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Print Output - Accuracy of Colors

Explorer ,
Dec 05, 2021 Dec 05, 2021

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I have serious trouble getting colors to print accurately on my Xerox C405 laser printer.  I have been trying to print from Photoshop, InDesign, or Acrobat.  There have been some other issues as well. 

 

In working with a tech, he provided a postscript file of my document generated from the PDF doc I sent.  Not only did the artifacts (gray shading) from the border of a .png file disappear from the gradient color block, but the color was finally correct!  So he determined it was driver or application issues and not the printer since printing directly to the printer in PS3 came out correctly.  

 

I try everything and can't for the life of me figure out which drivers and settings will produce an accurate output.  It is not a calibration issue either, as often read need to get a Spyder and calibrate the monitor to solve color issues.  I just printed something where I know the object in a photo and it looks exactly as it should on the screen.  But the object prints a darkish blue instead of lavendar.  Blue-green has also been coming out very blue.  I think this particular change with blues started when changed to the Xerox_Versalink_C405_optimized.icm driver.  Colors were no longer highly saturated, or very magenta on this driver, thought there was relief, but now there is a blue issue.  Yellow seems to be a bit strong also, distorting the color, but not as much as before (glaring).  

 

So I wanted to try the .ps output again.  I have printed to .ps before but now it is missing from the drop-down menu and I don't know how to reinstall it.  (I do now find an option in the Acrobat PDF file but it I'm sure it used to be on the printer option output drop-down.  (This printing is a PS document.)  

 

PDF does not solve all problems and automatically come out right like a Postscript file (read this as the solution).  And you have to understand a lot of drivers and settings - which I have yet to find enough information detailing what they are and how they interact, after much searching over the past couple years.  

 

Can anyone shed some light on this so I can get to the bottom of things.  Seems to be driver and settings issues/conflicts.  

 

Thanks! 

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LEGEND ,
Dec 05, 2021 Dec 05, 2021

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Start with ONE application (I'd suggest Photoshop). Application (Photoshop) manages color, using the correct ICC output profile for that printer (do you have one?).

You should always test output using good color reference images designed for that task. The color reference images RGB values are such they are set for output and are editing and display agnostic. Test the output this way and examine for the same color issues so we know it's not your image specific issues causing the problems:

http://www.digitaldog.net/files/2014PrinterTestFileFlat.tif.zip

Then, IF the output appears OK (there are lots of memory colors), we can go into the display. Make this simple if possible; deal with one application and one reference image with proper color management before moving to matching to a display/soft proofing.

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Community Expert ,
Dec 05, 2021 Dec 05, 2021

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Have you tried creating a PDF from the InDesign Acrobat presets selecting say PDF/X-4 and printing from that?

There are colour management experts on the InDesign forum so it might be worth posting there.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 06, 2021 Dec 06, 2021

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To print to a PS file use the PS driver for the ACTUAL printer. Select Print To File in Advanced. Do not use any other driver, they are not generic.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 06, 2021 Dec 06, 2021

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PNG files are not normally color managed files so I would suspect that that PNG file did not include a profile for your color managed workflow.  The PDF would if it was created to PDF-X4 or X1A standards.  Was the printer you sent the file too Color Managed? Meaning was there an ICC profile for your device on your computer?

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Community Expert ,
Dec 06, 2021 Dec 06, 2021

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An accurate printer / media ICC profile would likely help. I say likely because Laser / toner printers are notorious for variable output. One feature is that as they heat up the colour changes. So do you print until it seems to be up to speed and then profile the first chart the 50th or the 100th? 

ICC profiles cannot usefully characterise variable print machinery.

Make it easy - print from Photoshop [use Photoshop manages color and select the right ICC propfile for the printer and loaded media].

Maybe go here and get the testimage most relevant to your work, i.e. choose RGB or CMYK. When printed, as it has memory colours, it should "look right". 

https://www.colourmanagement.net/index.php/downloads_listing/

You may even like to look at this http://www.colourmanagement.net/products/icc-profile-verification-kit

 

I hope this helps
neil barstow, colourmanagement net :: adobe forum volunteer
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management
[please only use the blue reply button at the top of the page, this maintains the original thread title and chronological order of posts]

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