Printer not printing exact colour quality

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by John444, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. John444 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    #1
    Hey, when I make graphics and pictures on my computer, they look great! But when I print them they loose a lot of quality and the colours are duller. I have a hd printer that prints photographs perfectly.

    So I guess my question is Why is my printer not printing my digitally made pictures with the same hd quality as they appear on my screen?
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Are you serious? A few thiings:
    1. The flat panel in a 27" iMac has a resolution of 109 dpi. Your printer resolution is at least three times that or better.
    2. Just exactly which printer do you have anyway?
    3. You have absolutely no expectation that your printer and monitor will display the same colors without work on your part. Professional graphic artists calibrate their scanners, digital cameras, monitors, and printers to ensure color fidelity. Apple's ColorSync technology facilitates color fidelity. With properly calibrated ColorSync profiles for each device in your workflow, your printed pictures will look fine.
     
  3. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #3
    Definitely.

    Calibrate. Calibrate. Calibrate.

    And then when you're done calibrating, calibrate again.


    And certainly the quality of your printer can have a lot to do with this. Knowing what type of "HD Printer" you have would help.


    Also - what color space are you creating your art in? It really all looks the same onscreen - but if you're printing in CMYK, you have a smaller gamut of colors available in that space than RGB (thus bright colors can look dull if converted improperly).
     
  4. John444 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    #4
    canon MP620, it prints photographs with great quality but images that I make or posters I make do not print with the same colour quality.... they look duller

    ----------

    almost all my graphics are made in Adobe Photoshop CS5

    ----------

    but sometimes I make posters in Pages (part of iWork), and the quality prints dull.
     
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    In Post No. 2, I told you that you must calibrate your workflow. In Post No. 3, btbrossard reiterated this point. To repeat, calibrate everything. This includes your printer(s). If you print on multiple media, then you must calibrate each medium on each printer. Store the calibration of each medium as a separate ColorSync profile. It looks dull? Well, that's because you haven't calibrated. So calibrate!
     
  6. kevinfulton.ca macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #6
    If you are working in PS then chances are you're working in RGB (red, green, blue) mode are the colors you monitor uses to display an image. You should be working in CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) which are the inks your printer uses. Right away you'll notice your colors shift, especially the blues, to duller shades. This will give you a more accurate representation of the final product. Go to image>mode>CMYK. This will get you a lot closer, but you'll still need to calibrate your gear, like others have mentioned.
     
  7. kevinfulton.ca macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #7
    I should also add that switching modes will also mean your blacks may also be washed out. If you want deep blacks then adjust your color sliders to either c=30 m=30 y=30 k=100 or try c=50 m=40 y=40 k=100. Which one works best depends on your printer. Good luck!
     
  8. bocomo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #8
    This is false

    The printer does the conversion to CMYK

    The problem is likely a color management one (the OP says the dull images come from Pages)
     
  9. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    It is poor craftsman who blames his tools. The OP has been told what he needs to do to solve his problem. That fact that he is using Pages notwithstanding.
     
  10. kevinfulton.ca macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #10
    You're correct that the printer converts it to CMYK (of course it does...that's how it prints), but if the file is RGB to begin with the colors WILL SHIFT during the file conversion. Prepping files for production for over 10 years has taught me that ;). There are some printers that recognize the sRGB codec and compensate for it, but since that's only used for photos (hence why his photos look fine) it does not apply to the other artwork generated. Hope that helps!
     
  11. John444 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    #11
    Thanks for the replies everyone, your help has made a huge difference. Since I now know my printer is printing in CYMK, and my screen is displaying in RGB, I can now switch the mode of the program I am making things on to CYMK to make the colours the way I want them. Thanks
     
  12. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a

    DesignerOnMac

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #12
    Another huge item that will affect your output on your printer will be the quality of paper your using. If your using a matt paper then your colors will indeed be dull. I find that a semi gloss paper or glossy paper prints best if doing CMYK.

    Just a thought.
     

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