Getting the right shade of grey to print

I have a background in my CYMK photoshop document which is mid to dark grey and is made up of C69 M60 Y56 K66 ( it came from rgb 36 36 36) … I have calibrated my monitor but when I print this out it looks completely different to what I expect. There is light text overlaid and the background prints so much darker than on screen most of the contrast which was fine on screen is lost in the print. I have studied as much as I can about the different types of blacks but I still don’t fully understand why it comes out quite so dark or which black I should be using to get this and why.

Edit: I have calibrated my screen ( using the windows 7 screen calibration wizard). I have not calibrated the screen to the printer – I am looking into this now. The printer I am printing to is a Cannon MP280. The printer is managing the colours. Not sure why I thought that the contrast was being reduced – as pointed out in the comments this makes no sense. I think I’ve overlooked an issue with the lighter colours as well – they must be printing darker too or something.


I would think the results would be very dependent upon if your screen is accurately calibrated to your printer, most print companies use professional software/hardware to achieve accuracy.

Typically when I print on my wide format printer, I since it is a true CMYK printer, I would print RGB 36,36,36 as CMYK, I would reduce the CMY down to 0,0,0 and print as CMYK 0,0,0,86 this prints a true gray rather than muddy CMY colors.

I derive this CMYK number by using a formula for the equivalent, since RGB values are 0-255 and CMYK is 0-100, the formula would be 100-((36*100)/255)=86 or CMYK 0,0,0,86

Source : Link , Question Author : byronyasgur , Answer Author : Mahogan

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