I'm not a professional graphic designer, but I own a business and often print documents and images that include my logos and thematic colors. I've been using an Epson Workforce 845 inkjet printer, and for years I've had a problem with the same exact color (specifically an orange) printing differently from one image to another. For a while I just assumed it was user error--that I accidentally changed the color or brightness in one of the images, or I printed using a different setting, etc.

But today I ran some controlled tests to see if I could figure it out. My conclusion is that the orange color prints differently depending on what other colors I use in an image, in particular a bright blue. I printed two different versions of an image, one with a thick orange border and one with two thick borders, one orange and one blue. The version with the blue border printed with a nice warm orange, and the version without the blue border printed with an oversaturated, almost glowing, reddish orange.

So my question is, do printers do some kind of automatic color balancing, the same way, for example, a digital camera will recalibrate based on how much black or white is being detected? And if so, how can I turn this off? I just want my orange to always look the same!


Glancing at the your printer's user manual it says it supports color correction on page 61. Therefore, it is entirely possible that your printer is doing some form of color correction. It might be enabled, so I would read the manual on how to disable that option. If it were me, I would read the entire manual to find if there are other settings that might be affecting the color output.

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