8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 26, 2009 8:45 AM by kne22

    illustrator print color management question

    xscotta

      When I print from Photoshop I can choose the printer to control colors, but within Illustrator that selection is not available to me, though it is grayed out, and the option seems to be for a printer postscript function.

       

      http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3512/3862743974_6b71d5b897_o.png

       

      http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2168/3861962133_1788ab8145_o.png

       

      my printer is an HP 8500, my assumption is that there should be some postscript files available for me to download, and If I put them in the correct Adobe library then they should be found by the illustrator print function and allow me to defer color management to the printer? but still, that differs from the requirements of Photoshop.

       

      It seems inconsistent that I can defer to the printer from Photoshop but not Illustrator.

       

      The reason I want to do this is that prints from Photoshop match my monitor, but from Illustrator they are way off.

       

      I have color-synced the suite from Bridge, so each app should match.

       

      I'm using Adobe(1998) for my color workspace, and CMYK for document color mode.

       

      I guess an alternative way of looking at this is, how do you color match prnting between photoshop and illustrator when they currently produce different results?

       

      Any help with either question would be appreciated.

       

      Thanks.

        • 1. Re: illustrator print color management question
          xscotta Level 1

          Sorry, I forgot to state I am using CS4.

          • 2. Re: illustrator print color management question
            Harron K. Appleman Level 4
            I'm using Adobe(1998) for my color workspace, and CMYK for document color mode.

            Adobe RGB (1998) is an RGB color space and is not applicable for CMYK documents. Since the HP 8500 is a non-PostScript printer, you should be using RGB document color mode. This alone will get you a long way toward color consistency. I assume you are staying in RGB mode in Photoshop. You should do the same in Illustrator.

             

            ...my assumption is that there should be some postscript files available for me to download...

            Some inkjet printers (including HP's) have a PostScript RIP option -- an entirely different driver that enables the use of the printer with CMYK output. This is usually an optional purchase or bundled additional software in the case of high-end printers intended for use in prepress proofing applications. It is highly unlikely that such an option is available for an all-in-one device, such as the HP 8500. PostScript is an entirely different printing language, and you don't get there simply by downloading a few files.

             

            I can choose the printer to control colors, but within Illustrator that selection is not available to me, though it is grayed out, and the option seems to be for a printer postscript function.

            Yep, and that's a source of a lot of confusion. I'm still at AI 12 (CS2), and the options are likely different in AI 14, but here's the idea. If you want to use printer color management, go ahead and select 'Let Illustrator determine colors' but select your workspace profile under 'Printer Profile.' This will, in effect, make Illustrator send unadulterated RGB data to your printer, allowing printer CM to do its thing properly.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: illustrator print color management question
              xscotta Level 1

              I am using CMYK in both applications as the "document color mode", I assumed this would be better for printing since the printer is a CMYK printer, so there would be no conversion needed which would be the case if I was working in an RGB document color mode?

               

              I did try working in RGB in both apps but the result was the same, photoshop is still closer to the monitor than illustrator.

               

              I will try your final suggestion of looking into control within the "printer profile"

               

              Thanks.

              • 4. Re: illustrator print color management question
                Harron K. Appleman Level 4
                I assumed this would be better for printing since the printer is a CMYK printer...

                This is a common misconception. The use of CMY-based inks notwithstanding, inkjet printers are RGB devices insofar as their native drivers expect RGB data. You can prove this to yourself by viewing a copy of one of your printer's ICC profiles in a text editor. Within the first few bytes, you should see the text string 'prtrRGB' which indicates the file is an RGB printer profile. (I suggest viewing a copy so that you do not accidently edit your profile.)

                 

                 

                Moreover, RGB workspaces, such as sRGB and Adobe RGB, are better matches for the actual color gamut of most inkjet printers than press-based CMYK spaces. Hence, if your intent is to make the best use of available colors on your printer, you should be working in RGB mode.

                 

                 

                If you are working in CMYK mode -- and the only reason for that would be that your work is destined for the printing press -- you must output to a PostScript printer in order to view accurate color.

                 

                • 5. Re: illustrator print color management question
                  xscotta Level 1

                  ok, I will set the document color mode to RGB in both Apps, and start the comparison again from there.

                   

                  ...the workspace is Adobe(1998) in all the apps, synchronised from Bridge.

                   

                  Thanks for the advise/info.

                  • 6. Re: illustrator print color management question
                    Printer_Rick Level 4

                    Harron,

                     

                    When printing from AI, wouldn't you select the appropriate printer profile so the output would convert to that? Even if the document is Adobe RGB, I would think an RGB - RGB conversion is in order. You would select the profile according to the paper loaded in the HP. Unless I'm missing something...

                     

                    xscotta,

                     

                    Harron is correct, RGB is appropriate for most ink jet printers. True they are not RGB but the ink is quite a bit different from commercial offset. Oftentimes they have a light cyan, light magenta, and one or two extra black inks. The gamut of these devices can be HUGE. The final conversion from RGB to the true printer color space is part of the internal workings of the printer itself.

                     

                    When viewing RGB images in Photoshop and Illustrator, do they look the same on-screen?

                     

                    One final note - are you trying to produce a proof to simulate a commercial print condition? Illustrator does not have the same capabilities as Photoshop or InDesign in this regard. These applications can perform two conversions on output - first to the proof (commercial print CMYK) profile, then to the printer (HP RGB) profile. But Illustrator to my knowledge cannot do this (there is no proof profile option).

                    • 7. Re: illustrator print color management question
                      Harron K. Appleman Level 4
                      When printing from AI, wouldn't you select the appropriate printer profile so the output would convert to that?

                      You would if you wanted Illustrator to handle color management. In that case, you would choose 'no color management' within the print driver settings. If you reread the posts, you'll see that the OP wants to use printer color management -- that is, allow the print driver to make the conversion from the workspace to the output space. In that case, you want to output RGB values unaltered by the application.

                       

                      In Photoshop, if you choose 'Printer Manages Color,' you'll see that the Printer Profile field grays out completely -- which makes complete sense. Illustrator -- not even at AI 14, apparently -- lacks an equivalent setting if you're printing to a non-PostScript device. To get it to output unaltered RGB numbers (to let the printer manage color), therefore, you select your workspace as the output profile. This prevents Illustrator from making any space conversion, which is what you want in this case.

                       

                      Here's the bottom line: You cannot allow both the output application (Photoshop, Illustrator...) and the output device to manage color. If you do that, you can forget about color accuracy. You must choose one or the other.

                      • 8. Re: illustrator print color management question
                        kne22

                        We too have the same problem - need to print from a customers PDF but it has no profile so the LFprinter is converting the file too light.  Put into Illustrator the spot colour is correct so change to RGB but then cannot use  "printer to manage colour" - If we allow Illustrator to convert it still comes out too light!  Only if we use Photoshop can we get the correct spot colour print out.  But that means converting 30 files and risking bitmap printouts.

                         

                        Surely by now Adobe has caught on to Inkjet printing and something other than CMYK or Pantone spot colour.