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DesignJet T1500 colour issue

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Can anyone help please? Or can someone point me in the correct direction for support on this issue?


We're a university library and we've been using our two DesignJet T1500 plotters for a couple of years now and been largely happy with them. The plotters are mostly used for university students' final year presentations and exhibition work, as well as promotional material for the wider campus. 


Over the past two or so years we've had a few users who have expressed disappointment with the colours produced when their work is printed, but we've normally just sorted this by amending the colours in the software and reprinting. Last week we encountered a more serious problem, which is related, but we think it's an issue with the plotters.


A member of staff came in to produce posters for an academic conference but the background colour selected was nothing like that produced by the plotter (see images below).


While this ordinarily be an annoyance, we’ve recently had our corporate colours changed and the problem seems to particularly happen with the colour associated with our corporate image. Of course, this could be a massive problem for us. Whilst we can adjust the material to be printed to something resembling our corporate colours (i.e. adding transparency and changing the RGB values) it’s time-consuming and by guesswork.


Our corporate colour is set at RGB 46.29.91 – a deep shade of purple. When printed on the T1500 it becomes a dark grey, almost black.


Below I’ve attached some photographs of examples. I’ve also attached a photograph of the same material printed out on a LaserJet M855 for comparison. It doesn’t appear to be the file that is causing the problem – it’s the plotter.


Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  • Produced a test image by adding a gradient background to a PowerPoint slide that fades from white (RGB 255.255.255) to the required colour (46.29.91)
  • Printed the test image to the plotter to ensure the issue was reproducible
  • Printed the test image to a colour LaserJet to ensure it wasn’t the image causing the problem
  • Converted the image to PDF, jpg, tiff, bmp and png files to ensure it wasn’t the file format causing the problem
  • Performed print head alignment to ensure this wasn’t the problem
  • Updated the firmware
  • Cleaned print heads, performed paper advance calibration, print head alignment and colour calibration via the print quality troubleshooting options
  • Reproduced the problem and performed the actions above on a second T1500 to ensure it wasn’t just one unit
  • Set the paper type to photographic (despite us using HP Bright White rolls) which solved the issue but caused the paper to be so wet it curled and jammed
  • Tried vaious combinations of print quality on both the printer and printer properties in the driver

 I’m going to try changing the driver later, but as we only installed the latest drivers a few months ago I don’t even know there’s more up-to-date ones available.


Oddly, I went to scan the printouts using a Scanjet 300, but the scans did not accurately reflect the output colour. In the case of the T1500 output it scanned an image that was far more purple than it really was. Could this be related to the problem? Does the printhead recognise the actual colour produced  (RGB 83.82.96 according to an eyedropper) as the original colour (46.29.91)?


Any help would be gratefully received. We’re tearing our hair out here…..


(Attachments below)


T1500 output


T1500 output. Note left side of paper.





M855 print of same image. Note richness of colour on left side.




Side by side comparison of both images.


Colour example.jpg


Test image used for print (jpg version)



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This is proving to be a massive problem for us. We have £10,000 of plotters sitting here that won't print our corporate colors. Does anyone from Hewlett Packard actually visit here?

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Laser 855 is PostScript and T1500 is engineering printer without Post Script, I belive, in your case. This means that colors will more likely match on PS enabled printers than on regular one.

Please take attention to media type when loaded in printer and also in driver - meadi type/whiteness influences color output.


Than comes another challenge, PowerPoint can produce freaking colors for printout.


At the end you life can tend to disasstar if you digg in Color Flow (color management in digital world) but you should read something about this and how to do some color matching from monitor to printer ...


The only thing I can recommend you at this moment is to go on to driver download pages, download and install HP Click and try printing from it. Maybe you will get a bit different colors.

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