Posted by Lambda Living on Jun 16th 2020

Why the edible printer color is different from regular printers?

At first, we should see if the off-color printing is caused by clogging. We should print a nozzle check. If the nozzle check shows all nozzles are fully functional, which means there are no stripes or missing colors, then the off-color printing may be caused by edible ink having a smaller gamut than regular inks.

A “gamut” represents all the colors that a particular device can produce. To make colors, desktop printers use cyan, magenta, and yellow. Therefore, to make a good color, we will need the purest cyan, magenta, and yellow. Unfortunately, although there are thousands of colorants in the world, not all of them are edible. Even more, for all the FDA-approved, edible colorants, not all of them can be made into printer ink. Therefore, edible printers will have a smaller gamut than regular printer inks. We may find that edible ink cannot produce a “spot-on” color that we want. We work with IcingImage, an American company that has over twenty years of experience in making edible inks. If a color is possible to make using a food-grade colorant, it will be in the gamut. However, if the color is impossible to make, we do not sacrifice food safety by cheating on colors.

To alleviate the problem, we will use a customized ICC profile. In a nutshell, an ICC profile will utilize the existing ink’s capability and make it as close to the accurate color as possible. An ICC profile will not fix everything, but it will give you the best results possible.

We can provide an ICC profile if it helps. The ICC profile will not make a “night-and-day” difference. Rather, it will fine-tune the picture and enhance things such as skin tones.

To install the ICC on Windows, we can right-click the file and select “Install.” For Mac, we can just click on it. After installation, we need to refer to the PhotoShop (or other graphic software) manual. I am not a software expert, so here I will list the two most common scenarios. If you want to use other software to print it, please google “Software name + ICC + Print.”

For example, if we use Windows’ right-click and print (Windows Picture Viewer), we will click “Options” above the Print button, choose “color management,” and select the printer. We will remove the existing ICC profile and then click “Add” before selecting our customized profile.

The second scenario involves using Photoshop. We will click File->Print. In the pop-up window, under Color Handling, select “Photoshop manage colors,” and then under Printer Profile, select the ICC file name that you just installed. Please notice that the ICC profile is specific to the ink-media combination. For example, if you use a lambda-1 series of ink and 9-Pin sugar paper, you will need a different ICC profile if you switch to Wilton sugar paper. The same is true if you keep the paper but switch to a different ink series.