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Printed Color Doesn't Match On-Screen Color

Printing Color

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#1 jmadden

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 05:38 PM

I am having a problem with two Elements 11 documents not printing with the colors that I see on my screen.  I have made two greeting cards with different products, and both cards printed badly.  They look like I have empty ink cartridges, but my cartridges have plenty of ink.  I printed a different card after this poor printing and it looked just like the card on the screen.  I have made lots of greeting cards in the past and never experienced this problem before.  Does anyone know what is happening?  Thank you.



#2 MariJ

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 06:23 PM

I don't know a lot about printers but maybe you need to clean the heads or do an alignment?   Something like that has happened to me and that's usually what the problem is.    Good luck, that sure is frustrating.   


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#3 Wendee-CreativeSparkle

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 06:56 PM

The problem could also be caused by out of gamut colors. In PS there is an option to View > Gamut Warning but I don't think that is an available option in PSE. If you try changing your color profile to cymk then you can adjust the saturation and brightness to get the image to print what you see on screen.


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#4 ValerieT

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 04:26 AM

You may want to check the colour settings for the cards that aren't printing well.  I believe they need to be RGB. 

 

I use photoshop so I'm not sure where these settings will be for you, hopefully someone else will know.


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#5 jmadden

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 07:44 AM

Thanks to all of you who have responded to my dilemma.  I will try some of your suggestions.



#6 Wendee-CreativeSparkle

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:58 AM

You can print in either RGB or CMYK mode, but CMYK will display colors more like what your printer will produce.
 
If your file is in RGB mode it has many more colors available. Monitors can display many more colors than a printer can produce with ink because they use red, green and blue light to achieve the colors you see on screen. If you convert the file to CMYK before printing you will be able to see on screen the closest representation of what will be printed because it is displaying the colors that can be achieved using cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink (which is what most inkjet printers use).
 
When you print you can either have PSE or your printer choose the color management settings. Having the printer manage the color is usually preferable because it has the most up to date drivers and profiles. You can adjust these settings by choosing:

File > Print
more options
Color Management (on the left)
in the Color Handling box choose
Printer Manages Colors 

You can read more from Adobe here on how to adjust these settings and other available options.

Scrap Girls files are saved in RGB mode because we optimize the files for use on digital devices as well as for printing. This allows us to create layouts with the most colors available for digital devices with close matches for printing. However when adjustments are applied to one of our optimized RGB files some of the colors can become out of gamut which means they can't be printed as seen on screen and the colors will be substituted with colors the printer can produce.

To alleviate this problem I save a version of my file in RGB mode (so I don't loose all the vibrant colors for digital versions) and then change a copy to CMYK (without flattening) and adjust as needed before printing. Since adjustments made to a file in CMYK mode will only create printable colors this allows me to make changes like hue and saturation adjustments, level adjustments and so forth as well as use blending modes without problems printing afterward.

Some RGB files will work fine with those type of adjustments and others won't. It just depends on which colors are used.

There are some great PSE tutorials from Adobe here:

Color Management Settings For The Best Print Output (sited above)

Setting Up Color Management

Color Tonal Correction Basics

Adjusting Color Saturation Hue and Vibrance

Hopefully this helps. :)

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#7 teecee

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:01 AM

Great info and links, Wendee - thanks for sharing! :)



#8 jmadden

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 02:09 PM

Wendee,

Thank you for all that information.  WOW!  I will check it out and see if I can make my printed cards look better.



#9 Wendee-CreativeSparkle

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:39 PM

You're welcome! I hope it works! :)

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#10 Smiles

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 12:16 AM

Thanks for all the helpful info, Wendee!
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#11 kerryveale

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 05:46 PM

Interesting discussion.  

 

When I had greeting cards published by an international greeting card company, they asked me to convert my files to CYMK, and so I did. I also sold my greeting cards locally, and I printed them from the RGB files. The colors were vibrant and beautiful, so much so that many of my customers kept and framed the cards rather than send them to others.

 

I have noticed, though, that my current color laser printer gives me overly saturated prints. I guess I thought they just make the printers to do that so we would need to buy more ink cartridges! I ended up adding a 20% white layer over each document to get better prints for my greeting cards, as I did not want to change the saturation levels permanently in the greeting card documents.


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#12 jmadden

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 01:08 PM

Thanks, Kerry, for your comments.  As suggested by MariJ, I decided to check the print heads/nozzles this morning.  I discovered one of the cartridges wasn't working properly, even though it was nearly full of ink.  I cleaned the heads four times, checking the nozzles after each cleaning, and the problem cartridge got worse with each cleaning.  I called Epson, and they said the printer itself is not functioning properly and I need to get a new one.  Even a new cartridge wouldn't help.  So, I'm now printer shopping.

 

Thanks to all of you for trying to assist me.



#13 Wendee-CreativeSparkle

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 01:12 PM

I'm glad you were able to figure it out. It's too bad you have to get a new printer. Have fun shopping though!

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