I have what is probably a very unique question for you guys. I have a direct to garment printer that allows me to print directly onto a shirt (or a film). Now the problem that I have is that the color that I see in Photoshop/Illustrator is not the color that prints out. A red red will look more orange, etc...

I do not have an option to change the printer color profile... however what I can do is change the color that is in PS. The problem is that I have many designs and color adjusting each single color (assuming it is solid) is very time consuming.

Is there a way to create a color profile from what has been printed (using X-Rite i1) and then create a color profile that that the IMAGE itself is adjusted?

what I mean by that is this example: Lets say I print a solid square of R:255 G:0 B:0 (red) it will come out R:255 G:66 B:0 (this is just a guess). If I print a color chart I know that to get the Red I want, I need to have it at R:194 G:0 B:0 then this will print the red that I need (255,0,0)

Is it possible to create a color profile or something that will adjust the image color to be 194,0,0?

I know this is very confusing and I am struggling with this as well. I cannot print through PS as I need to use the program for the printer itself. That has no color adjustment/correction/profile options. So the only choice I have is in photoshop to manually change the colors. Is there something that I can do that will create a profile and then I can run an action that will auto adjust every pixel to be the "correct printed" color pixel?


create a profile for your print system (=the printer + its operating program) and you can use it as your work profile in Photoshop.

If I am able to create a "Work Profile" how will that affect the image in PS? I have two different DTG printers that I am using and they each print the color differently. What I am trying to accomplish is that both print as close to the same color as possible (impossible to get exact or Really close). Would I be able to create two separate work profiles and then save the image twice with each work profile on each image and then send it to the printers and then it should be relatively close? I guess what I'm asking now is will a "work profile" adjust the image that I already have to be close to the printed output? So the images will look different in PS but will print closely to each other?

  • 4
    It's not such a unique question. What you want sound a lot like how color profiles work in general. I don't think you can use the X-Rite i1 but need specialized measuring equipment and software to create your own color profile. Creating color profiles is not my expertise, so I can't go into details. One thing I think you might overlook: When for example red colors don't print as expected, it might not just be because you need to tweak the numbers before printing. It can also be simply because the red is out of gamut. That the printer simply can't print it.
    – Wolff
    Commented Jun 27, 2022 at 21:33
  • The explanation you gave in your fourth paragraph seems to indicate that the RGB colour you are trying to print is out of gamut for your printer. Many pure or especially vibrant RGB colours can be out of gamut in printing. It might be better to work in CMYK in Photoshop if your intent is for print.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 8:17
  • Also note, for most printing industry color only encounters a few sets of lighting conditions so they are not so concerned with ink metamerism. But clothing is used in all lighting conditions so if you have two garments that are same color in printing terms does not mean they even appear same in the wild. This is especially true for when you combine 2 garments.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 9:52
  • In dealing with this problem on color inkjet office equipment where we needed the prints to at least be sane reproductions of real-world artwork, the solution was to disable any and all automatic color adjustment which the printer driver was doing, and then making some test prints to "dial in" a manual adjustment. Printer mfgs love to "vivid-tize" (read: destroy) your prints. If you can do this in your advanced printer properties in a way that you can recall a preset, I suggest you try that (and find a way to back up that preset in case the drivers get reset).
    – Yorik
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 18:04
  • We also found that creating a PDF of the final and then printing from acrobat gave the best fidelity. You also want to work in the proper workspace for printing, typically CMYK. Do not fake the colors in the original artwork or you will lose your work when you replace the machine. It is advisable that you calibrate your monitor even if it doesn't help specifically with the DTG.
    – Yorik
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


Rewritten after the question was edited.

Photoshop's working color spaces for RGB, CMYK, grayscale and spot colors handle the pixel color numbers so that the numbers are in theory good without conversions just for a printer which uses the working color space.

In theory? - the unfortunate fact is that many printers present themselves to computers as capable of printing perfectly sRGB images, but in reality the result looks crap if there's too bright colors in the sRGB image. The fact that there's a CMYK printing process making the final print is totally hidden from the users. The printer manufacturer gives no guidance nor tools to switch user's design program (for ex. Photoshop) to show the colors as they actually will be printed.

I explain one workaround made quite recently. An Epson ET 2710 office printer owner wanted to see the final printing result on his screen. He wanted also to save a version of his image as RGB file which on normal sRGB screens would look approximately the same as the printed result watched in a good light. He was not going to print many images on paper, but to give to his customer an RGB file which looks the same on customer's screen and on customer's office printer paper - a way to prevent disappointments.

No screen calibration, of course, had helped, because the problem was that Photoshop had no idea how much duller the printer would make image colors.

I gave one idea: Work in CMYK mode and have in Photoshop's color settings as working CMYK dull enough existing CMYK mode. Later (=after all edits) the image could be converted to sRGB which doesn't have any unprintable bright colors. The dull enough CMYK mode was Euroscale Uncoated v2 from Photoshop's default collection. Surely it's not exact for Epson, but it stopped having colors unrealistically bright for printing.

You can try the same, but a better idea is to have properly measured color profile for your print process (=printer and its operating software together) and use it in Photoshop. You may well have 2 different printers with different color profiles. Photoshop can convert the color numbers from one profile to another so that the final printed colors stay intact as long as one doesn't try unprintable colors. You may have the profile of your Printer1 as your working color space profile and you only make a copy which you convert to Printer2 color profile.

Printer user forums may have some knowledge of the color profiles that the manufacturer doesn't offer. X-Rite has pro color calibration kits made for creating profiles for printers. Then you can find a company who measures your printers. Your X-Rite i1 unfortunately is for calibrating RGB screens (or in many cases actually calibrating the computer operating system for one's screen), which also is useful.

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