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Hello, I am not a professional but have a background in design and now that I have retired I am working on posters for local group where I volunteer.

I hoping to stop using Adobe products and I am now getting to grips with Affinity Publisher which I really like.  I have always been rather confused about colour management and colour space settings and in the past when using Indesign I have got myself in a muddle and been fiddling with settings that I don't understand!

So I would like some advice about simple basic settings that I can set up as my defaults when I use Publisher.   I design A4 and A3 posters and save them as PDF or JPEG's. I print them out to check the proofs on my own HP inkjet printer and the final artwork is printed on in-house laser printer at my local council.

Could someone please advise on the default settings that I can set up and use for all my work ( and then forget about!) Also any settings the need to use to ensure the photos and other imported artwork are compatible?

Thanks folks!

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This is my setup:

Screenshot_optimized.jpg

You do not have to bother with CMYK setup as you better keep all RGB with your printers choices. If you do your text/vector elements RGB or CMYK is your choice, using RGB you can get more brilliant colours.

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On 2/2/2019 at 1:55 PM, Fixx said:

This is my setup:

Screenshot_optimized.jpg

You do not have to bother with CMYK setup as you better keep all RGB with your printers choices. If you do your text/vector elements RGB or CMYK is your choice, using RGB you can get more brilliant colours.

 

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hello again, despite using the setting your suggest I am still having trouble with my print outs looking very different to my on screen colours! 

I am wondering if Fixx - or anyone else - can advice me on the best printer settings in case this the might be the cause of my problems. 

 

thanks for any help, I am going mad here! thanks,  chris

 

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First things first, are the display and printer calibrated?

If not, then ideal settings are anyone's guess, as you are trying to match devices with what may as well be random output.

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Thanks for the advice - I understand what you mean, but this is a new problem that I didn't used to have and i think it because oil my ignorance have changed some  significant settings.

Is there a way to check the calibration without spending money of an expensive gadgets? thanks, chris

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Look at the picture with 100% size. If you only see a gray area, everything's fine.

Paneltestbild.png.ab8d917104722c2e87bf2730ae66ee7d.png


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

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Hello again - this is a scene shot of what i have got on my screen. Definitely not just grey! Any suggestions? thanks chris

Screen Shot 2019-08-26 at 12.06.49.png

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Any existing stripes cannot be displayed as a screenshot. But you could photograph them. But that doesn't help.

100-Prozent-Darstellung.thumb.png.85336ce03ab9961b417729c157ab6731.png


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

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Maybe an explanation of the picture. If the screen is calibrated and the color management is set correctly, the apparently colored stripes of the test pattern result in a gray area. Visible stripes are proof that you cannot rely on the monitor's color display.


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

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Thanks for trying to help me, but I am using a monitor plugged into my MacBook pro, so its obviously inferior and cannot be relied upon.  

But even the colours on my MacBook screen are not showing as grey  in your image as you suggested they should.

I am out of my depth with all this and just want to be able to get a reliable print out on inkjet or the clients laser printer.

Here are two examples from today - one photo of the design on my screen - and one of the printout from my HP Envy printer. As you can see the blue and green are not a good match at all!

I am very confused about colour management and profiles and suspect that I have set up something strange! Anyone got any simple settings that I can use?

thanks, chris

IMG_7398.jpg

IMG_7397.jpg

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Neither the green nor the blue and also not the yellow are to be printed in this luminosity. The less saturated colours of the illustration are quite good.
To be less disappointed by the print result, you could set up a soft proof. Or use sRGB instead of Adobe RGB for the document.

Well, I think the printout is nicer than the screen.


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

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Thanks for your advice - I am using sRGB settings, but your idea to do a soft proof is good one. I have heard about that but haven't tried it - so I will do that now and see.

I wanted a much darker navy blue background, that was my main disappointment! Are there any other colour settings I can check and adjust?  I have got color format on RGB/8 and Colour profile on sRGB... thanks, chris

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The only way to properly calibrate a monitor in the first instance is to use a colorimeter. To be honest the Mac and windows in built tools aren't any use and can't give you more than a vague nod in the right direction - they're not quite worse then useless but nearly. Palatino is quite right use sRGB unless you can properly calibrate your monitor. The two issues encountered on most monitors is that the colour temperature is set too high - usually at 9200K when it should be set to 6500K which is much redder than most people are used to but will display an image that is nearer what you will see on paper.

The other issue tends to be that users set the brightness and contrast too high (or they are set too high as factory defaults). this will affect your perception of colour intensity and brightness to an unrealistic degree.

Don't forget that there is a different between transmitted colour from a monitor and reflected colour from a print. The two are completely different ways of looking at colour and is the basis of colour theory. What it all boils down to is that if you want to be able to reproduce what you see on screen in a print then you'll need to do a fair bit of work and possibly invest in a colorimeter like Datacolor Spyder or Colormunki.

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57 minutes ago, Chrissyt said:

I wanted a much darker navy blue background, that was my main disappointment!

You could install the HKS-K colour palette and experiment with these printable colours.

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/81550-hks-colour-systems/&do=findComment&comment=450574


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

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1 hour ago, Chrissyt said:

I wanted a much darker navy blue background, that was my main disappointment! Are there any other colour settings I can check and adjust?  I have got color format on RGB/8 and Colour profile on sRGB

My preferred way in print media layouts is to use a CMYK color space. That way you are much closer to the print result because of its color space. Whereas in RGB you may generate and view colors you never might get printed in a 4c print process (as the vivid green and yellow in your sample above) with a CMYK profile you can't even see colors in your layout which would not print at least similar. The previously recommended softproof is an additional feature for fine tuning but for a first, rough limitation to print color space it would be quite sufficient to switch your document color space from RGB to CMYK.


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

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9 minutes ago, thomaso said:

My preferred way in print media layouts is to use a CMYK color space.

On the one hand, you're right. :) On the other hand, I wouldn't use CMYK if I knew the inkjet or laser printer was working with RGB. The many conversions don't help the colors either. There are far too many sources of error.


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

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14 minutes ago, Palatino said:

On the one hand, you're right. :) On the other hand, I wouldn't use CMYK if I knew the inkjet or laser printer was working with RGB.

Printers never work in RGB.  They are always CMYK, in some cases with an extra color or two thrown in.

Some printers (particularly those that accept PostScript) will accept RGB colors coming in, but convert them to CMYK before actually printing.

Since the color gamut that a printer can reproduce is usually smaller than the gamut of a typical monitor, using a CMYK color space with its more limited range helps to reduce the usage of colors that the printer won't be able to handle.

Setting up your document with a color profile matched to the printer can help even further if you know that is the only printer that the document will be printed on.

 

The exception would be if a printer does support those "extra" process colors - something like a 6-color inkjet or an HP Indigo or the like - then the printer can actually handle a wider color gamut than CMYK and using that could artificially limit the range of colors that you can work with.

 

 

Another option is to limit yourself to using the Pantone™ process colors found in the Swatches palette (try the "color bridge" set).  Those should map well to most color printers.

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47 minutes ago, fde101 said:

Printers never work in RGB.  They are always CMYK, in some cases with an extra color or two thrown in.

You will have to search a long time to name an ink or laser printer that is controlled by CMYK. And at best you will find what you are looking for in the high-end sector.


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

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9 minutes ago, Palatino said:

You will have to search a long time to name an ink or laser printer that is controlled by CMYK. 

Concerning this topic and, in particular the color surprise of Chrissyt, definitely a CMYK only workflow simply helps to avoid surprises, just by making sure to see nothing on screen what you can't get on paper.

Even if printer software might be calculating in the background – as Affinity does, too – with RGB or whatever additive color space: The final color on paper will be subtractive and CMYK.

Therefore with a reasonable ICC profile usage the, rather theoretically, color shift in a pure CMYK workflow is definitely smaller then the practical surprise experienced by Chrissyt shown above.

 


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

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4 hours ago, Palatino said:

You will have to search a long time to name an ink or laser printer that is controlled by CMYK.

All PostScript printers support both on input (plus a few).  All PDF printers support both on input.  In the end, the ink itself is CMYK, so the printer obviously needs to have the data in the CMYK color space at some point.  Converting CMYK to RGB only to convert it back to CMYK at the end of the process would seem rather silly...  but granted that I've certainly encountered stranger things out there.

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3 hours ago, fde101 said:

Converting CMYK to RGB only to convert it back to CMYK at the end of the process would seem rather silly...

Exactly. And the trouble starts when I want to print 100/50/0/0 and nothing else. This only works with high-end printers or additional RIP software.


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

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11 hours ago, fde101 said:

Another option is to limit yourself to using the Pantone™ process colors found in the Swatches palette (try the "color bridge" set).  Those should map well to most color printers.

The only issue there is that you then really need an extremely expensive Pantone Swatch book (the one that matches the colour set you are going to use) so you can check what the Pantone colour will actually look like when printed. It's the strength of Pantone but the cost is its weakness.

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5 hours ago, Palatino said:

Exactly. And the trouble starts when I want to print 100/50/0/0 and nothing else. This only works with high-end printers or additional RIP software.

I think you might possibly be confusing the color space conversion with color matching which is done because of the differences between display colors, printer inks, etc.

Not all ink is created equal.  Starting out with CMYK 100/50/0/0 against some particular standard and printing to a specific printer will cause the values to be adjusted based on the characteristics of the ink that printer uses, in order to try to closely match the color of that standard based on the characteristics of the particular ink.  If you turn off the color management then you might use the specified amounts of ink but the actual observable color won't match what you expect.

I can send a purely black document to my color laser printer and it will still mix a bit of color into the black ink because the black ink is not "true" black as per its profile.

High-end printers are more likely to have higher-quality ink that more closely matches some standard or another, but even those go through calibration against some profile and the ink that comes out may not be an exact match for the CMYK values coming in.

 

4 hours ago, CarlM said:

you then really need an extremely expensive Pantone Swatch book

While having a swatch book could certainly help if the printer is actually calibrated accurately, the benefit of the "color bridge" set is that it is designed to provide colors that have similar matches in both process and spot color spaces, selected for being printable.  Even without the swatch book, restricting to that set of colors means using colors that should be possible to reproduce somewhat closely on any given printer, so you don't wind up choosing screen colors that a printer is not capable of reproducing.

If the calibration of the screen and printer are off, then swatch book or not, it will never quite match up.  For that level of matching the proper hardware is essential.  The profiles that come with the screen or printer will give a better match than not having a profile at all, but any two of the same display or the same printer will not have exactly the same profile, and the profile changes as the devices age, requiring periodic updates to those profiles.  If someone is using 3rd-party ink with their printer (a very bad practice for numerous other reasons also) then that ink is unlikely to match the characteristics of the manufacturer's ink and will thus require a different profile, which they are unlikely to provide.

If choosing screen colors that are out of range for the printer, then it will never match up quite right with or without calibration - you would be seeing colors on your display that the printer would be incapable of matching.  This is what restricting to the pantone color bridge set can help to avoid, as the colors should be at least theoretically possible to reproduce, though the match will still only be as good as the device profiles being used.

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