[Openicc] Printing targets: App or driver ? Profiling RGB or CMYK

Michael Sweet msweet at apple.com
Tue May 17 17:18:29 PDT 2011

On May 17, 2011, at 4:23 PM, Alastair M. Robinson wrote:
> Hi,
> On 17/05/11 23:41, Chris Murphy wrote:
>> Some inkjet printers are CMYK, most have more than four colorants. But most of those consumer printers
>> with more than four colorants don't provide access to individual channels, i.e. DeviceN not possible.
> Epson inkjets at least - and I believe Canon too - are driven at a pretty low-level - Gutenprint is telling the printer precisely which ink drops to print at which sizes at which locations - so yes, DeviceN is available.  Its not being available on closed platforms is just a driver limitation.

It really depends on the printer and target market. You'll find many current Epson models provide an sRGB interface/format and most HP and Kodak inkjet printers are sRGB-only. Large and medium-format printers still mostly provide DeviceN, but again the entry-level often is sRGB and/or AdobeRGB these days.

There are technical reasons for this move (easier multi-platform support, common PDL between devices, etc.) as well as financial (cost of development, cost of device, supply sales, etc.), and I am expecting a greater push in this direction as mobile computing supplants desktop/portable computing.

That said, assuming that IPP Everywhere and PWG Raster is adopted widely we should end up with the best of both worlds: standardized PDL and standardized DeviceN support for products that need (or can take good advantage of) it.

Michael Sweet, Senior Printing System Engineer, PWG Chair

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