Epson Stylus Photo 2200 Ink Jet Printer

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Color Management 101

What is color management?
    Color management is a system that allows input devices (cameras and scanners), display devices (monitors and projectors), and printers to speak a universal color language. Each of these devices uses different technologies (or different color languages) to reproduce color. They also have different color ranges (or gamuts), so one device may be able to produce colors that the other devices can’t. A color management workflow will help you achieve consistent and more predictable color reproduction.

How does it work?
    A color management system translates the different technologies used by your input, display, and printer using ICC profiles. These profiles describe the behavior (range or gamut) of each device. The color management system uses this information to accurately reproduce colors among all of the profiled devices.

What should I do?
  • Calibrate your display

  • Most display devices do not display accurate color out of the box; they must be calibrated to produce accurate colors. A profile that accurately describes color is essential to making color management work.

    There are a variety of hardware and software solutions available for calibrating your display. You may want to research technical guides or on-line discussion forums to find the solution that’s best for you. To achieve the best results, use a measuring device to calibrate and profile your display. Some good colorimeters that are widely used in the industry are: X-Rite Optix XR, X-Rite GretagMacbeth Eye-One Display, X-Rite Eye-One Display 2, and Color vision Spyder2. For optimal display calibration, we highly recommend you use a hardware calibration solution.

    Tip: It’s a good idea to set your desktop to a neutral gray color when visually calibrating your display; you will see the effects of your adjustments more clearly on the gray desktop.

  • Optimize your images

  • Your image files should be in RGB (red, green, and blue) format. If you saved your images in CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) format you will need to convert the files back to RGB before printing them. Your printer software is designed to print from RGB files. For the best results, create your original print files in RGB format.

    Your image files may contain an embedded profile. If a profile is embedded in your image file, you should normally use it. Check the documentation for your image editing software for further instructions.

    You may also need to correct or optimize your image with image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements.

  • Use a printer (output) profile

  • An output profile describes how your printer’s ink will interact with a specific type of paper. Epson’s printer profiles are designed to work with the Epson ink and the paper selections found in your printer driver.

    Note: Make sure the media loaded in the printer is the same as the media type selected in the printer driver.

    To use the Epson ICC profiles that come with your printer, you need to use an application that supports color profiles, such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements. To have your software color manage your prints using ICC profiles, see one of the following example workflows.

    Sometimes Epson will provide Premium ICC profiles that are an update to the standard ICC profiles included on the printer’s software CD. We recommend you use these profiles when they are available for your printer. Premium ICC profiles are available for download for the following printers:

    You may also choose to create custom profiles or use non-Epson profiles for your Epson printer. If you decide to use non-Epson profiles, follow the instructions provided with your profiles or profile-building software and be sure to install the profiles as recommended by Microsoft, Apple, or the software vendor.

    If you want your printer driver to color manage your prints, you can choose from the following options. (The color management options available vary depending on your printer model, operating system, and application.)

    Color Management Option Description
    Color Controls Select this setting to use the color matching and image-enhancement methods provided by the printer driver. For additional information, see Using the Color Control Settings.
    Fix Photo/PhotoEnhance This setting is best for printing images captured using a video camera, digital camera, or scanner. This feature produces sharper images and more vivid colors by automatically adjusting the contrast, saturation, and brightness of the original image data.
    (Windows only)
    Select ICM when printing scanned photographs or computer graphics. This setting uses the Windows color matching method to automatically match the colors in your printout with the colors displayed on your screen.
    (Mac only)
    Uses default color profiles for your printer and paper to help match image colors (for ColorSync-compatible applications only).

  • Choose the right paper

  • Certain papers perform better than others, so choose the right kind of paper for the job. See Epson Paper Descriptions for more information.

  • Use Epson ink

  • Epson inks are designed to produce optimal print quality when used with your printer, Epson media, and the Epson printer profiles included with your printer. Our inks deliver stable, long-lasting, photographic quality prints. If you decide to use alternative ink, you’ll need to use profiles created for those inks.

    The ink type in your printer will affect the color gamut, media selection, longevity, and other qualities of your prints. For information on the ink your printer uses, see Epson Ink Solutions Comparison.

    Note: Epson does not recommend refilling or using third party ink cartridges. Using these products will not void the product’s original warranty; however, if these third party products cause a failure, the repair of that failure will not be covered under warranty.

Is there anything else I should know?
  • Lighting can affect the appearance of a print

  • The colors in a print viewed in daylight may look different when viewed under warm white fluorescent, cool white fluorescent, halogen, or tungsten lighting. Also, light reflected from colorful walls or objects can affect the appearance of prints. Your printer software was designed to produce color accurately when prints are illuminated with a D50 (daylight) light source.