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I agree with fde101. We're moving onto another aspect which is profiling printers and that is another thing entirely. I use an agency to generate printer profiles for my printer/ calibrated monitor combination which gives as close a match as you can really hope to get. I agree about Pantone Color Bridge - it's normally a close enough match. As a photographer it's important for me to be able to provide consistent output for my clients - most of whom are book and magazine publishers and being able to print an image to a similar spec when required without having to resort to a professional print house for the odd image is useful. the same applies when producing output on Publisher - the ability to print out a hard copy on my printer and having a reasonably close match to the screen image is a bonus.

The point ultimately is that you can never achieve more than an approximate match and part of the skill of working in front of a computer is to be able to anticipate the difference and allow for it when selecting colours.

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Dear friends, thankful all your interesting information and suggestions...some of it is rather technical for me and goes beyond what I require for such basic design work

...BUT I have had great improvements by doing two things:

* Importing and only HKS-K colour palette as suggested by Palatino. I presume this is similar to Pantone Bridge Colours that others have mentioned but what I like about that palette is that it is limited to fewer colours but there is still plenty of choice. My only problem is that it doesn't include a cool lemon yellow - (either on screen or printed out) but maybe that reflects the  limitations i have with my set up? I am thinking perhaps I could use a Pantone bridge colour is the such instances?

I have made up a sample sheet of this range of HKS-K colours and have tested printed on my printer - and will also send to my client and get her to do a printout so that i can check how these colours print on her machine. I have attached this in case anyone would like a copy for reference.

* Also ensuring that I am using the settings offered as default for a document set up as " Print"  which are RGB/8 and sRGB IEC61966-2.1

There is so much discussion out there about whether to work in RGB or CMYK for inkjet printers, but I have also tried the suggestion from Thomaso to switch the document colour space from RGB to CMYK - and that has also worked in terms of better colour matching on the print out.

My switch from Adobe to Affinity has been great , (and I think Publisher is much better than Indesign in many ways!) but something about how I have managed the transition seems to have thrown up my lack of skill and confidence in this area of colour management.  But I am now feeling more confident and just want to get on with the work and not have to worry about all this. 

So thanks folks, I have found some solutions that seem to work for me. 

HKS colours1.jpg

HKS colours2.jpg

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2 hours ago, Chrissyt said:

Importing and only HKS-K colour palette as suggested by Palatino. I presume this is similar to Pantone Bridge Colours that others have mentioned but what I like about that palette is that it is limited to fewer colours but there is still plenty of choice. My only problem is that it doesn't include a cool lemon yellow - (either on screen or printed out) but maybe that reflects the  limitations i have with my set up? I am thinking perhaps I could use a Pantone bridge colour is the such instances?

There are two major types of color systems used in printing:

  • Process colors, such as CMYK, are mixed within the printer itself.  The printer typically has at least four basic colors of ink and will place patterns of that ink on the page such that they blend together visually to form a wider range of colors.  Nearly all such printers include the four basic colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black), and there are some that have additional basic ink colors to work with (high-end photo printers for example).  If you are using a typical home inkjet or laser printer, it is almost certainly using process color.
  • Spot colors are mixed before being printed with and presented to the printing process as individual, pre-mixed colors of ink.  This is used in more traditional printing processes such as letterpress and screen printing, and there are a handful of digital presses out there which are capable of working with them also.  Spot colors generally provide fewer different colors per print as the cost of a print increases with the number of spot colors used, but can be used to print colors that cannot be readily mixed by most process color printers (even going as far as metallic colors and pastels).  Because different printers might use different spot color inks, standards such as Pantone were developed to ensure consistency from designer to printer.  The Pantone system has swatch books that they sell for $$$ which indicate how to mix Pantone compliant inks to produce colors that match the ones in the books.  Designers use the book to pick out their colors from the swatches, and printers use the book to determine how to mix the inks when setting up a print job that they receive from the designer.

 

The Pantone system includes colors that cannot be accurately reproduced in CMYK.  The benefit of the color bridge system is that it has a selection of over 1800 Pantone colors that have somewhat close approximations in CMYK and could thus be reproduced fairly closely on CMYK printers.  The official color bridge guide ($300 so not cheap) shows swatches of the Pantone spot colors right next to swatches of the matching CMYK colors which use process printing; you can tell even from pictures of the guides that not all of the colors are 100% matches, but they are at least somewhat close: https://www.pantone.com/products/graphics/color-bridge-coated-uncoated   Note that some of those colors cannot be reproduced accurately on a typical computer display either.

I am less familiar with the HKS system, but from what I am finding on their web site, it appears to be based around spot colors as well, but has a set of basic colors that are similarly capable of being rendered in CMYK.  These basic colors may give a closer match for CMYK printers than the Pantone colors will if I am correctly interpreting what I am reading.

That said, the color bridge system colors are close enough that there is no particular reason you could not build your own color palette including colors from both systems or any other colors for that matter as long as you test them first.  You can do what you did for the HKS colors and print samples of what you wind up with to see how closely the various printers actually match up with what you are seeing on the screen.  Sticking with the colors from the standards though means you are less likely to wind up with wildly bad matches if you need to change printers later on.

 

Of course, if you do wind up doing any jobs using spot colors, you need to use whichever system the printing company is using.  In the USA for example that will almost always be Pantone, but it may vary depending on where the job is being printed.

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2 hours ago, Chrissyt said:

I presume this is similar to Pantone Bridge Colours that others have mentioned but what I like about that palette is that it is limited to fewer colours but there is still plenty of choice.

I agree.

2 hours ago, Chrissyt said:

My only problem is that it doesn't include a cool lemon yellow

The yellow tones of the HKS pallet do not seem to be correct. HKS 2 as well as HKS 3 are cool yellow.

HKS-K-Gelb.thumb.png.d4387fd587fde7279e09336c3e3901a2.png


This article has been written with the kind assistance of DeepL.

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