Monochrome inkjet printing

I’ve recently managed to spend a bit of time making print profiles for a couple of papers and my Epson 3880 printer. The papers are Ilford Gallerie Gold Fibre Silk (an old favourite) and Fotospeed Platinum Baryta (a new to me paper that I like very much, apart from the price!). One area I’ve felt could be improved for some time is in setting ink limits carefully and separately for mono and colour printing. In colour printing it is often helpful to maximise the size of the printable gamut. It seems this is usually achieved through relatively high ink loads. However, maximising colour gamut often leads to difficulties with shadow separation that are very hard to address. This can be particularly frustrating in mono printing as the profile doesn’t just sort it all out for you!

I spent some time printing and measuring targets with different ink loads and eventually settled on using a setting with 20% less ink for a dedicated RGB profile for mono printing (or lower saturation colour) and have now printed a few prints using the full ink setting and profile and the low ink setting and profile. So far the low ink settings are working well to produce visibly bettter mono prints, with more shadow detail and an appearance of better linearity o smoothness through the whole brightness range. The prints appear slightly lighter, but my main independent tester approves the mono specific prints in every case.

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