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
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 HERE!
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
Choosing PCM 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
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 button (7).
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 for
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 Print dialog.
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
3 through 10
from Method 1 described above.
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
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.