We recently swapped out our DocuColor 12 with a Splash G640 for a DocuColor 252 with Embedded Fiery RIP.
Since the swap we have been disappointed with the quality of output from the new machine.
95% of what we print is from Adobe Illustrator CS5 - we are a design & branding consultancy.
The prints are used mostly for internal review - but are used in presentations and product mock-ups.
Our workstations are all Intel based Macs, all running 10.6.7.
We currently calibrate the printer "off the glass" using Hammermill Color Copy paper - 28lb 100 Brightness.
This is the same combination we used with our Doc12.
Our current prints look a little washed out, the spot colors not as vibrant as before and text not as crisp.
We have noticed that Yellow looks "stronger" when we compare prints between the old & new machines.
These color problems do not affect any copies we make - we are quite happy with the results.
Since there are so many variables between on how Illustrator, OSX and the Fiery handle color, any guidance would be helpful.
Thanks in advance.
Often, in applications like the Adobe CS suite, one the contributors to "washed out" colors is allowing the application to convert all colors to CMYK, usually using a profile designed for offset printing and not digital. We often find it best to send the colors "as is" to the printer and allow the DFE to handle all color conversions instead.
In Adobe InDesign this is accomplished by selecting "CompositeLeave Unchanged" for the Color mode in the 'Output' section of the Adobe print dialog. Setting this to "Composite CMYK" is often what causes the spot colors to lose "vibrancy" as the Adobe application is converting the spot color to CMYK.
For Illustrator - the default color setup is SWOP for CMYK color space and 'Let Illustrator determine colors.' Try chaging this to Gracol and 'Let Postscript printer determine colors' and your output color should improve.
If your colors still don't look right, then I would set the CMYK color management at the Fiery to "Colorwise off" and see if that changes things for you. If it does, but the colors look 'wrong' you need to 'play' with this setting, choosing different source profiles until you hit the correct one for your workflow. Gracol seems to be used most universally in the US, but ISO coated is another good one to try.
The other setting to be sure you have selected is to enable spot color processing in the Fiery settings.
The "Color Settings" I am using in Illustrator are:
RGB: SRGB IEC61966-2.1
CMYK: U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 (also tried Coated GRACoL 2006 (ISO 12647-2:2004)
Color Management Profiles
RGB: Preserve Embedded Profiles
CMYK: Preserve Numbers (Ignored Linked Profiles) - we had issues with client supplied files with bizarre profiles
In the Print dialog box under "Output":
Convert All Spot Colors to Process is NOT selected
Under "Color Management":
Document Profile: U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2
Color Handling: Let Postscript® printer determine colors
Printer Profile: N/A
Rendering Intent: Relative Colorimetric
Preserve CMYK Numbers IS selected.
By the way - GRACoL is not available as a Source Profile on my Fiery.