Why Is My Printer Not Printing Colour Correctly?

Have you ever wondered, “why is my printer not printing colour correctly?”. If so, you are not alone. Trying to print something at home or in the office to colour match something that had been professionally printed is not an easy task. To people that do not have vast knowledge in the world of professional printing, this can prove to be quite an enigma as well. The reason for this problem is colour conversion.

How a Computer Screen Image is Different from a Printed One

When you look at your computer screen you are seeing the colours in RGB, however at the print store your work is printed in CYMK. The difference here is that the RGB set is considered a light emitting set, because it is seen by light emitted from your computer screen. The CYMK set is considered a light absorbing set, because it is printed on paper and the colour you see is due to subtraction of wavelength by the ink from the spectrum of your light source. This is the main reason why the colours in the image on your screen may not match the printed result.

Some other factors that can affect colour conversions are the following:

1. Images that are scanned into the computer then manipulated in an editor can pose a problem as well. The hard copy will be in CYMK, which is then converted to RGB for saving, which you then convert back to CYMK in your image editing software.

2. If you are importing your finished CYMK saved image into another software program before printing your colours may also be affected. The quality of your image at this point is reliant on the image compression algorithms of the software.

3. Then your printer driver most likely will convert the image to RGB and send it to the printer where it is printed in CYMK.

After all of those colour or file conversion steps it is easy to understand how changes in colour can easily occur going from the computer screen to a printed product.

Fixes for Disparities in Colour

First you will want to look at how your file is saved. Commonly anything that is saved for publishing on the web is going to be saved in RGB format. If this is the case go back to your original file, make a copy and change the colour scheme of the new file to CYMK for printing.

Aside from having each piece that you need printed done by a professional printing company the only solution is trial and error. Simply print your work and keep going back and changing the colours a bit until it finally comes out right. When you find that perfect colour scheme to go from digital image to print be sure to back up the file in another spot, so that you will not have to go through that again.

In conclusion, when you get right down to it, colour conversion problems can be a lot more complicated than one would think. The people that designed computers were not thinking about professional printing presses or colour combinations. If you find you have run through the steps in this blog carefully and still find yourself asking “why is my printer not printing colour correctly” contact us here at Avon Security Products. We are here to help troubleshoot and solve your toughest card printer issues.

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