The driver settings
are not printer specific, they should be compatible with just about
any Epson Inkjet printer currently available and also with some from
quite a few years back.
PC users of Epson printers sometimes feel rather
unfortunate claiming that Epson do not provide them with all the tools
necessary for a fully colour managed workflow. The ICC profile
supplied with the PC version of the Epson printer driver is NOT
a media (paper) profile. So what is it?
The single ICC
profile supplied with the PC driver will normally have a name such as
Epson Stylus Photo 1270, when viewed in the Photoshop Print dialog.
However, the name/label of these profiles in Windows Explorer is less
obvious, e.g. Ee089_1. This profile simply defines the optimum
colour space for the Epson printer and is associated with the
Color Settings, PhotoEnhance and ICM modes; except
for a slight gamma difference it's pretty close to sRGB. When
the driver is set for any of the 3 operating modes listed above it
needs no additional media profiles.
For best results
when using an Epson Printer with Photoshop we should really have it
correctly configured and the monitor properly calibrated. Adobe
provides Adobe Gamma for the purpose of calibration and I have
produced a comprehensive essay describing how Photoshop 6 can be
configured along with guidance on calibrating the monitor. See
Photoshop 6 Colour Setup.
Note: that if
you are using the Epson Stylus Photo 750 or 1200
printers it is very likely that you are in fact using a faulty ICC
profile. The net effect of the fault within the 750/1200 profile is to
cause prints that tend to be dark and saturated. Therefore, in order
that Epson 750/1200 users can benefit from the workflows discussed
below I recommend that you download the replacement profiles that I
have provided. The zip file contains a readme text file, please
red it. Download profiles
Getting an acceptable Print
The typical user of
an Epson printer and Photoshop 6 has two BASIC print workflows
(methods). Neither is complex, in fact 90% of the settings are common
to both methods. The results from both should/will be VERY
similar. I suggest that you try both and decide which of the two
suites your workflow best.
Method 1 - Let Windows ICM colour engine do the colour space conversions
In Photoshop 6 Print
dialog "File > Print" make sure that the Source Space
radio button is selected (1). We
then choose the "Printer Space" Profile pop-up (2)
and from it select "Printer Color Management (PCM)". Intent
cannot be changed, nor does it need to be since no conversions take
place inside Photoshop when using this method.
Photoshop 6 - Print Dialog
embeds the "source colour space profile" within the
image and so tells Windows and the Epson driver that it has some
conversion work still to do before printing the image. So long as the
Epson driver is set-up for either of the Color Controls,
PhotoEnhance4 or ICM modes the conversion process is
automatic and the user has no role,.
Choose the "Setup"
button. The following screen-capture shows the Page Setup
dialog. Choose the Paper size/source and
Photoshop 6 - Page Setup dialog
Now press the
Properties button (4). Once
the Printer driver window appears choose the type of Media (5)
that will be used. Next select "Custom" mode (6).
The last setting to choose in this dialog is the Advanced
Epson Printer Dialog - Main
Chose the highest
Print Quality (8) option
compatible with the printer/media combination that you require.
Halftoning (9) should be set
High Quality. Color Management (10)
should be set-up for either
Color Controls, PhotoEnhance4 or ICM modes, it
makes little difference other than the extent to which the user or
Epson driver can further tweak the image before printing. Actually,
tweaking an image in the driver is NOT really a good idea, most of
these optional settings are for non-Photoshop users! My personal
preference would be ICM mode since it disables the adjustment sliders
and removes most of Epson's internal colour/contrast processing.
Lastly, press the OK button and return to the Photoshop 6
Before pressing the
OK button in the Print dialog you should check that the
"Printer Space" Profile pop-up (2)
is still set for "Printer Color Management (PCM)". If it has
reverted to something else reset it to "Printer Color Management (PCM)".
Epson Print Driver - Advanced
Method 2 - Let PS6 colour engine do
the colour space conversions
In PS6 Print dialog
"File > Print" make sure that the
Source Space (1) radio button
is selected. We then choose the "Printer Space" Profile pop-up
(2) and from it select the ICC
profile for our printer, e.g.; "Epson Stylus Photo 1270".
Intent should be kept at Perceptual.
Photoshop 6 - Print Dialog
The remaining steps
for Method 2 are identical to Steps
10 from Method 1 described
Both methods are
equally valid and depending upon whether the image is photographic or
graphical in nature they will produce very similar, if not identical
results. In theory, Method 2
should produce a marginally better result since it utilises the Adobe
colour conversion engine, which is superior to the Microsoft ICM engine.
Nevertheless, the additional colour processing that is carried out
internally by the Epson driver reduces any differences that may be
present to the extent that they may be virtually impossible to detect.