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In my work recently was bought a Brother MFC-L8850CDW printer, CMYK tonels. But no matter what we do, when a document or a PDF made in InDesign is printed, the output colors on paper have a huge difference between what we see in the screen. For example, the cyan or sky-blue are printed like dark-blue, or the magenta that is printed almost like red.

I know that the colors on the computer display never would be the same when printing, because the color space (RGB vs CMYK). But, with that huge difference? I think is something wrong with the color configuration in InDesign... (and by saying InDesign, I'm refering to Photoshop and Illustrator too).

So, how can I configure InDesign for print right the colors? I mean, for represents right the colors on printing with the greatest similarity as possible as we see the colors on the computer display?

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You need to profile both.

1) The basic idea is that you buy or rent one hardware like http://www.colormunki.com/

2) You follow instructions on calibrating your monitor, the hardware analizes patches of color the inner software generates and adjust the output accordingly.

3) You print a sample of color patches provided with the hardware's software, scan them with the munky and it sends all the necesary corrections as a profile.

The next time that you print that sample should be with the colors tweeked accordingly.

4) You use that profile in your Indesign and printer.

There are some diferences between munki photo and munki design. Read at the specifications or ask with the provider.

The poor man's tweek

I asume you have a basic understanding on how to configure your Photoshop or Adobe programs: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/creativesuite/cs/using/WSBB0A8512-8151-408c-9F79-4A9E9E3BA84C.html

5) Take a look at this tutorial I made on how to do a basic calibration on your monitor: http://www.otake.com.mx/Apuntes/ColorCalibration/ColorCalibration.phtml

6) For color swatches, for example on Ilustrator. Prepare a series of sample patches like this: http://otake.com.mx/Foros/Koverall.png print them and choose the values as you need based on the printed sample.

7) On photos Compare a printed photo with how it looks on the monitor. Tweek the image on the screen to compensate the flaws you see on the print. If your print looks too dark, make it lighter on the screen. And prepare a Photoshop action accordingly to be used on a copy of the photos to be printed.

8) Save some money and after you purchase the calibration hardware go back to your original photos and discard points 5 to 7.

  • Use that harware would be great. But, in case that cannot use that, how can I configure both, the printer and the software? – FiroKun Jul 6 '16 at 14:08
  • I added a poor man's tweek section. – Rafael Jul 6 '16 at 16:05
  • I'll try the poor man's tweek. Thanks for the alternative method ;) even with the 4th step... jeje. Thanks, I'll try it and post the result. – FiroKun Jul 6 '16 at 22:35

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