I've searched and read the suggestions to my question but I'm not finding entirely what I need in one place and by now I've made so many changes I'm sure I've passed right over the right combination of settings that would work.

I have been given poster art created by a graphic artist volunteer for an event we're having (we're a non-profit.) She's not available for assistance at the moment, so I'm struggling with printing this on my own.

It's a poster with an image background that has has black areas. There are other elements (text and vector shapes) that also have black backgrounds, which are layered over the image background. When printing, there are different 'colors' of black.

I have fiddled with various printer (ricoh universal PCL6 driver) settings and cannot get rid of this difference. The black from the graphic is actually what we want to achieve - the black that's in the vector shapes seems grayer (I get that it's not the rich black I've read about) but what I don't know how to do is get it to be all the same. We're trying to save money for the event by printing the 11x17s in house (the 24x36s are going to a shop.) I do have Illustrator and I both the .ai file as well as PDF of the poster.

Is there any hope of easily getting this to print with the same, nice black?

Here's a chopped up scan of the printed art.

1 Answer 1


different colors are just that...different colors. You're likely best bet is to go in and manually select all the areas of black (magic want it) in a tool like Photoshop and then fill it back in with a universal black.

You'll need to fiddle with the selection (you don't want the selection to creep into non-black areas, you likely want to feather it a bit for a smooth transition, etc.) and you may want to add this new black on a new layer and fiddle with the opacity to get it just the way you want.

Ideally, all the type would have been typeset in a program like Adobe Illustrator or InDesign so that it didn't include its own background color.

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