I have A0 poster with 2 science images that were taken by a spacecraft. On top of it I have graphs and some text. When I print it as A4 pdf on my office small printer - the colors are fine. When I print it as A0 on my university poster printer the colors are bad in multiple ways - over saturated, faded and etc. However, the text and graphs that I added on top of the images are totally fine! I work in Adobe Illustrator CMYK format of course! Help!

P.s. I have had a few step (compression, cropping) in Adobe Photoshop if that matters at all. Poster printer is HP DesignJet Z2100 Photo Printer.

  • 2
    Maybe your university printer uses rgb instead of cmyk? Just try to print in rgb.
    – mikey
    Commented Aug 7, 2019 at 15:14

3 Answers 3


The printing options of a desktop printer and a photo printer can vary a lot. There are several factors that influence a good printing:

  • Monitor Calibration
  • Document color profile
  • Paper type

Assuming all this is correct on your computer and document, reading on the HP DesignJet Z2100 Photo Printer site, there's a step by step to follow before printing a color photo that you should follow:


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    The other is, of course, that most 'consumer' [& even some commercial these days] printers don't want CMYK at all, they want RGB, usually just sRGB.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 12:53

Make sure the images are in the same color profile as everything else. There is a way to get your screen to yell at you every time this happens. If you did some things in photoshop you could have changed the ICC profiles of the photos and illustrator isn’t accepting it, or it could not be embedded.


I suggest you should print directly from the Adobe Illustrator or better still convert it to a JPEG. The option of a Desktop printer and Photo printer is very different.

  • 3
    Hi there and welcome to GDSE! Sorry, but I'm downvoting because I think converting the design to a JPEG is a bad advice. It will rasterize all vector object and probably make the printed result less sharp and crisp than it could be.
    – Wolff
    Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 17:04

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