10 Replies Latest reply: Mar 31, 2011 11:56 AM by P Spier RSS

    photos come out real dark when printed on various printers

    kellyjaye1 Community Member

      Im really unsure if this is an Indesign problem or not but most everything I do is created in InDesign along with Photoshop, Acrobat, and other Adobe products.  Im just out of ideas on what the problems could be so thought I would take a crack at Adobe being the problem?  I just dont know!

       

      When I print things out on our high end Xerox color printer, things tend to come out more on the darker side.  Its mostly noticable with photographs but it can also be seen in general solid colors also.  I generally make the printer print 85% lighter from its settings and things will usually come out acceptable.

       

      When I send files to out digital plate maker, usually as black/grayscale, the photographs will always come out real dark.  For this, I have to over compensate by editing each photo individually so they no longer look normal on my screen, but overly faded just so it will look properly on our DPM.

       

      This is something I have been dealing with for several years and though its basically a part of life now, I still cant stand it!  All drivers, patches, and firmware is updated, printer color is calibrated, even paid techs to figure it out...nothing!  For both our standard black and white printers, these files usually print out ok, all photos look just as good as they do on screen.

       

      Well we just got a new large color plotter machine for printing large banners and signs.  I dont operate it but the one who does seem to know his stuff.  He said his program will only work with EPS files.  I had created a press quality PDF from InDesign that I then converted to EPS as well as creating an EPS directly from InDesign.  All files looked nice and bright on both my screen as well as his.  On his first sample printout on the plotter, the images came out dark!!!!!  Why????  We made new files where again, I overcompensated by fading the photos out bigtime to where they look horrible on screen but printed out mostly ok on the machine.

       

      This cant be the normal way things are done, Is this an InDesign problem or what???  Any suggestions would be great because we are out of ideas!

        • 1. Re: photos come out real dark when printed on various printers
          P Spier CommunityMVP

          The very first question is "do you own a colorimeter and use it to calibrate and profile your monitors?" This sounds like a color management issue and I suspect you have your monitors turned up too bright.

          • 2. Re: photos come out real dark when printed on various printers
            kellyjaye1 Community Member

            I guess not, the only thing I do have is something that came with our Xerox, seems it was called a spectrometer or something like that.  We use it to read the color from a printout test page as well as the color on the screen.  I actually keep my monitor set to the least brightest setting but have calibrated the monitor to the printer with both of the bright and dark monitor settings.

            • 3. Re: photos come out real dark when printed on various printers
              P Spier CommunityMVP

              That's a "spectrophotometer" and will work as well as the colorimeter would. Are you actually running calibration and profiling software when you check the monitor? Have you profiled the printers -- something else you can do with the spectrophotometer -- or are you just normalizing the prints to a standard but have no output profile availble to give to ID?

              • 4. Re: photos come out real dark when printed on various printers
                kellyjaye1 Community Member

                Well the Xerox uses Firey and the color calibration the device uses is within Command Workstation which work with everything.  After the calibration, it prints its own sample photo and it always looks great.  Also when copying off the glass, it works perfectly and always has though Im sure thats a totally separate thing.  I have also saved a profile specific to my monitors make and select that when I go to print.  Things still print dark on it despite its built in samples it prints during the calibration process.

                 

                I see no way of making similar profiles or much else for the other two machines

                • 5. Re: photos come out real dark when printed on various printers
                  P Spier CommunityMVP

                  I believe Xerox ships the EyeOne spectrohotometer. The companion software for that is Eye-One Match, which gets installed on your computer. I don't know if that's included. If it is, the software will lead you through adjusting the monitor and will then record a profile and associate it with the monitor. Adobe apps will use that profile to display color on screen. Each monitor needs to be profiled -- generic profiles shipped on the install disk for the monitor are useless in a color critical workflow, they match some hypothetical average monitor, or one that was pulled off the assembly line long before yours was built, and every monitor is unique in how it displays a give set of color numbers.

                   

                  There should be some icc profiles on the support disks for the printers. These are the output profiles you need to target in ID, or you need to output as a standard RGB profile like Adobe RGB and let the RIP do the conversion internally to the Xerox color space.

                   

                  This is a pretty complex thing to explain in detail here. You should read the Color Management section of the help files, any documentation that came with the Fiery, and I highly recommend Real World Color Management by Olav Kvern and David Blatner which is easy to read without a lot of technical jargon, and clearly explains both the theory and practice of color management in the real world (though it's now a few years old).

                  • 6. Re: photos come out real dark when printed on various printers
                    kellyjaye1 Community Member

                    Thanx, yeah I have learned how complex it is to explain and understand this color management stuff.  I took another look and the color management program is Colorwise Pro and the device is by EFI.  I will look into your suggestions, the printout on each machine (except the BW printers) are just so dramatically different from the screen display that I feel like profiles wouldnt be the problem unless its more of a smaller color difference.  I could be wrong, been trying to understand that stuff for a while now

                    • 7. Re: photos come out real dark when printed on various printers
                      P Spier CommunityMVP

                      I'm afraid I don't know much about ColorWise Pro -- we had it with the Docucolor 12 where I worked ten years ago, but no instrument for the interface so it wasn't too useful and I never learned it (and our color was anything but predictable based on the screen). I'm pretty sure the instrument you have is just an EyeOne with a Fiery label, though. It probably didn't come with anything useful for monitor calibration, but it would be worth checking just in case.

                      • 8. Re: photos come out real dark when printed on various printers
                        tomprice666

                        I have this exact same problem using the same rip. do you find that if you print a photo directly from photoshop its fine? and just darker when imported into indesign?

                        • 9. Re: photos come out real dark when printed on various printers
                          kellyjaye1 Community Member

                          Not really, I find everything is darker no matter what program its coming from. 

                          Im starting to think it has something to do with the computer also.  Maybe its

                          color profiles?  I really dont know, Ive looked at everything, and if it is

                          profiles, then I dont know what else to do with them.  Profiles confused the

                          heck out of me as it is

                          • 10. Re: photos come out real dark when printed on various printers
                            P Spier CommunityMVP

                            Theres some pretty good stuff from Rob Day in this thread that might make what's happening a little clearer: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/614351