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The seemingly never ending struggle for colour management and consistency!

Mar 2, 2012 2:57 AM

Im in need of help getting my colour management correct and consistent when printing jobs out on my printer.

 

For a long time now i have battled with various methods, settings, and profiles to try and achieve colour that is consistent throught my designs and prints, and im very near my boiling point with my latest job.

 

I know that colour on the screen and colour when printed are never gonna pefectly match but it would be nice for me to be able to get close as at the moment i am miles away!

 

My specs are:

 

     - G5 imac 3 ghz intel core 2 duo, running OS 10.6.8

  

     - Adobe Creative Suite 4 (Web & Graphics Package)

  

     - Oki C9600 Printer

 

 

I design/layout all my jobs in indesign using linked 300dpi CMYK images (usually tiff or psd) manipulated in photoshop when needed assigned with a profile named Oki C9600 1200 dpi (as far as i know this is the correct profile for my printer).

 

My indesign files themselves are also assigned the same Oki profile.

 

I then export my files to pdf using a setting virtually identical to pdf/x1a except that my colour is converted to a the destination profile, which again is the oki profile.

 

I then print out my jobs using Acrobat 9.0, as i find this is easier for me when backing up jobs, ie i print one side of the job and then backup the reverse side using touch up objects tools allowing me to nudge the job as my printer always prints out with a 2mm alignment diffrence from front to back.

 

My overall problem is that when jobs i have created or jobs supplied to me, get printed, my colours dont match anywhere near what i see on screen.

 

My colour settings are synchronised in the creative suite using bridge but yet, i find images even look different between programs,

for example i have a job currently that has been supplied to me as pdf i needed to adjust the colour so i used acrobats touch up object feature to open the image in photoshop and the photo looks diffrent in photoshop than when it does in acrobat and ultimately prints out completely diffrent too!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Please please please can some one unravel this mess of mine and help me out!!

 

All the best

 

Andy Barrington

www.andybarrington.com

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 3, 2012 8:56 AM   in reply to Andrew Barrington

    Andrew,

     

    here are my condensed experiences with OKI C9600, concerning

    Color Management:

    http://www.fho-emden.de/~hoffmann/oki-ps-28082005.pdf

     

    Hopefully this will help a little, though not new (2005).

     

    Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 13, 2012 9:25 AM   in reply to Andrew Barrington

    I don't know anything about OKI C9600, but try this:

    www.gballard.net/psd/cmstheory.html

     

    If the source document is not displaying properly,

    either the wrong source profile is being used,

    or the source document is not being Converted to the Monitor Profile

     

    If the source document is not printing properly,

    either the wrong source profile is being used,

    or the source document is not being Converted to the Printer Profile

     

    OR, the monitor or printer profile is off,

    OR your settings (your work flow) are broken...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 13, 2012 9:35 AM   in reply to gator soup

    Andy uses canned OKI profiles. That's not a good idea.

     

    My mentioned doc contains the whole work flow for this printer

    printing PDFs. Sorry, very complex.

     

    Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 14, 2012 6:48 PM   in reply to Andrew Barrington

    You don't mention how you're calibrating your monitor, if at all... IMO without a hardware monitor calibrator you will never be able to effectively softproof on-screen. (And even then you can never trust your monitor 100%, but calibrating you rmonitor properly will get you so much closer than an uncalibrated one.)

     

    Also, if you have properly synchronized your color management settings across the entire Creative Suite then your colors should look the same from app to app.

     

    Finally, canned profiles will only get you so far. They cannot take into consideration the specific paper you are printing on, and if you are using aftermarket inks rather than the ones Oki use to build the profile then all bets are off. In a fully color-managed workflow you would actually print test sheets from your printer on your stock, and then use ProfileMaker or Monaco Profiler or a similar app to build a custom profile for your output device. (I know this is probably beyond what you're prepared to dive into, but I just wanted to mention it as it really is the ideal way to ensure color accuracy throughout your entire workflow.)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2012 7:20 PM   in reply to Andrew Barrington

    do you use a reference image to visually evaluate it in Photoshop and visually compare it with print to see how close they match

     

    if so can you post a small copy of it

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 24, 2012 8:24 AM   in reply to Andrew Barrington

    It seems to me that both Apple and Adobe are shy about ruffling print manufacturers' feathers.
    I think Windows may be worse, but both the Mac OS and InDesign leave too much control to the printer's driver.
    Once the monitor and printer/paper are calibrated, it should be easy for InDesign who suposedly has a RIP inside to take control and build custom print settings.

    As things are today, you have to check all the settings manually, even if it's just making sure that you're sending the file to the correct printer, paper size, orientation, desired resolution and so on.

     

    Some settings are "sticky" and others will fool you with their ambiguity and vagueness.

     

    At times I get better results printing from… Safari : )

    It's a shame.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 29, 2012 1:11 AM   in reply to Andrew Barrington

    Andy,

     

    I'd geta a ColorMunki (about 270-300 UK pounds) and I'd make a thorough use of it. It's the low end of real colour management.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 5, 2012 7:25 AM   in reply to Andrew Barrington

    Calibrating your monitor is key, and a ColorMunki is a wonderful little tool that has helped me immensely over time.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 6, 2012 6:30 PM   in reply to LTsFolly

    LTsFolly wrote:

     

    …both Apple and Adobe are shy about ruffling print manufacturers' feathers…

     

    If the process has to be handled by the printer driver, there's seems to be very little Apple, Adobe and even Microsoft can do.  Ruffling the feathers of Epson, Canon and/or HP is as productive as trying to ruffle the feathers of the giant gold Buddha.

     
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