6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 24, 2013 9:46 PM by SasquatchPatch

    Matching Output of two different brand printers - Color Management Puzzle

    gevork

      Hello Everyone,

       

      I wanted to ask a question about matching print output from two different brand production printers. I essentually want to make sure both are producing the same output color in real life (to within a good match).

       

      I want to accept files from customers, and print them on iether machine, and know the output will be the same, so that they would not say "why is this logo red different"..

       

      I have about 1000 hex / rgb color values i mail to my customer (a printed color chart), to help them choose the colors they want on their artwork. The issue is both charts when printed on the different printers are different, how can i match them?

       

       

      I'm guessing i have to make an icc, but;

       

      1. What software do you advise i use to make this icc, and what is the technique called so i can research more.

      2. Do i measure the swathches of the 1000 hex colors of the original print and create a profile for the new printer?

      3. Could i match the existing colors of the older printer, YET at the same time build a profile that takes advantage of the better gamut of the newer machine (it has a better inkset).

      4. Is matching the colors of the old printer, to the new one, going to mess around with the ICC profile as to make pictures appear "weird"?

       

       

      I have purchased a second hand Eye one color spectrophotometer (if that helps me). I use a RIP program (wasatch).

       

      Any advice or pointers would be most appreciated!

       

      Thank you in advance,

       

      G

        • 1. Re: Matching Output of two different brand printers - Color Management Puzzle
          John Danek Level 4

          I used Monaco Proof along with an xRite photospectrometer to build .icc profile to be used in Wasatch 5 RIP for an HP Designjet5500.  To whole purpose of the calibration process is to establish a cnsistent RIP + PRINT workflow.  This should be done for both printers.  Each printer will have it's own .icc custom profile per each media used.  So, in short, you can expect consistent color between printers if you calibrate them. 

          • 2. Re: Matching Output of two different brand printers - Color Management Puzzle
            gevork Level 1

            Hi John,

             

            Thank you for your response, what you are saying is if i build a custom ICC profile for both printers, linearize them etc.. the output should be the same?

             

            Here's the catch, my original printer, that i am trying to match has no icc profile when I've been printing the past couple of years (its only been linearized). This seemed to work well for simple graphics that i do, and gave me more control over color.

             

            Is there still a way to match the original printers output of specific rgb values even though it didnt / doesnt have an icc?

             

            I also want to avoid sending out new color charts to all my customers, and keep the consistency.

             

            Thanks in advance,

             

            G

            • 3. Re: Matching Output of two different brand printers - Color Management Puzzle
              thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              gevork wrote:

               

              what you are saying is if i build a custom ICC profile for both printers, linearize them etc.. the output should be the same?

              Not by only doing that! You have to build a good profile for both. Then you have to find out which has the wider gamut. You'll make it simulate the smaller gamut printer (you can't do the opposite). You'll need to convert to the 1st printer's output color space, THEN convert to the 2nd printer's color space using the Absolute Colorimetric intent. This is called cross rendering (make my printer match that printer). You'll have to trim off any non printable areas since you'll be simulating the paper white. Even then, a perfect match probably isn't in the cards. You'll get close. Here's where a good profile tuning software (few and far between) could be used to edit the 2nd profile such the 2nd print better matches the first.

              • 4. Re: Matching Output of two different brand printers - Color Management Puzzle
                gevork Level 1

                Hi Andrew,

                 

                Thanks for putting me in the right direction.

                 

                1. What profile tuning / creation software do you suggest?

                 

                2. Would what you suggested involve scanning (with the spectrophotometer) the printed RGB values of the old printers color chart and telling the new printer -- i want you to make hex "000000" output the same / similar to the actual swatch i just scanned with the spectrophotometer? (repeated for the 1000 or so colors that i offer on my old color chart)

                 

                 

                Regards,

                 

                G

                • 5. Re: Matching Output of two different brand printers - Color Management Puzzle
                  thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  gevork wrote:

                   

                  1. What profile tuning / creation software do you suggest?

                   

                  2. Would what you suggested involve scanning (with the spectrophotometer) the printed RGB values of the old printers color chart and telling the new printer -- i want you to make hex "000000" output the same / similar to the actual swatch i just scanned with the spectrophotometer? (repeated for the 1000 or so colors that i offer on my old color chart)

                   

                  There's not much out there these days. The old ProfileMaker Pro had a module but it was about as intuitive as doing brain surgery with a blut piece of wood. Profile tuning is an exercise in spending time and money making prints too. But depending on how close you need a match, it's often necessary to nail some specific colors.

                   

                  Yes, you need to scan the RGB targets for each printer and build a profile for each. Not measuring something then trying to get a numeric match. Two profiles are needed just to start the cross rendering process.

                  • 6. Re: Matching Output of two different brand printers - Color Management Puzzle
                    SasquatchPatch Level 2

                    Gevork - I think the replies you've been getting are probably well intentioned, but overly confusing. Since you're obviously not used to getting really high end color at this point, anything you do along the lines of making custom profiles for both printers will be a drastic improvement over what you're used to. If it were me, I would get the profiling application and hardware and start out with just making a good profile for each printer and not worry about any confusing cross rendering. Yeah, you've got two different printers, but I'll bet you'll be surprised at how close they are when using a good profile for each one.

                     

                    Try that first before getting into any profile editing gymnastics. Profile editing is not for sissies. The old Gretag ProfileMaker Edit module is simply the best and most intuitive product out there. Once you get your head around it, it's really a breeze to use, and runs circles around anything else I've seen.

                     

                    The one thing that is going to make your quest more difficult, but not impossible, is that you're most likely going to have to be makng CMYK profiles or even CMYK+ profiles, and if you have no experience in CMYK, that will add to your learning curve. I haven't seen a Wasatch RIP in a long time, but maybe it's possible to use it as an RGB RIP like ImagePrint and just use much easier to make and use RGB profiles. I really don't know the answer to that question, but it's one that you will have to research on your own and a good thing to be aware of.