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Professional Printer Colour Problems

Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum, so hello :)

I'm hoping you may be able to help me with a problem I keep getting from the same printers. They're adamant that the problem lies with my artwork, but I can't help thinking it's something to do with their RIP software, as I've set the artwork exactly as they have specified - 300dpi CMYK.

Here is a visual of the problem:

On the left is the on-screen version, on the right is the print. As you can see, the blacks aren't blending properly with the colours, and it's come out as a kind of greenish mess. There are other colours on the artwork too that just looked washed out.

Any suggestions are much appreciated.

Looks awful and looks like something they should be helping with.
I agree. So far they have blamed my artwork, and they've also told me it is the characteristics of the stock used, which is called PolyPro - a type of weather-proof vinyl. They haven't given me any pointers on how to fix the problem either, because they don't seem to think it is a problem! I feel a bit stuck to be honest.


Staff member
It's probably down to the stock of the paper - but they should be controlling the output - there's no excuses.

Did you provide a colour sample? Did you get a colour sample?
It's probably down to the stock of the paper - but they should be controlling the output - there's no excuses.

Did you provide a colour sample? Did you get a colour sample?
They should definitely be controlling it, or at least if they're aware of it there should be warning before you place your order. I didn't get colour samples. This colour is so far off though it's ridiculous. They're denying that there's even anything wrong with it.

I still don't believe it is the stock, as we've had prints on the same stock that have been perfect. I think it's something to do with the set up of the printer, but obviously I have to trust their judgement when it comes to this. I'm not going to use them in future and currently looking for a different printer.
That looks like a printer issue and something to do with their quality control. We recommend clients supply artwork at 100% the size at 300 DPI to prevent "bad graphics". Most large format printers will recommend clients supply their artwork like this. How big was the image you supplied? What was it printed on? and how big was the print in cm?
That looks very much like a printer/rip/profile issue to me. I work at a printing place and I would say that over-all the colour looks fine; but as you say the shadow areas are certainly not right.

Is this just a photograph or have you applied anything else to it? I can't whole heartedly comment without your actual artwork file; but it does look as though they don't have the correct profiling for the material. Is this a standard material that they offer or did you specifically request that they get it for your jobs?

Do you know what printer or rip software they are using?

The only thing you could check is if your photograph is actually CMKY; you may have placed it in a CMYK document and exported it as CMYK, but you could open it in photoshop and convert it properly from rgb, I think it's in the image menu.
Thanks for your replies.

It's a photograph from Photoshop (300dpi CMYK) placed into a CMYK Illustrator document and exported as PDF, high quality print. The stock is called PolyPro and it's one of their standard options, so you'd think they'd be able to advise me better.

I agree that definitely looks like an issue with their printer/software etc. but up to now they haven't even acknowledged that there is anything wrong with it, which I find unbelievable.

They have offered to run a sample off on normal stock, so we'll see what happens.

Thanks for your help!