Color Matching 101
Why does my printed image look different from how it appears on the computer screen?
Each of your input devices (cameras and scanners), display devices (monitors and projectors), and printers 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. Therefore, your printed images may not match what you see on your computer screen.
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. 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.
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.
- Select a color management option
You can manage how colors are handled in your prints by selecting one of the color management options in the Epson printer driver. (The color management options available vary depending on your printer model, operating system, and application.)
|Color Management Option
||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.
||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.
|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.
|Uses default color profiles for your printer and paper to help match image colors (for ColorSync-compatible applications only).
Note: If you use the printer driver to manage color, make sure the software you are printing from is not also providing color management.
- 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.
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.