12 Replies Latest reply on Mar 25, 2016 4:51 AM by rob day

    Color profile used to print the Color Bars Marks

    kousa Level 1

      Hello,

       

      I am in the process of trying to print some commercial flyers for my small photography business. I want to print the documents on my Canon i-SENSYS MF8580Cdw. It is a basic RGB laser printer which I ask a third-party company to build a custom ICC profile for. The custom ICC profile is a RGB one not a CMYK.

       

      I did two test prints form InDesign CC 2015.3 by selecting 'Let InDesign Determine the Colors' for 'Color Handling' in the 'Color Management' area of the print pop-up window:

      1. By using my custom ICC Profile
      2. By using the standard sRGB IEC61966-2.1

       

      Obviously, the results were different and the colors more accurate with my custom ICC profile. However, I noticed that the Color Bars printed in the margin were exactly the same on both prints so I suppose that InDesign does not take into account the selected 'Printer Profile' to print the color bars. Is that supposed to be the normal behavior of InDesign? Why?

       

      At one moment, I though my printer was able to understand CMYK color because, on top of the being the same on both prints, the CMY colors of the color bars also look pretty much accurate. Unfortunately, after scanning the color bars, I noticed that the CMY patches were not composed of only the pure colors that they were supposed to represent. Indeed, I am able to see a few Yellow dots in the Cyan patch.

      So, if my printer was able to understand CMYK, it may have explained why the color bars looked the same on both prints if InDesign was sending CMYK data for the color bars. But it does not seem to be the case and that confirms my printer is definitely a RGB printer. So, why is InDesign not taking into account my desired 'Printer Profile' to print the color bars?

        • 1. Re: Color profile used to print the Color Bars Marks
          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          The color bars have no profile assigned they are always DeviceCMYK. So even if you export to a CMYK destination that's different than the document's CMYK profile (where you would expect CMYK colors to be converted), Acrobat shows the color bars as Device CMYK:

           

          cbs.png

          I want to print the documents on my Canon i-SENSYS MF8580Cdw.

           

          Composite printers with "RGB" drivers never leave CMYK values unchanged and they are incapable of printing DeviceCMYK. You can do it with certain third party RIPs. I use iProof System's PowerRip with my large format Epson.

           

          Composite printers don't have changes in ink density the way an offset press would, so I don't see how they would be useful in that sense. If you wanted to use them to see how the printer is converting the CMYK primary colors you would have to make your own.

          • 2. Re: Color profile used to print the Color Bars Marks
            Danny Whitehead. Level 4

            I've just done a couple of tests making Postscript file and converting to a couple of very different RGB profiles. It looks to me like if 'Composite RGB' is selected for Colour in the Output pane of the Print dialogue (I think is it has to be, in order to convert to your RGB printer profile), then everything, including the colour bars, gets converted to the selected printer profile.

             

            But in your case, what purpose do those colour bars serve?

            • 3. Re: Color profile used to print the Color Bars Marks
              kousa Level 1

              rob day wrote:

               

              The color bars have no profile assigned they are always DeviceCMYK.

              Ok, that makes sense now. But why is InDesign doing that? This may be obvious for everyone but I am just entering the world of InDesign and Digital Print.

              Composite printers with "RGB" drivers never leave CMYK values unchanged and they are incapable of printing DeviceCMYK. You can do it with certain third party RIPs. I use iProof System's PowerRip with my large format Epson.

              Yes, that is what I thought. Thanks for clarifying. However, what do mean by composite printer?

              Composite printers don't have changes in ink density the way an offset press would, so I don't see how they would be useful in that sense. If you wanted to use them to see how the printer is converting the CMYK primary colors you would have to make your own.

              Sorry, I don't get what you mean here. I would have to make my own what?

              • 4. Re: Color profile used to print the Color Bars Marks
                kousa Level 1

                Danny Whitehead. wrote:

                 

                I've just done a couple of tests making Postscript file and converting to a couple of very different RGB profiles. It looks to me like if 'Composite RGB' is selected for Colour in the Output pane of the Print dialogue (I think is it has to be, in order to convert to your RGB printer profile), then everything, including the colour bars, gets converted to the selected printer profile.

                Yes, 'Compiste RGB' is selected in both the 'Output' and 'Color Management' panes. That contradicts what Rob said about DeviceCMYK for the Color Bars, right? I having the same result as Rob by inspecting a PDF export with Acrobat: it is indicated DeviceCMYK.

                 

                When I try to print to a Postscript file, there is no choice but 'Composite CMYK' in the 'Output' pane.

                 

                But in your case, what purpose do those colour bars serve?

                For the sake of understanding what my printer was doing.

                • 5. Re: Color profile used to print the Color Bars Marks
                  Danny Whitehead. Level 4

                  It looks like Rob was referring to exported PDFs, rather than printing. When I print to a Postscript file, converting to a particular RGB profile, and Distil that, everything is tagged with that RGB profile.

                   

                  To get the 'Composite RGB' option when printing to Postscript, you need to have a PPD selected.There's no option when it's set to Device Independent. Still, it's a moot point for you you actually want to do.

                   

                  Try your initial test again, but instead of comparing your actual printer profile with the sRGB profile, try a more radically different profile. I think you'll find that the colour bars are actually being converted to the selected profile.

                  • 6. Re: Color profile used to print the Color Bars Marks
                    rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Yes, 'Compiste RGB' is selected in both the 'Output' and 'Color Management' panes. That contradicts what Rob said about DeviceCMYK for the Color Bars, right?

                    Danny is saving a postscript file, I was exporting the PDF. With export the color bars remain unchanged as DeviceCMYK even with an RGB destination.

                     

                    Ok, that makes sense now. But why is InDesign doing that? This may be obvious for everyone but I am just entering the world of InDesign and Digital Print.

                     

                    The typical use of color bars is to check ink density on an offset press. For example the appearance of 100% cyan might change depending on the density or amount of cyan ink being run on press and affect the overall color. For the color bars to be meaningful they have to output unchanged—the 100% cyan patch always separates as 100%.

                    However, what do mean by composite printer?

                    A printer that prints the color in one pass as opposed to an offset press where the plates are separate.

                     

                    When the destination driver is RGB it doesn't make much sense to use CMYK color unless you are trying to use the printer to predict or proof CMYK as it will print on press. Usually keeping all of the color in one source editing space like AbobeRGB will make managing the color easier.

                    • 7. Re: Color profile used to print the Color Bars Marks
                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      For the sake of understanding what my printer was doing.

                      You might be better of with a target print like an IT8 saved with your source RGB profile making sure the gray bars are perfectly neutral. DeviceCMYK would only be useful as an offset press target.

                      • 8. Re: Color profile used to print the Color Bars Marks
                        kousa Level 1

                        Danny Whitehead. wrote:

                         

                        Try your initial test again, but instead of comparing your actual printer profile with the sRGB profile, try a more radically different profile. I think you'll find that the colour bars are actually being converted to the selected profile.

                        I did new tests where the document itself was composed of patches of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. I used sRGB, ProPhotoRGB and my custom profile. The content is radically different for the different prints but the color bars are the same.

                        • 9. Re: Color profile used to print the Color Bars Marks
                          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          When I print to a Postscript file, converting to a particular RGB profile, and Distil that, everything is tagged with that RGB profile.

                          Danny, I tried printing a PS file to RGB and when I distill and open it in Acrobat the color bars have indeed been converted, but the conversion is still to DeviceCMYK. The objects on the page are tagged RGB, but the color bars are not. It seems like in that case the color bars would have no value at all.

                           

                          This is what I get in Object Inspector. The 50% K patch reads as 5|3|0|46 !:

                           

                           

                          cbs2.png

                          • 10. Re: Color profile used to print the Color Bars Marks
                            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Here's an iT8 with AdobeRGB assigned where the grays are perfect neutrals:

                             

                            http://www.zenodesign.com/forum/IT8.zip

                            • 11. Re: Color profile used to print the Color Bars Marks
                              kousa Level 1

                              Thank you Rob. Unfortunately, I cannot print it from Photoshop because Photoshop does not let me choose any RGB ICC profile other than the ones delivered with the printer (I opened an thread few month ago about that Photoshop CC 2015 does not show my custom printer profiles in print module).

                              • 12. Re: Color profile used to print the Color Bars Marks
                                rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                Place it in ID And print from there. If you save it with no profile the InDesign document's assigned RGB profile will be used as the source RGB profile-- I saved it with AdobeRGB.