View Full Version : Printed Colors Way Off

12 December 2005, 04:09 PM
I'm sure this subject has been discussed several times.
I want to know how I can print the colors i see on my monitor ( 21" Sony Trinitron Multiscan E540) It appears some of the browns print as a darkish red and that's not acceptable. If there is a way that I could get pretty close to the colors I view on screen that would be great. Any info on this matter is greatly appreciated, any links pertaining to this subject are welcomed as well.


12 December 2005, 04:54 PM
The colours you see on screen will not look the same when printed. This is because colour on screen is in RGB format, but when you print the image, it will be in CMYK format.
To match your colours on screen, I suggest converting the image to CMYK format, and then modifying the image to the colour you want.
Also, your colours may be out of the printing gamut.

12 December 2005, 05:30 PM
You should read about soft proofing ( It was designed for this exact situation.

12 December 2005, 05:39 PM
If you haven't already, you should calibrate your monitor and save a colour profile. This can be done with adobe gamma or, better still, a calibration tool. I've just bought a spyder2 and was amazed how different my monitor looked after calibration. They're not particularly cheap but you do get much more accurate colours which has saved me a few headaches already... so i think it's a decent investment.

And my prints (from my Canon printer) now look incredibly close to what i see on screen.

12 December 2005, 05:48 PM
I've just bought a spyder2 and was amazed how different my monitor looked after calibration.

I've been considering buying myself a spyder for a while - no matter what calibration tool I use (free) I seem to mess up my monitor beyond belief. It is a lot of money for something like that though...I wonder if there are services that can come out and calibrate your monitor properly...*dithers*

12 December 2005, 08:07 PM
there are, but the cost isn't that small.

buying a puck means you can do your monitor every few months and several monitors...+ perhaps you could do other peoples ;)

12 December 2005, 08:47 PM
I see a spyder2 in my near future. I've done several projects so far and some have gone to print that when they were published I didn't think they colors were spot on with what I had drawn...Thanks for the insight guys

12 December 2005, 12:15 PM
you need a complete profiles workflow...your monitor needs to be profiled and so does your output device specifically for the conditions and paper and press its printed on...and the press has to adhere to those specifics.

12 December 2005, 06:55 AM
If you are printing for CMYK output, you're best bet is to pick up some Pantone reference guides. You can get spot color guides for special corporate colors or other colors that CMYK can't reproduce and/ you can get 4 color process guides. The fan type of books work well if you're after a certain color, happen to find a color you like or can hold the swatch up next to a real color you're after. Alternatively, there are process books that are even more detailed and may help you if you're trying to find the right mix of colors. For example: Process Color Manual, 24,000 CMYK Combinations for Design, Prepress, and Printing

All of these types of guides give you the CMYK numbers so you can plug them into Photoshop. While your monitor won't match, and your personal printer probably won't either, you're print house should be pretty close and when they provide you with a proof, you can look for these problems then. If a color is very important to you and it isn't a spot color, you can also do a press check at the print house (close by?) and they can adjust the density of the ink (offset press) to possibly get a closer match.

12 December 2005, 10:36 AM
all inks print differently on different paper stocks and under different conditions...thats why profiles are essential for colour accurate workflows. Picking target cymk values out and getting the printer to hold wont do you any favours i'm afraid anymore.

12 December 2005, 08:25 PM
I think using profiles is a good idea, but in the end you still will not end up with exactly what you imagined you would. Hell, even the proofs that are provided by the printer will not necessarily match the press in every aspect. I just did a brochure not to long ago and the whites in some renderings turned out perfectly on the proof but at press check they had a little too much magenta and yellow in them. Even after about a half hour of dinking with the ink densities, it still wasn't perfect.

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