Question about HP Color LaserJet 5550hdn Printer

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I am the Graphic Artist and Printer for a public library. We have a logo that has the Pantone color PMS 375 green in it. I mix my own inks and have no problem reproducing the color properly on a printing press. However, I have occasion to include the logo on material that is printed on an HP Color Laserjet 5550 dtn printer. I can not even come close to matching the color and am beginning to wonder if it is even possible. Someone asked me if my HP printer is Pantone calibrated. I do not know how to tell if it is or not. they said if it was, I should be able to obtain a swatch library from HP that uses "visually-calibrated" CMYK data specifically for the device. I am not quite sure what that means. I have Pantone swatch books in my InDesign CS4 layout program, but they do not print true. I would sure appreciate any suggestions or help on this matter.

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Laser printers, although they have a larger color gamut than a CMYK offset press, still will not be able to reproduce a majority of Pantone special colors.
Professional inkjet printers, especially those using more than 4 inks, are far better at this - the ink pigments are more color-pure and concentrated than those in laser toners.
Remember, that Windows print drivers work in RGB, and use ICC profiles to convert color data to CMYK components for printer. If you have a CMYK file, and look at it on your monitor, it's converted (using monitor ICC profile) to monitor's RGB colorspace, and then back to CMYK with the printer ICC profile when printed. Converted twice with ICC, which always introduces distortions...
If you have a properly calibrated monitor, and a good printer profile installed, you have better chances of reproducing screen colors on the printer, especially if you work in RGB.
As a simple, but laborious solution, I would suggest preparing "swatch sheets" yourself using some graphics software. Preferrably in RGB, not CMYK. A series of gradients with the green component going from, say, half way to maximum, and other components in various combinations, like R0 B0, R10 B0, R20 B0,... then R0 B10, R10 B10, R20 B10... and so on. Print those, and try to find a spot in the gradients that is the closest to your color sample, and then make swatches with smaller increments around that color to find the best RGB combination.
Good luck :)

Posted on Nov 13, 2009

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Microsoft Windows 98 SE / ME / 2000 / XP/ Server 2003 / NT 4.x Operating Systems (OS):

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