7 Replies Latest reply: Sep 6, 2012 8:07 AM by thedigitaldog RSS

    process friendly pantone colours not printing accurately

    teaksato Community Member

      I'm at a complete loss. I am trying to figure out a way to have Pantone colours match as closely as possible to my Pantone book. The colours I want to match are, according to Pantone, achievable by CMYK but the colours are so off it's driving me crazy. Example: I choose Pantone Black 4U in Illustrator or InDesign. On Screen it appears quite grey. I'm not so concerned about how it appears on screen as long as it prints relatively accurately. When I print, it prints grey just like on my monitor. Is it a printer setting issue? Is it a CS preference issue? I'm at my wit's end. Someone help me please.

       

      Using CS6

      Printing off a Canon MX870

        • 1. Re: process friendly pantone colours not printing accurately
          John Danek Community Member

          What type of paper are you printing on?  That Pantone Black 4U is, in my version of Illustrator, a CMYK equivalent of 0%C, 22%M, 100%Y, 89%K, which = a warm Black.  Not even close to Gray.  That Canon is not really a proofer is it?  You've got some application color settings out-of-whack; a non-calibrated printer and monitor, no Postscript color management in place.  Sorry to say, you've got to pony-up some dough for some serious color matching hardware or settle for what you are getting now with what you have in place at the moment.  I do not mean to be a wise-***, but really man, take a look at your driver ( is it up-to-date? ) and, at a minimum, give us some application color settings and your print setup ( i.e., paper, profile ( if any ), driver settings ).

          • 2. Re: process friendly pantone colours not printing accurately
            teaksato Community Member

            John, taking a pot shot at my intellegence doesn't make me feel like I even want to accept help from you even if you have something to offer, so if you must, I'd appreciate it if you kept the comments with the unnecessary commentary to yourself even if that's what you're thinking in your head. I'm sure other would appreciate it too. I appreciate the fact that you're even taking the time to respond but the tone in which you write your response is not helpful. Also, for all you know, I'm someone who has sacrifcied and saved money for years to be able to afford the set up I currently have so maybe "ponying-up" isn't an option if it means I have to choose between that and putting a week's worth of food on the table for my family.

             

            I don't need a perfect match. I'm just trying to understand why there's such a massive variance. I expect a certain degree of variance. Every manufacturer (monitors and printers) will have their setting for what they feel is optimal. I also understand that printing on different substrates will also produce different results. Uncoated stock will produce more muted colours than coated stock etc etc. Hence Pantone produces a couple of different books depending on what you're printing on. I get that. My expectation, however, is that if a Pantone colour is supposed to be CMYK acheivable, that when I print it from even a non-calibrated monitor/printer set up that the colour I get will be somewhat close to the chip I have. In this case, it's so far off that the colour that's supposed to be Black 4 almost matches Pantone 409. That's a little too far off for what I hoped.

             

            My Canon isn't meant to be a colour proof. Just something I can show a client that's more form than colour accuracy but with SOME degree of colour accuracy.

             

            For the record, my driver is up to date, Application colour setting is CMYK not RGB, paper is just plain paper (nothing special), Colour matching is set to Colour Sync and my colour profile is set to Canon IJ Colour Printer Profile 2005. I just discovered CS6 has changed the Pantone profiles to LAB only but still doesn't explain to me how my Pantone colour, when I convert to CMYK goes from Black 4U to C-53.63 M-53.47 Y-60.61 K-26.29. According to the coated conversion chart I procured a number of years ago, Black 4C is indeed, as you said, supposed to be 0%C, 22%M, 100%Y, 89%K but when I convert in illustrator, 4C is now 59.6%C, 68.69%M, 73.91%Y, 70.8%K so perhaps this is more of an issue of the new LAB conversion settings combined with my "un-ponied up" setting that's causing the issue.

             

            If you have an unsarcastic response that could be of help I would be happy to accept any insight that might help me resolve my situation. Otherwise I can wait.

             

            Best,

             

            T

            • 3. Re: process friendly pantone colours not printing accurately
              John Danek Community Member

              OK, I apologize for my abrasiveness. 

               

              I wonder if your Adobe Bridge Color Settings may be affecting Colorsync conversions?  Try creating a Color Swatch of the )C, 22M, 100Y, and 89K percentages and print that solo, thereby over-riding whatever conversion takes place using a Spot Color swatch.  And, have you ever been able to get good color matching before ( i.e., CS4, CS5.5, etc. ) CS6?  The 59.6C, 68.69M, 73.91Y, and 70.8K is still going to print a Black, with a higher total ink ( 273 ) than the 0C, 22M, 100Y, 89K ( 211 ).  It almosts seems like a print cartridge error of some sort.  My post was an effort to help you in taking a look at your application settings and print dialog setups.  I recommend experimenting with other Print dialog setups to see if any get you closer to a match ( i.e., color match = Canon, instead of Colorsync, and / or "None".  The following are screen shots of my current non-Postscript printer Print settings and my current Illustrator Color Settings:

               

              Application Color Settings =

               

              Picture 1.png

               

              Print Dialogs =

               

              Picture 4.png

              Picture 2.png

              Picture 3.png

               

              See if you can insert the above info to see if that makes a difference.  Look at the Colorsync setup, paper, Illustrator ( or InDesign ) settings.  I get pretty good color matching using these settings.

               

              Again, I apologize for being a jerk.  I hope this helps, let me know.

              • 4. Re: process friendly pantone colours not printing accurately
                John Danek Community Member

                The big mystery here, the more I think about it, is why the color looks Gray on screen and prints Gray?  Almost as if there has been an error in the color's identity.  On my workstation, when I load the Pantone Black 4U swatch, it appears like it should...Black or off-Black.  But, not Gray.  And, it prints Black even on my non-Postscipt HP Deskjet 5850.  The only deviate is the LAB affected percentages ( see below ).

                 

                I cannot show you my file print-out, but I can tell you that my Spot swatch and the coordinating 0c, 22m, 100y,and 89k is just slightly darker than the Spot swatch ( see screen shot below ), but my print matches my screen.

                 

                Picture 1sm.png

                 

                None of the color on screen or in print appear like a Pantone 409.  Color conversion depends on the printer driver which interprets incoming data from your color settings and print dialog setups.  Some Pantone Spot colors are impossible to match using CMYK.  But, again, your on-screen representation should not be a Gray, so this may be an Operating System error or something is affecting your screen colors and your output colors.  Try attaching some screen shots of your Colorsync setup, application color settings, and your print dialogs.

                • 5. Re: process friendly pantone colours not printing accurately
                  John Danek Community Member

                  I see in a corresponding forum topic that CS6 ( and perhaps Mountain Lion ) users are having difficulties with Pantones + Series Color libraries.  The only workaround is to delete the + Series libraries and re-load the previous Swatch libraries installed before the + Series install.  The post stated the user was seeing muted color on screen and in-print.  This sounds like what you are experiencing with the Black 4U on-screen view and Gray output.

                  • 6. Re: process friendly pantone colours not printing accurately
                    teaksato Community Member

                    Thanks for the various feedback. I was able to go through some of my settings and my print out has improved. Curiously, the Printer Profile "ProPhoto RGB" seemed to produce the best result after all of the adjustments.

                     

                    This printer is newish and I haven't used it for clients before up until now as most of my work recently has been more online. I did see that issue late last night about CS6 seems to have been causing issues. I haven't gone and deleted my + series libraries just yet (I have a bit of a paranoia of completely messing things up so when I have a bit more time I'll take some time to do it).

                     

                    Thank you again for taking the time to  help me out John. I appreciate it.

                     

                    T

                    • 7. Re: process friendly pantone colours not printing accurately
                      thedigitaldog ACP/MVPs

                      teaksato wrote:

                       

                      Thanks for the various feedback. I was able to go through some of my settings and my print out has improved. Curiously, the Printer Profile "ProPhoto RGB" seemed to produce the best result after all of the adjustments.

                      ProPhoto RGB isn't a printer profile, it is a working space profile. You need to be selecting the correct output profile for the printer based on paper and so forth. That would not affect the screen preivew however which is another issue. Display properly calibrated and profiled?