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I am designing a writing pad and I have created two folders that group the files into the "Front" and the "Back" of the design while using a Solid Colour layer as my background colour/base layer so to speak.

Everything looks fine up until I decided to print a combined PDF of the front and back design on my normal printer. While all the elements and details came out in good quality, the background colour looks almost a shade or two different from the front or the back, or the other copies I printed to test. It isn't a huge difference (like black or white) however you do see that one is maybe brighter while the other one is darker and so on.

I checked everything. The hex code matches in all the files (not that there are many, I just meant my saved files). I uploaded the PDF into my Photoshop and even used the Eyedropper tool to check the colour of THAT background but it all is the same hex code. I checked for effects, drop shadows, glows, etc, nothing. So I'm really just confused.

Could anybody help me out please? Is this my printer? Will this be the same problem I face when I send it to a proper printer?! Below is my layers panel for an example. :)

Sample of my layers

  • It's hard to say without access to the files. They could perhaps have different RGB profiles? The same hex code (which is just another way of writing RGB values) would give a different color in documents with different RGB profiles. – Wolff Oct 1 at 16:01
  • What you are talking about is called "colour management". It's a complex subject and involves using specialist hardware to calibrate your monitor, and also the creation or use of printer profiles. To be honest, it's probably too much to expect perfect colour accuracy with consumer grade home/office printers, which can typically only print RGB image files anyway. – Billy Kerr Oct 1 at 16:15
  • @BillyKerr, you are right, but even with a bad printer you would expect the same color right? If all files but one gives the same color, there could be a problem with that one file. But maybe I misunderstand the question ... – Wolff Oct 1 at 16:19
  • @Wolff, I don't know. I think there are too many things that could potentially go wrong, such as using the wrong print media, non-original inks/toners, an uncalibrated monitor that simply might be way off, incorrect printer profiles, or trying to print a CMYK image on a printer that doesn't support CMYK, etc. Trying to pin down the actual cause without access to the files, computer, or printer is probably an impossible task from this end. – Billy Kerr Oct 1 at 16:23
  • As for worrying about what this will look like when printed professionally, this is why people often ask their print company to supply colour proofs before proceeding with the print job. Then, if you approve them, the onus is on the print company to match the proofs during the print run. – Billy Kerr Oct 1 at 16:32

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