I open up a new InDesign file and create a box 100% Cyan, another 100% Magenta, one more 100% Yellow, and a 100% black.

When I print the file and compare it to my printer's calibration test print, the 100% colours are not the same.

You can clearly see that the cyan blue comes out more like a dark Turqoise and the Magenta as a warm dark rose-colour. Currently now I have tried exporting to PDF and have it printed from Acrobat - same show, I have tried creating the same file with squares in Pages and MS Word - same result, And also in Photoshop and Illustrator.

I had the Technician from Kyocera by, saying that if the calibration page is printing the colours correctly (which they are) then it must be the profile used or sent from the applications. Then I had a support session with Adobe trying to resolve the issue by changing a lot of printing and file settings - still didn't work. I updated the Kyocera driver to newest one available - still wrong colours..

The colour difference from the printer calibration test and the print from InDesign using 100% CMYK values.

Now I would like to know if this is something forwarded by Mac OS? That it automatically interprets all colours as RGB and then "converts" the interpreted RGB version of CMYK to an estimate CMYK value instead of using the defined CMYK value from the application? Or what is going on? And how do I solve it?

System info:
iMac (27-inch, Late 2013)
Mac OSX Mojave 10.14.4

Printer info:
Kyocera TASKalfa 2552ci

I can't address your specific hardware, but generally, there are two different processes at work. The printer self-test is printing ink or toner, applications print colors. Colors aren't the same as ink or toner.

The computer application sends a color to the printer driver, and the printer driver figures out how to mix ink or toner to create it. Virtually nothing you print has a color that is exactly the ink or toner color, and that includes blocks of primary colors. The ink or toner colors aren't pure cyan, magenta, or yellow; they are close to those primary colors, but optimized for the print process and reflect the ability to manufacture colorants of specific values.

You encounter the same issue trying to get printed output to match the colors that appear on your monitor. The only way to make the printer produce colors precisely as you want them is to calibrate and create a color profile. If you were doing photographic work, that would be a routine, fundamental step in setting up your hardware. For typical office and personal printing, the printer output is usually close enough that most people don't bother.

Calibrating a printer typically uses a scanner. A standard color target is used to calibrate the scanner, and then the scanner is used to measure the output a standard print pattern. Graphics software often has a calibration function that uses a similar process to create a color profile used by the application.

  • It is a really good point, and I had the Kyocera technician coming by again based on the point you made regarding driver. Apparently using a hidden keypad and a settings code he could get access to a set of color profiles 10871087 > 485, which were like a list of nine different standards for how to interpret and process CMYK. Printing a test from each profile, there were several more green, some more grey etc. but at the end we found a profile that seemed somehow close to the desired result. Thanks for the observation - it help narrow down the issue. – Dimser Apr 16 '19 at 19:26

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