ICC Profile & Printing Advice Needed

Sorry for the lengthy post everyone.
Thanks for reading.
You guys give the best advice online.

Well…In my graphic design program I’m working in a CMYK color space.
I’ll be outsourcing all the printing to Printify or Gelato when I’m done
with my work. But…before I send them my finished art files I wanted
to do some “test prints” here at home on my old Dell Photo 926 inkjet.
Test for color accuracy and luminance. See if I’m “somewhat” in the ballpark or not.
I’ll be getting my monitor color calibrated soon too.

Well anyways……at print, i’ll be setting up my graphic design program to handle all color management and bypass the printer driver. At this point, my graphic design program asks for ……….a “printer profile”. I know that this has to do with choosing a specific paper, ink and printer combination for increased color and luminance accuracy. ICC profiles.

From here i have 2 questions.

1. If I can’t get the ICC profiles being used by Printify or Gelato’s print services……should I just set the “printer profile” option in my graphic design program to the CMYK color space that I designed in?
It gives me the option to do that. Then print on my desired paper weight from there?

2. If I can get the ICC profiles……and I print using their profiles
(and their profiles are probably gonna be for Canon or Epson with pigment based ink) how good
of an idea will i still be getting as far as color accuracy and luminance on my dye based Dell?

What proofing method and guidelines would you recommend with the printer that i have on hand?

Thanks Everybody!

Whatever you get on your inkjet, even if you managed to wangle the ICC profiles from the printers (doubtful short of job options for a PDF) you are never going to get an accurate output from your deskjet. You might come fairly close if you can find a profile for your printer on the paper you are putting in it. I use an Epson Artisan 1400 at work profiling to Epson matched photo papers and OEM inks for checking CMYK stuff being done on bigger industrial machines. While it is close enough to know I have the levels right, color accuracy compared to the actual production machine is not all that close. I doubt that little Epson would even know what to do with a Mimaki ICC profile for self adhesive vinyl (that’s what I print a lot of.) For color accuracy check, I always get a proof from the machine doing the printing on the material I am printing on and with the lam of choice applied.

The two online printers you mentioned…
They are both print on demand services that print on any number of objects, not likely with either a Canon or an Epson, unless you are talking about just photo prints and not mugs and t-shirts. These are not likely to hand you an ICC profile. Likely proprietary.
Here is the file prep for uploading a PDF for Gelato. At least they take PDFS.

Printify is scarier. They only take jpg, png or SVG files.

And this part about submitting CMYK files…YIKES!

Needless to say, whatever service you are using, be sure you follow their upload specs.

If you are setting up an account with such a place to create an online store, contact them via email, phone, or chat, and ask them what they offer for proofing on whatever product you might be creating. I can’t say I have any experience with any of this type of thing, though I have used online gang-printers for the occasional banner or throw-away party thing with no budget. My little Epson gives me a pretty good idea what that will look like.

Do calibrate your Display and verify if your color management is configured properly to generate less trouble from the start and to verify use a printed testform with a provided original file like this but suitable to your region because different color profiles are common in different regions

I use a pretty accurate workflow including an old calibrated digital print production machine but when I am not sure and accuracy is important and I can not work with my local printing partner where I am present at the press-on I buy a certified proof or the smallest possible number of prints from the online printer. But if the outcome is unsatisfying you have to do it again - so display calibration.