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HP Designjet T610 Printer Series - Color management

Introduction

HP Designjet T610 printers have been engineered with advanced hardware and software features to ensure predictable and dependable results.

  • Color calibration for consistent colors.

  • One gray and two black inks provide neutral grays on all paper types.

  • The Photo Black ink provides pure blacks when printing on photo papers.

  • Color emulation of other HP Designjet printers.

How colors are represented

All devices that display color use a color model to represent color in numerical terms. Most monitors use the RGB (Red-Green-Blue) color model, while most printers use the CMYK (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-blacK) color model.

An image can be converted from one color model to another, but in general the conversion is not perfect. Your printer uses the RGB color model: the same color model that is used by your monitor.

This simplifies but does not completely solve the problem of matching colors. Each device represents colors a little differently from another device, even if they use the same color model. However, software can adjust the colors in an image according to the characteristics of the particular device, using a color profile of the device, in order to achieve correct colors.

A summary of the color management process

To get the accurate and consistent colors that you want, you should follow these steps for each paper type that you use.

  1. Color-calibrate the paper type, for consistent colors. Calibration should be repeated every now and then. In addition, you may wish to calibrate immediately before a particularly important print job for which color consistency is vital.

  2. When printing, select the correct color profile for the paper type you are using.

Color calibration

Color calibration enables your printer to produce consistent colors with the particular printheads, inks, and paper type that you are using, and under your particular environmental conditions. After color calibration, you can expect to get similar prints from any two different printers situated in different geographical locations.

Some paper types cannot be calibrated. For all other paper types, calibration should be done in any of the following circumstances:

  • Whenever a printhead is replaced

  • Whenever a new paper type is introduced that has not yet been calibrated with the current set of printheads

  • Whenever the environmental conditions (temperature and humidity) change significantly

You can check the color calibration status of the currently loaded paper at any time by pressing the View loaded paper key on the front panel. The status may be one of the following:

  • PENDING: the paper has not been calibrated.

    Whenever you update the printer's firmware, the color calibration status of all papers is reset to PENDING.
  • OBSOLETE: the paper has been calibrated, but the calibration is now out of date because a printhead has been replaced, and should be repeated.

  • DONE: the paper has been calibrated, and the calibration is up to date.

  • DISABLED: this paper cannot be calibrated.

    Color calibration cannot be performed on plain paper, nor on any kind of transparent material.

You can also check the color calibration status by using HP Easy Printer Care (Windows) or HP Printer Utility (Mac OS).

You can start color calibration in the following ways:

  • From the printer alert that recommends calibration.

  • From the HP Color Center: select Calibrate Your Printer.

  • From the front panel: select the Image Quality Maintenance menu icon , then Calibrate color.

The calibration process is fully automatic and can be performed unattended after you have loaded paper of the type you wish to calibrate—which should be A3 or any larger size.

The process takes about 3–5 minutes and consists of the following steps.

  1. A calibration chart is printed, which contains patches of each ink used in your printer.

    1: Color calibration chart

  2. The chart is allowed to dry for a period of time that depends on the paper type, so that the colors have time to stabilize.

  3. The chart is scanned and measured.

  4. From the measurements, the printer calculates the necessary correction factors to apply for consistent color printing on that paper type. It also calculates the maximum amount of each ink that can be applied to the paper.

Color management from printer drivers

Color management options

The aim of color management is to reproduce colors as accurately as possible on all devices: so that, when you print an image, you see very similar colors as when you view the same image on your monitor.

There are two basic approaches to color management for your printer:

  • Application-Managed Colors: in this case your application program must convert the colors of your image to the color space of your printer and paper type, using the ICC profile embedded in the image and the ICC profile of your printer and paper type.

  • Printer-Managed Colors: in this case your application program sends your image to the printer without any color conversion, and the printer converts the colors to its own color space. Color management is done using a set of stored color tables; ICC profiles are not used. This method is somewhat less versatile than the previous methods, but is a little simpler and faster, and can produce good results with standard HP paper types.

    There are only two color spaces that the printer can convert to its own color space using the stored color tables: Adobe RGB and sRGB if you are using Windows, Adobe RGB and ColorSync if you are using Mac OS.

    ColorSync is the Mac OS built-in Color Management System; so, in fact, when selecting ColorSync it is the built-in color management part of Mac OS that is performing the color management, and it is done based on the ICC profiles of specified paper type. ColorSync is available with the PCL driver only.

You are recommended to consult the Knowledge Center at http://www.hp.com/go/knowledge_center/djt610/ to see how to use the color management options of your particular application.

To choose between Application-Managed Colors and Printer-Managed Colors:

  • In the Windows driver dialog: select the Color tab.

  • In the Mac OS Print dialog: select the Paper Type/Quality panel, then Color.

  • In some applications: you can make this choice in the application.

Printer emulation

If you want to print a particular job and to see approximately the same colors that you would get from printing the same job on a different HP Designjet printer, you can use the emulation mode provided by your printer.

This option is available only when printing an HP-GL/2 job. It will work correctly only when printing on plain, coated, or heavyweight coated paper.
  • In the Windows HP-GL/2 driver dialog: select the Color tab, then Printer Managed Colors, then select Printer Emulation from the Source Profile list. You can then select from the Emulated Printer list.

  • In the Mac OS Print dialog: select the Paper Type/Quality panel, then Color, Printer Managed Colors, Emulated Printer.

Color adjustment options

The aim of color management is to print accurate colors. If you perform color management correctly, then you should be able to print accurate colors with no need of any manual color adjustments.

However, manual adjustments may be useful in the following situations:

  • If your color management is not working correctly for some reason

  • If you want colors that are subjectively pleasing rather than accurate

The printer driver provides different adjustment facilities depending on whether you are printing in color or in grayscale. If you are printing in pure black and white, there are no color adjustment options.

Printing in color

You can adjust the colors of your print in similar ways under Windows and Mac OS:

  • In the Windows driver dialog: select the Color tab, ensure that the Advanced Color Adjustments box is checked, then press the Settings button beside it.

  • In the Mac OS Print dialog: select the Paper Type/Quality panel, then Lightness and Hue.

Under either operating system, you will then be able to make adjustments using a lightness slider and three color sliders.

2: Color sliders

  • The lightness slider simply makes the whole print lighter or darker.

  • The color sliders can be used to fade or emphasize each of the primary colors in the print. The primary colors may be red, green, and blue; or cyan, magenta, and yellow; depending on the color model used in the image.

The Reset button restores each slider to its default central position.

Printing in grayscale

You can adjust the gray balance of your print in similar ways under Windows and Mac OS:

  • In the Windows driver dialog: select the Color tab, ensure that the Advanced Color Adjustments box is checked, then press the Settings button beside it.

  • In the Mac OS Print dialog: select the Paper Type/Quality panel, then Gray balance.

Under either operating system, you will then be able to make adjustments using separate controls for highlights, midtones, and shadows.

3: Grayscale sliders

  • The lightness slider simply makes the whole print lighter or darker. This slider is available under Windows in the same window as the other grayscale controls; it is available under Mac OS by selecting Lightness and Hue.

  • The zone definition sliders can be used to define what you mean by highlight, midtone, and shadow.

  • The other controls for highlight, midtone, and shadow can be used to adjust the gray balance of highlights, midtones, and shadows respectively.

The Reset button restores each control to its default setting.

Color management from the front panel

You can color-calibrate the loaded paper type from the front panel by selecting the Image Quality Maintenance menu icon , then Calibrate color.

The other color options in the front panel can all be found by selecting the Setup menu icon , then Printing preferences, Color.

These front panel settings can all be overridden by the printer driver.
  • Color/Grayscale: you can choose to print in color or in shades of gray. Default: Print in color.

  • Select RGB source profile: you can choose from a selection of RGB source profiles recognized by the printer. Default: sRGB (HP).

  • Emulate printer: you can choose to emulate a different HP Designjet printer. Default: None (no printer emulation).

    If you have old HP-GL/2 files made for a different HP Designjet printer, you can send them to the printer and use the front panel to turn on the appropriate emulation mode.

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