Color on monitor different from printed image! PLS help :)

Hi there,
Okay so I am trying to make a business card, and I primarily work in Illustrator CS2 or PageMaker 6.5 (unfortunately). So here’s my problem,
I have my business card setup and it is a green card with a yellow stripe in the middle. Theres a small logo on the card as well.
When i change the color of the green/yellow stripes I do it right in PageMaker. I have many swatch libraries available to me (Pantone etc). Whenever I use these colors though they produce the desired appearance on the screen.
When i change the color of the logo on there I have to open it with an image editing program such as paint draw etc… When I change the color of the logo to match the stripes it will blend in fine on the monitor. When I print it my greens appear olive/barf color and the logo’s green appears somewhat different.
So upon doing some research, as my graphic design images skill are little to nil, they sent me to Chromix. I have tried recalibrating my monitor and printer, I do not believe there is a problem there.
So does anyone know what software I can use, or if there is a swatch library I can import that will create similar colors when I print, to what I see on the monitor. If there is no freeware I would consider buying software, but I just need something that will work and won’t produce this problem again.

My monitor is a SAMSUNG SyncMaster 710N,
My Printer is a Canon ImageRunner c4080i…
My Printer drivers are the iR C4080 PCL5c AND UFRII.

If anyone has a solution or any advice I would truly appreciate it.
Let me know what you guys think!

Hi Dan,
In some ways this is a classic problem. There are quite a few things that could be causing your color change. It might take a while to sort through them all but we’ve been through this before and be assured there is an answer.

You have calibrated your monitor, that’s good! And I assume you have an accurate profile of your printer for the paper type you are using.

The next thing to try would be to soft-proof your image. Your version of Illustrator has the ability to do this. Goto View > Proof Setup > Customize

Choose the printer profile that you are using to print (and the rendering intent also) in the “device to simulate” area, click preview and see what change occurs in your image. What you are doing is viewing your business card through the same color restriction that will occur when you send it to the printer. When you look at your card in Proof Setup, does it match your printed output?

Basic to all this is the possibility that some of the colors that can be seen on your display cannot be reproduced on your printer. If this is a particularly bright green, then this might very well be the case.

For further research check out an article from one of our newsletters on how to get a printer to match a screen:

One of the things we do is produce software that helps to diagnose problems like this. Here is a link to the manual for ColorThink 2. There is a tutorial showing how to use ColorThink to compare an image to the profile it’s going to be printed on. If the image pixels fall outside the gamut of the printer, then there is going to be a color shift when printed.

Whew! See if any of this makes sense, and post again to let me know how you’re doing.

Hey Patrick,
Thanks for the advice. When you say profile I am unsure exactly what you mean. My printer is a big color copier used by many businesses, when I put paper into the bypass it makes me specify the type and has many built in profiles (heavy, glossy etc.) is that what you meant?

I did the soft-proofed image in illustrator, and when I select device to simulate (Canon ImageRunner c4080i) it does match the printed output and throws off the colors.

I do not believe this problem is being caused by the tint of green because the green is a standard forest green (Pantone 341) and the yellow is Pantone Yellow. Also the card I am trying to print is in Adobe PageMaker 6.5 (incompatable with Illustrator), but when I soft-proof a different color (red) image with illustrator it throws the color off quite a bit too.

Anyways, I will do some further research on those two links you sent me. I will do my best but my talents lie more in the programming side of computers, so if you have any more ideas or advice please let me know!
Thanks again,

Hey Patrick,
Adobe PageMaker uses KODAK ICC for Color Management. I usually have this color management off but regardless it prints the image different each time. When I go to CMS Setup, under composite printer and separations printer I do not see the Canon ImageRunner 4080i. Also my main job that is producing this problem is the green card with the yellow stripe. I have a pantone color selector with many color palettes to choose from. When I select that color it is “supposed” to print the same as on my color selector pallette booklet. But it doesnt. Also on my card I have a lamp post logo which blends in with the yellow stripe. This is a TIFF image. It wont let me go to Element-/Image-/CMS setup. I believe this is because I do not have photoshop. So whenever I have to edit the lamp post it opens in Corel Photoshop or Paint etc. I visually matched the green between the lamppost logo and the green on the card, using their RGB values… but when I print the lamp post comes out a bit more of a true green, the green on the card coming out more as an olive-green. This creates an ugly box around the logo which never appears on the monitor.
Anyways let me know what you think

The profile we’re talking about here is a “ICC” profile. This is an actual computer file that ends with a “.icc” or “.icm” extension. You can sort of think of this file as a kind of ‘filter’ that corrects the color going to your printer so that it looks correct.

I looked up a generic “.icc” profile for your copier and graphed it along with your two Pantone colors in the 3D grapher in ColorThink. This flat screenshot does not do the 3D imaging justice, but you can see where the Pantone yellow lies far outside the gamut of the printer (represented by the multicolored wire-frame shape), and the 341 Green is within the gamut of the printer.

So the Yellow is not going to be able to be accurately reproduced on your printer, although you should be able to come close.

It really is helpful to be working with a program that can show you an accurate soft-proof. If you were able to print out of Illustrator for example, you could adjust your colors while looking at your image using View>Proof Setup until you get what you are looking for. Then you would have the confidence to know what your cards would look like when printed.

Because your green is also looking wrong when printed, (and reds) we’re hearing a consistent theme that whatever canned ICC profile you chose in device to simulate is not getting you the colors it is supposed to. This same profile is to be used somewhere along the workflow chain as you print, also, so you’ll need to figure out where in PageMaker or Illustrator they have you choose the profile to print through. If it’s not showing up in a list, sometimes you need to go to a different place in the UI to tell it what kind of output you’re using, and switch from CMYK output to RGB output or something like that.

If you’ve got the correct profile selected and you’re still not getting good color, it looks like you will need an accurate custom ICC profile for your printer. That’s really the proper way to do this anyway. We offer a custom profile service as do many others.

To make a custom profile, you’ll need to print a profiling “target” page on your most common paper type. And you’ll need to figure out where in the Canon driver software is the place where “color management” can be turned off. Any kind of automatic color adjustment or use of profiles needs to be turned off.

Hey Patrick,
Thanks again for your timely response your information has been very helpful in narrowing down the possible causes.
When I am in PageMaker if I go to Print-/Color-/CMS Setup
It brings me to a list of preferences for PageMakers CMS.
The one we have chosen will be in bold but Ill list some of the other types available
Color Management - OFF, on
Monitor Simulates - none, COMPOSITE printer, separations
New Items Use - NONE, Kodak ICC
Then it has KODAC ICC Settings
Monitor - GENERIC EBU 1.5 GAMMA, nec multisync 1.5 - 2.2, kodak sRGB display, generic p22 1.5 - 2.2 gamma
Composite Printer - CANON BJC-240, it has a list of some Canons (not including our Canon iR4080) and some Epsons, HP’s and Kodak options
Separations Printer - NEWGEN CHROMAX, same list
RGB Image Source - CANON BJC-240, then has some monitor options and EPSON/HP options
CMYK Image Src - NEWGEN CHROMAX, then same options and some TekPhaser ones.
It also gives me the option to click a box saying:
Embed profiles in documents,
Manage composites on printer
Use extra memory to improve performance

That is what appears in PageMaker for CMS. So as far as posible ICC profiles to use it only has Kodak ICC, and for composite/separations printer it doesnt even list our Canon ImageRunner c4080i.

You said if not showing up in a list you may need to go in UI and tell which kind of output your using… Does UI mean User Interface? :blush:

So when I am in ILLUSTRATOR, I can chosose Document color mode CMYK or RGB (which one?)… Then when i go to print and Color Managment, I get a similar list of options:

Print Preset - CUSTOM, default, Print Preset 1
Printer - List of available printers

Color Management
Document Profile - Untagged CMYK (wont let me change this)
Color Handling - Let illustrator determine colors, or Let PostScript(wont let me choose that)
Printer Profile - sRGB IEC6 1966-2.1, and it gives me a list of printers including ours, and some monitors etc
Rendering Intent - Relative Colorimetric, Perceptual, Saturation etc

Anyways let me know what you think or if you need any more information…
Thanks again