5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 17, 2008 1:23 AM by (Johann_M._Ginther)

    Printing pantone colors corretly on an inkjet printer

      Hi, hope this is not redundant, in case I missed an already existing thread, thank you for naming it:

      What the right way to print Pantone colors in order to softproof them?

      I have to softproof a QXPress file with pantone solid coated colors in it. I export an eps which I open in photoshop and print on an EPSON 9800. Color management of photoshop / printer should be OK. I realize that this leads to strong shifts in hues. For soft proofing it would be OK for me to correct these shifts manually in PS, preferably by reassigning the pantone colors in PS directly.

      Basically: if I load a pantone color in photoshop via the color tool, my workspace is ARGB and the printer is profiled, - am I to expect the Pantone colors to print correctly on the EPSON? Or am I missing something?

      Thanks for help
      Johann
        • 1. Re: Printing pantone colors corretly on an inkjet printer
          Johann,

          spot colors should be handled by Lab.

          This doc is entirely programmed by Lab:
          http://www.fho-emden.de/~hoffmann/swatch16032005.pdf
          AdobeRGB is not large enough, see p.16.

          a) Open any swatch page by PhS in Lab mode.
          Apply Proof Colors, using your inkjet profile, and
          apply Gamut Warning. This will show you which
          individual colors are out of gamut.

          b) Print one of these pages with CMS on. Now it depends
          on the quality of the RIP: the Lab numbers should be
          used directly as inputs of the profile connection
          space, which is Lab. I did NOT print by PhS but by
          a RIP.

          The results here, using good equipment, are these:
          not bad by appearance, a desaster by measured values.
          The printer calibration was fine - FOGRA compliant.

          The RIP doesn't offer a rendering intent for Lab input
          explicitly.

          Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann
          • 2. Re: Printing pantone colors corretly on an inkjet printer
            Level 1
            Hello Gernot,

            how do you use this swatch file (in simple terms for a dummy, if possible! :-) )? Can I open it in LAB and then print it out to get a swatch book on my own?

            And how's about using hues from the pantone library in PS and printing them on an inkjet printer (EPSON 9800)? Would you suggest creating a file in LAB, then chose colors and then enter into color managed printing to get correct colors? Or did I miss something and your swatch file helps me with this problem? Then I didn't get it, sorry.

            Regards
            Johann
            • 3. Re: Printing pantone colors corretly on an inkjet printer
              Johann,

              the swatches in this file
              - are programmed by Lab
              - contain Lab-, sRGB- and aRGB-numbers
              If numbers are zero or 255 then they are
              (almost always) clipped and the color is
              out of gamut for the specific RGB space
              - can be printed by PhS as well. Just open
              in PhS in mode Lab and print with color
              management using your inkjet profile.
              Of course you can make an image in PhS in
              Lab mode, draw some rectangles with Lab
              colors according to the available spots
              in PhS. Doing this for many colors is much
              work. My doc contains already 1137 spots
              with numbers.

              My swatch file doesn't help you to print
              colors correctly which are out of gamut for
              the inkjet. But it helps systematically to
              check the appearance of spots as printed by
              inkjet.
              Now I hope that your XPress file really needs
              spots. Very often ignorant people are using
              spots as 'design-colors', whereas the real
              print is done by process inks.

              Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann
              • 4. Re: Printing pantone colors corretly on an inkjet printer
                (Marco_Ugolini) Level 1
                > What the right way to print Pantone colors in order to softproof them?

                First of all, "soft-proofing" means to preview on your *monitor* what the image will look like once it's printed on paper.

                I have a feeling that what you intend to do is *inkjet proofing* instead, i.e., cross-rendering the final output (offset, etc.) using you inkjet plotter.

                Now, if your target Pantone color is within the gamut of your chosen paper/Epson 9800 combination, then you can soft-proof it with fairly good precision.

                >I have to softproof a QXPress file with pantone solid coated colors in it. I export an eps which I open in photoshop and print on an EPSON 9800.

                Only if Quark XPress lets you define the Pantone colors in Lab. If not, you are out of luck.

                Are these Pantone colors flat and solid, or tints, and mixed with other colors?

                >Color management of photoshop / printer should be OK.

                "Should be OK? What do you mean? That's unclear.

                >I realize that this leads to strong shifts in hues.

                Why do you say this? Not necessarily, if done correctly.

                >Basically: if I load a pantone color in photoshop via the color tool, my workspace is ARGB and the printer is profiled, - am I to expect the Pantone colors to print correctly on the EPSON? Or am I missing something?

                Working in AdobeRGB may clip the gamut of your plotter, because some of the colors that it's capable of printing may *exceed* the gamut of AdobeRGB. Better to work in Lab, then convert directly to your printer profile from there.
                • 5. Re: Printing pantone colors corretly on an inkjet printer
                  Level 1
                  Thank you Gernot and Marco for replying so extensively.

                  Gernot, the use of the swatches is much clearer now.

                  Marco, you're right, I meant inkjet-proofing.
                  Quark ist offering the following modes of EPS-Export: RGB, CMYK, unchanged, and DeviceN. I have tried, but unchanged and DeviceN don't give LAB values.
                  Regarding shifts: If not necessarily then I just didn't find the right way to save color appearance while going from Quark to PS.
                  Color Management OK means the printer is profiled via ProfileMaker (I'm in a photolab, so that's pretty OK)

                  I decided to rebuild my sleeve in Photoshop as long as I have to proof colors, and so I hope I will get close to what the pantone swatch book shows to me.

                  Thanks again