I'm trying to print a graphic design in photoshop to match an existing print. I have the existing print's LAB values that I am using in photoshop but every time I print my image, the colors are way off. I was under the impression that using LAB values will result in more consistent print matching (maybe I am wrong here).

What I have tried so far in photoshop:

  1. changed image mode to LAB
  2. plugged in the LAB values for my colors
  3. changed my printer profile to match my paper (downloaded profiles from Epson for the SC-P400)
  4. color handling is done by photoshop

There must be more to it than what I have tried so far. Any help in getting photoshop to print more accurately using LAB values would be appreciated.

Thank you.

  • Is the printer calibrated? – Scott Feb 12 at 23:08
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    There are many unknowns here. Hard to help, sorry. You are printing a design which has been printed before. With what method? Did it have the proper color profile when it was sent to print? Else the "original" colors could be "wrong" to begin with. When you change image mode to Lab, does the image have a color profile? If it's untagged PS assumes the default profile and the colors might be wrong. You say you "plug" in the Lab values. What does that mean? You recolor everything? Where does these Lab values come from? Are they inside the gamut of the printer? Etc. – Wolff Feb 13 at 11:13
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    For a printer to print Lab values correc requires 1. Printer to know how its values map to Lab (in other words printer profiled and/or calibrated recently). 2. Lab values measured correct in first place. 3. Said Lab values being inside the printers gamut. 4. When comparing pieces both must be physically present in standard lighting conditions. If you can adress these issues you should be fine. – joojaa Feb 14 at 18:59

I can't give you a real answer since I don't feel I have enough information. This is really just a long comment to help you understand why people don't answer your question.

I'm talking about "the first print" - the existing print and "the second print" - the one you are making now.

I assume that the first print were made on a different printer? Possibly by a commercial print house.

Some of the things that could cause the colors on your second print to not match the colors on the first print

  • The printer making the first print wasn't capable of reproducing the chosen lab values. (The colors were out of gamut.)

  • The first print was made with spot inks.

  • The file used for the first print was converted to a wrong color profile or the color profile wasn't embedded.

  • The file was uploaded to some online print service and something happened to it during the process.

  • The printer making the first print was wrongly calibrated or something happened that ruined the calibration.

  • The paper used for the first print was very different from the paper used for the second print. Perhaps one of the papers have a color tint?

  • Your image doesn't have an embedded color profile and the conversion to Lab is wrong.

  • You enter the Lab values wrongly or somehow manipulate them so they differ from the wanted values.

  • Your printer isn't capable of reproducing the chosen Lab values.

  • Your printer isn't calibrated.

  • Your printer is running low on ink.

  • Your printer is broken.

  • You use the wrong printer profile.

  • You use the wrong paper.

  • Your printer settings are wrong.

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    Isnt: Your printer running low on ink, printter running wrong profile use wrong paper, settings wrong the same thing as printer not being calibrated. Since calibration nolonger matches in these cases. – joojaa Feb 14 at 19:04
  • @joojaa, yes you are right. This is really just a big pile of possible problems. Some of the points are connected. – Wolff Feb 14 at 21:36

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