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HP Printer not printing colors the same as a couple months ago

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by depps74, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. depps74

    depps74 Guest

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    I have a job where I have to match colors. Two months ago I printed out a full Pantone solid coated swatch book from Illustrator. I labeled each box and kept it for future jobs. Today I took the paint sample matched it to that previously printed swatch book, printed out what I thought was the match and it looked way different. After many adjustments on opacity and different colors, I decided to re-print the swatch book. To my surprise the new swatch book is way darker than the old one.

    I am at a loss as to why this is happening? Does it have something to do with the black options in illustrator?

    I cleaned the print heads, ran a calibration. But I am pretty new to printing and this one is a real mystery.
     
  2. Dan360

    Dan360 Member

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    It typically does differ slightly as time goes by, but it shouldn't be a drastic difference. Are you printing at the same passes and ink density as before? More ink will make everything look darker. We always print the print mode and settings on our swatches when we do them so we have a reference. Same vinyl?
     
  3. depps74

    depps74 Guest

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    Same material. It's 10pass, not sure about the saturation though. I have not changed any saturation levels, or at least I dont think I have. How would I find that out on the printer?
     
  4. Dan360

    Dan360 Member

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    It's the last number in your media preset, 8p_CMYKcm_90 is 90% ink density.

    When you first started printing that media, did you do a colour calibration first?
     
  5. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    Is it the same preset, profile, etc. What rip are you using? What was your headlife then and now? Have you run any calibrations between then and now?
     
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  6. depps74

    depps74 Guest

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  7. depps74

    depps74 Guest

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    I did not calibrated.
    I did not calibrate it on the first run. The ink density as far as I can tell is 120 icc. The RIP I am using is FlexiPrint
     
    • Pure Genius! Pure Genius! x 1
  8. Dan360

    Dan360 Member

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    I just noticed it's a 315, not sure how colour calibration works on those, maybe someone with one can chime in.
     
  9. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

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    Is it the same material?
    where were the samples kept? if exposed to light it will fade.
    Did you export using the same file type / settings?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. depps74

    depps74 Guest

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    Same material. The Magentas and the cyan from the pure CMYK squares of the seems to be darker (dirtier looking) on the latest print. mixed colors are either spot on or way off....
     
  11. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    Can you post pics of your tests?
     
  12. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    my guess is head quality
     
  13. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

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    Unless you calibrate directly before printing each swatch it's a toss of the dice.
    The heads are consumables and wear quite quickly.
    Even so the colour will change as they change temperature.
     
  14. kanini

    kanini Member

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    Don't know how it is in Flexiprint but we have had a couple of times employees selecting a 600dpi profile instead of 300dpi in Onyx Thrive resulting in colours that are off a slight bit. "Thought it would be higher quality" which is understandable but it differs from the 300dpi profile.

    Other that that, as Bly and others pointed out, do color calibration before printing samples and swatch books to minimize differences.
     
  15. SheBeau

    SheBeau Member

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    You say you’re printing from Illustrator. What print settings may be different. I find Illustrator has a tendency to print dark and I have o go in and check every setting to correct it.
     
  16. MarkSnelling

    MarkSnelling Mark Snelling - Hasco Graphics

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    HP print heads are consumables (as you know) and they are slowly dying every single day....this is a common occurrence and can be viewed as a disadvantage for latex owners. The condition of your head from 2 months ago is different than the condition it is in today making it difficult to match exact colors over an extended time frame....especially on large solid areas. I'm not knocking the printer or the technology (for those die-hard latex lovers out there)...it's a great unit...but this is a slight disadvantage from their technology.

    The same can be said about other print technologies (solvent/UV) but not to the same extent as those heads are meant to print for years, not months.
     
  17. Ian Stewart-Koster

    Ian Stewart-Koster Active Member

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    Try 3 or 4 thorough head cleans... I had a similar problem with dirty yellows especially, and dark blues, and browny reds, till I'd got rid of the black contamination that was muddying them all.
     
  18. AGCharlotte

    AGCharlotte Member

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    I'd be more concerned that he didn't run a calibration before he printed his swatches the first time. My 310 stays pretty consistent even with headwear. Another thing is enabling "Long Run" mode on your media. Without that enabled, the first prints off tend to be off as the machine heat isn't fully up. Learned that one doing vehicle wraps where the first panel came out differently than the rest.
     
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