art substrates offered are OBA-free, some signage and shorter term substrates will contain OBA's. Profiles are then created and edited using GretagMacbeth ProfileMaker 5 which many production houses and serious digital print makers consider the most complete and capable ICC profile generating and editing software available. This RIP rasterizes Postscript vector elements and optiminally resamples raster elements so that they may be printed without jagged edges or interpolation artefacts. Custom calibration and profiling allows the printmaker to fully realize all of the potential that was hidden in a particular printer behind the standard print driver and a canned profile. Regular profiling also ensures that printer "drift" is properly managed and accounted for.
Profiles may be optimized for output which will display correctly under specific lighting conditions. If you're critical about colour you may have noticed that some of your prints from a colour printing process will have a slight green or magenta cast when moving between environments with different light sources. The software used in the profiling process allows a substrate to be optimized for standard D50 (5000K) viewing and also for a range of "real" light sources and combinations of light sources to maximize stability and predictability of print characteristics under known controlled and known lighting conditions.
If you are interested in softproofing to improve the accuracy of your edits and you are using a proofing grade display, please request a current ICC profile for the substrate you are looking to print on. If you have an ICC profile for a substrate but haven't re-requested a profile in the last month you should check to see if a new profile is available.