Printer and Monitor don’t match? Try this …

Color Wheel

One of my clients had a question that brought up a common scenario – – Your prints are lighter/darker/ warmer/cooler (pick one) than your monitor. Although one of the services I offer is the creation of custom printer profiles (ALWAYS better than “canned” profiles, and essential for critical work), perhaps the only thing that needs to be done is to properly calibrate and profile your monitor with a colorimeter such as the Gretag-Macbeth Eye-One Display 2 (my favorite)… Here’s an email from Peter Nagainis (www.panartphoto) in San Diego …Read on…

Hi John,

I’d be interested in you doing something for my DesignJet130. The prints I get from that are usually darker than what I see on the screen despite Gretag MacBeth calibration and HP’s built in calibration. Any experience with this printer?

Thanks,

Peter

And my answer…

Hi Peter…

Not much experience with this printer; However, I’m thinking it may not be the printer calibration, but the monitor profile, particularly if your color looks good in your prints, and it’s just a matter of density…

When creating a monitor profile, perhaps you are adjusting for a luminance value that is too high – – I recommend 110 lumens, 5500 kelvin, and 2.2 gamma to start – adjust as you see trends in your printing (ie, if the color is consistently warmer in your prints, go to 5000k, if your prints are consistently darker, go to 100 lumens, etc.)…

Some other thoughts – – are you letting Photoshop determine the colors or the Printer determine colors? Have you tried both ways? Is one better than the other? BTW, Soft-proofing is much easier if PS determines colors…

Let me know if re-profiling your monitor does it…I’d love to sell you a profile (Perhaps I still will, a custom profile is always better than even the best “canned” ones, even with a self-calibrating printer), but I’d start with the monitor first…

By the way, great website, Peter!! Hmmm, now if I can just sell him a printer profile ….. 🙂

Cheers,

John Watts

By the way, be sure and see Part II on this subject, as well as some good information on Color Management!

Share:

1 thought on “Printer and Monitor don’t match? Try this …

  1. I have a problem that I haven’t seen brought up. I use ACDSee to organize my photo’s and CS3 to do my editing. If I print from CS3, the result is extremely dark no matter if I use printer manages colors, PS manages, or nothing. If I save the photo in ACDSee and select print, the colors are fine. Help.
    Nora

Leave a Reply