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Color matching to HP color laserjet

Apr 19, 2012 8:45 AM

Tags: #cs5 #mac #printing #indesign_cs5

Is there any hope to make this happen? I've tried every combination of print settings but nothing comes close to the proper colors.

 

Here is my setup:

OS 10.6.8 (also gave it a try on 10.7.3 with same results)

latest HP drivers from Apple

Indesign CS5

custom cmyk profile that works great with our commercial printers

cmyk print project

 

HP CP5225dn color laserjet

 

Before we were printing to an expensive Minolta color copier/all-in-one with an optional print server attached that produced relatively good color results. The new HP output is very poor, the blacks are way too heavy and losing detail in anything even a little dark, dark reds are blown out to neon red, browns are amped up to neon red and yellow, subtle purples are neon cyan.

 

I've tried the suggestions from HP to let the printer handle color managment in the printer options setup, and every combination of setting in the Indesign print settings. They all print the exact same results, with the only variation being extremely dark or just very dark.

 
Replies
  • lilia@
    196 posts
    Jan 31, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 19, 2012 10:52 AM   in reply to Evil Lair

    You will most likely find that when printing to a desktop printer it is best to print in RGB... change your workspace to RGB or make sure it uses the RGB profile.

    Test it by creating a document with 4 squares coloured in CMYK... then compare the print to the actually colours rather than comparing them to your screen.

     
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    Apr 19, 2012 12:38 PM   in reply to Evil Lair

    How does the PDF comes out for the same document....is there color difference in it as well?

     

    If in PDF the color are proper then how is the output when you print the PDF?

     
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    Apr 19, 2012 1:23 PM   in reply to Evil Lair

    So when you make PDF form Indesign , does the color difference show up on-screen as well.(when you open PDF in any PDF reader)

     

    Can you show the screen shot of the Indesign doc and Print out?

     
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    Apr 19, 2012 4:38 PM   in reply to Evil Lair

    Evil Lair wrote:

     

    The pdf matches what shows in Indesign if I include the color profile,

    Is this profile supposed to match the laserjet or the press?

     
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    Apr 20, 2012 9:21 AM   in reply to Evil Lair

    CMYK profiles are device-dependent, so the numbers you are feeding the laserjet are probably inappropriate for the device. Does HP provide any profiles? They won't be as good as custom profiles, but probably better than what you are using. And how are you calibrating the monitors? If you've calibrated to a device-dependent space that won't help, either.

     
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    Apr 21, 2012 5:38 PM   in reply to Evil Lair

    What happens if you go to View > Proof Setup and select your HP Profile, then View > Proof Colors?

     
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    Apr 23, 2012 9:32 AM   in reply to Evil Lair

    It's not unusual for a monitor to show dark areas brighter than the print (I had a terrible time with this last summer on a project). You are, after all, looking at transmitted light vs. reflected light.

     
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    Apr 23, 2012 11:54 AM   in reply to Evil Lair

    That certainly looks like a profile mismatch.

     

    Are you using a Postscript or PCL driver? And you might want to try the drivers from HERE: http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.j sp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=18972&prodSeriesId=3974355&prodNameId=3974 362&swEnvOID=219&swLang=8&mode=2&taskId=135&swItem=lj-78442-1

     
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    Apr 23, 2012 3:16 PM   in reply to Evil Lair

    I've been using a Xerox Phaser 7800 for a few months now and I love it.

     
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    Apr 24, 2012 8:35 AM   in reply to Evil Lair

    One of the nice things about Xerox is the sales rep can send in your test file and they'll print it without attempting any kind of color management and send you the results. I started my shopping a week or so before the 7800 was availble, so I got prints first from the 7500 and they were very good (and the price was reduced to clear them out). When I got the 7800 prints of the same files a week later I was completely blown away. What had looked great the week before was only barely acceptable when compared side-by-side with the new prints.

     

    This does not mean the 7500 is not a good printer -- just that the 7800 is amazing. I think it cost me about $800 more (and I bought the PhaserMatch calibration package which you can get with either model) than I would have spent on the 7500, and it will definitely cost more for supplies (It has separate drum units for each color), but it was my gift to myself and I have no regrets.

     
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    May 7, 2012 5:56 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Peter this hits on an issue I have. My publishing company produces high quality color books. We scan in old comic strips and color correct them. I need a good printer to proof our pages before we send the files to the printer. We had an old HP 3800 and liked it. So, I recently got the 5225 and it sucks. So I thought I'd go up to the 5525, which has calibration software, but I'm gun shy about HP now. You say the Xerox 7800 is good. I've narrowed down my options to the HP 5525 or the Xerox 7800. Both have calibration, duplexing and tabloid size. Is the 7800 the way to go? I also think I'll get killed on toner. Can you tell me which is better?

     
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    May 8, 2012 3:51 AM   in reply to mr. pep

    I cannot tell you which is better. I've had no experience with the HP. I will say this though, the Xerox uses genuine Adobe Postscript and the HP uses emulation, and I'll personally never buy a ps printer that uses emeulation ever again after having had some issues in the past. Your mileage may vary.

     

    I love my 7800, but the best advice I can offer is to prepare a file and make sample prints on both machines.

     
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    May 11, 2012 3:44 PM   in reply to Evil Lair

    You need to have the printer profiled (and recalibrated or re-profiled at regular intervals), or figure out the settings you use to get the color right, then save them as a preset.

     
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    May 11, 2012 6:25 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Thank you Peter and Evil Lair for your advice. I asked both HP and Xerox to run test prints for me. I'm still waiting to hear back from HP. They acted like they'd never heard of such a request, but would try. Xerox had a local office near Seattle and a rep not only agreed to run 3 pdf's for me, but he dropped them off at my office. They were spot on, whereas the HP I initially had, the 5225, was terrible. I hoped the HP 5525 would be better, if only because it had calibration capabilities, and the 5225 did not. Well, we went and got the Xerox 7800 DN. We may spend more on toner over time, but we get the results we wanted. Not only will it be great right out of the box, but I can adjust the individual ink densities if I need to.

     

    I find it hard to believe my needs were so unusual. And buying a printer without first seeing a print is like buying a car without driving it. I even tried to get some manufacturers to give me names of happy customers, but they all balked, which seems counter-productive to me.

     

    I hope my experience will help others out there.

     
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