I am a web developer and want to make a physical portfolio. I have tried various settings in photoshop and for my printer (HP officejet pro 8600) and my lighter theme web sites come out fine but my darker themed websites are too dark and have little contrast between dark colors.

I added a filter and lightened the image and it improves the contrast a little but is not enough and all the lighter colors too light.

I don't expect the colors to be the same as any particular monitor but I would like colors that are obviously different on monitors to not look so much alike on the print.

How can I get a more acceptable print?

I am printing with best quality on glossy photo paper. I have printed with photoshop managing colors and with printer managing colors. I also tried each with hard proofing enabled for CMYK.

  • what are your settings when you print? I would assume you built the site in RGB... and you are printing CMYK... May 23, 2013 at 19:24
  • Are you using photo paper? Most of those photo printers want photo paper for high definition prints so that the dot gain isn't as dramatic.
    – Scott
    May 23, 2013 at 19:24
  • also if he is printing a web design in RGB he is going to get a washed out black. May 23, 2013 at 19:26
  • Yes I am using photo and I have printed with various settings. I tried with photoshop managing colors and printer managing colors. I also tried both with hard proofing in working CMYK.
    – yamikoWebs
    May 23, 2013 at 19:26
  • It may simply be a limitation of the printer. Most of the low to mid-range printers aren't great with detail.
    – Scott
    May 23, 2013 at 19:28

1 Answer 1


The printer driver is going to do with the image what it wants... What I'd try first in Photoshop is use the Curves tool to adjust the specific dark tones that tend to smudge into each other, that is, you can adjust the brightness of those tones specifically with a limited impact on the rest of the image's colours. Apply the Curves tool as a non-destructive 'Adjustment Layer' (select the layer in the Layer window and click the b/w circle button in the bottom of the Layer window) so you can easily discard and try again. If you're not familiar with this kind of adjustment, look it up in the Photoshop Help and watch one of the many, many tutorials on Youtube, e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwAXOpcEK60.

Little visual to beef this answer up a bit:

enter image description here

  • One trick in situations like this is to make a "color range" selection with a very wide "fuzziness" setting. You pick e.g. an 85% grey to isolate the darker regions, and then apply the filter to the selection. This will leave the light colors completely unchanged. You apply the selection as a mask to the adjustment layer that tehmacdawg suggests
    – horatio
    May 24, 2013 at 13:58

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