7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 12, 2008 12:38 PM by (Todd_Shirley)

    matching Trumatch color on Epson 1280

      I am working with CS2 Illustrator and InDesign. I create illustration using CMYK color by percentages. On my monitor the color looks close both in Illustrator and InDesign. The problem comes when I print to my Epson 1280. I cannot match the swatches. I've tried various color settings in InDesign and Illustrator.

      Currently I have InDesign Color Settings:AdobeRGB, US sheetfeed coated v2, RGB preserve embedded profiles and CMYK preserve number (ignor linked profile)

      I've tried printing out in both proof and RGB mode and with various epson settings. I also make sure the printer Color mangament is off.

      Any ideas of how to match the CMYK swatches? Is it possible on an Epson 1280? What is would the best settings be for the Illustrator file to bring CMYK across clean?

      Thanks
        • 1. Re: matching Trumatch color on Epson 1280
          (Marco_Ugolini) Level 1
          When you send a file to print using color management, there must always be a conversion taking place between a *source* and a *target* color space.

          You say that you do not honor the "linked", aka "embedded" profile for your CMYK files and use "preserve numbers (ignore linked profiles)" instead as your color management policy for CMYK. In that case, by default, the application automatically assigns as source the CMYK profile specified in the Color Settings.

          So, perhaps your Color Settings in Illustrator and InDesign are specifying two different CMYK color profiles as default working spaces. That would explain why you are obtaining different-looking results.

          Also, both the rendering intent and the choice of Black Point Compensation must be the same between the two applications, if you want the results to match.
          • 2. Re: matching Trumatch color on Epson 1280
            Level 1
            > I create illustration using CMYK color by percentages.

            For printing to what press? Coated, uncoated, newsprint? What conditions? What do you do when you want to send a particular illustration to both a glossy magazine and a newspaper?
            When you send a given CMYK build to six different print houses, you will get six different colors. Choosing color by building CMYK percentages is an exercise in frustration that will inevitably involve twisting the color on press to get what you want.

            > ...CMYK preserve number (ignor linked profile)

            Why? As Marco has pointed out, when you choose to preserve CMYK numbers, you are assigning the CMYK working space to the file which has a very small chance of actually matching the characteristics of the press space the job will be printed on. If it does match, it's dumb luck. In the 21st century, we can do better than dumb luck.

            Currently, much of the CMYK print business is a free-for-all with artists, designers and printers doing whatever they want, agreeing on nothing, all being motivated by myth, out-dated tradition and outright bad information.

            However, there are some printers (and artists) who have embraced a true color-managed workflow with amazing results. Like Barack says, change is coming. The dinosaurs are fading.

            Are you open to a different way of working to get the color you want?
            • 3. Re: matching Trumatch color on Epson 1280
              (Marco_Ugolini) Level 1
              > Like Barack says, change is coming.

              I didn't know that Barack was a color management dude... :-)
              • 4. Re: matching Trumatch color on Epson 1280
                Level 1
                > I didn't know that Barack was a color management dude...

                Yup. Post-partisan. Just like what needs to happen in the color reproduction community. Get beyond the "us vs. them" mentality.
                • 5. Re: matching Trumatch color on Epson 1280
                  Level 1
                  Hey Peter

                  So you have an actual Trumatch Swatch book that you are getting your CMYK percentages from? And when you say "On my monitor the color looks close both in Illustrator and InDesign", you mean that they look close to the swatches in the book, right? So what you are actually trying to do is get your Epson to print colors the same way they were printed in the swatch book.

                  As Marco said, you need both a *source* and a *target* color space. In this case, your source is the printing condition (profile) of the swatch book and your target is the printing condition (profile) of your Epson 1280. So you need a couple profiles in order to make color management work.

                  For the swatch book, maybe it says something about how it was printed? Probably the closest that ships with Adobe products is U.S. Sheetfed Coated v2, so you are good to go on that one. The fact that they appear close on screen means that profile is probably acceptable. More challenging is finding a profile for your printer/paper combo. Epson does have some pre-made profiles, but I don't know if they have one for your particular setup. Check their website. Theoretically you could make your own, except the hardware and software cost are pretty high. Maybe some got installed when you installed your printer driver?

                  When printing out of InDesign, under color management, you want to "Let InDesign Determine Colors" and then you need to select a printer profile that best matches your actual setup. If you don't have anything that is even close to your printer/paper combo, it probably won't work. If you do have some Epson profiles, try different ones to see if any get you close. Nothing will get you as close as having a custom profile, but as I said, that is costly.

                  If you can't get the profile route to work, another option would be to turn color management off in the Adobe products and try using the printers color controls. Make a page of a bunch of different swatches you are trying to match, then print it and try tweaking settings in the Epson color options. Depending on how close you need to get, this route can take a lot of time and use a lot of ink and paper, and you still might not get acceptable results.

                  Good Luck
                  -Todd Shirley
                  • 6. Re: matching Trumatch color on Epson 1280
                    Level 1
                    Thanks for all the replies (Personally, I can do without the politics).

                    Todd your right I'm using the US sheetfeed coated v2 profile and matching against a coated Trumatch Swatch Book. My monitor is well calibrated so the colors are close for "soft proofing". I have come into the ballpark using one of the Epson printer profiles but really would like to get a closer match. As you suggest it lies with a printer profile.

                    Marco also makes a good point about having the InDesign and Illustrator CMYK profiles match.

                    All that said, here is summary question about work flow if anyone cares to comment.

                    I am using these settings in both InDesign and Illustrator: CMYK Document Color Mode , AdobeRGB, US sheetfeed coated v2, RGB preserve embedded profiles and CMYK preserve number (ignor linked profile); Conversion Options: Adobe (ACE), Intent Relative colormetric, Black Point compensation on.

                    Are these settings the right ones to preserve the CMYK values through the process?
                    From what I've read in the Adobe Help file the CMYK preserve number (ignor linked profile) setting is to be used for a safe CMYK workflow.

                    Thanks again
                    Peter
                    • 7. Re: matching Trumatch color on Epson 1280
                      Level 1
                      Hi Peter

                      Actually, if you want to use color management in InDesign, you DON'T want to preserve CMYK numbers. If you are bringing elements in from Illustrator that are tagged with the US sheetfed coated v2 profile, you want honor that profile (preserve embedded profile). Of course, since your CMYK working space in InDesign is the same, it doesn't really matter, but when you hit print, you DON'T want InDesign to send out the same CMYK numbers that came in. You want InDesign to reinterpret those numbers so that they will appear visually the same when they come out of the printer.

                      All that being said, if you are printing directly to the printer (through the printer driver), then InDesign probably only lets you send RGB anyway, because inkjets expect RGB data, not CMYK. So no matter what, you really can't preserve the CMYK values to the printer. It all comes down to having a good printer profile. InDesign is going to convert everything to RGB anyway, so hopefully the profile can tell it what RGB values will produce visual results that match the US sheetfed coated v2 print condition.

                      The settings you list above should work, as long as when you hit print you let InDesign determine colors and you have a good printer profile to go to. Also, Absolute Colorimetric intent might get you closer.

                      -Todd Shirley