If you’ve ever spent an afternoon trying to get your prints to match what you see on your monitor only to give up exasperated, here are a few tips that will help most users:
First, adjust your monitor’s gamma. In Windows, navigate to Control Panel/Hardware and Sound/Display. Select Calibrate Color. Follow the steps to correct color cast, brightness and contrast. This alone will make a huge difference in what you see and how it looks printed.
Second, print the RGB color samples from your printer. Each device is different, consult your user’s manual to locate this option. On newer HPs, it’s under Administration/Reports. You can use these samples to match colors accurately.
Third, ensure you are working in Adobe RGB within your software. In Photoshop, you will find it under Edit/Color Settings. There are a number of options available, depending on media, device and intent. The defaults will work for most applications, but this is the place to fine tune your display color space. There are specific ICC profiles available for both media and devices. You may want to download and install the appropriate profile(s) for your devices and media which would then be available to choose from in this menu. Generally you will also want to choose Perceptual or Relative Colorimetric as your intent.
If you have a PostScript printer, you will want to use the PostScript driver. It will enable you to use the Pantone palette which may aid you in perfect color matching.
It should be noted that digitally printed material cannot perfectly reflect what is on your display, but taking a little time to tune your color space will save you time, money and frustration.