Double Color Management: An Unfortunate Extraterrestrial Experience

Marketing Ideas For Printers, Double Color Management: An Extraterrestrial Experience, Tip

Seeing the world through rose-colored glasses sounds like a good thing, right? It sure can be, except in print. When your printed images start taking on an extraterrestrial hue, it’s time to take the glasses off and see where this mystical glow is coming from.

Recently, one of our customers experienced a rather “rosy” view of the images in our Direct Mail For Printers’ Business Forum newsletter package. Frustrated with the magenta casts and poor quality images, they contacted us looking for a solution. Our team suspected that double color management was to blame for the less-than-great print quality images our customer was experiencing.

So, what is double color management?

Simply put, double color management occurs when both the software and the output device are trying to control the color output values assigned to your document as it goes through the production cycle. This often causes hiccups and frustrations along the way. Double color management is a silent killer of good print quality because the settings are incredibly easy to miss and no error message is produced when the settings are incorrectly applied,

The telltale sign of double color management is an unnatural pink or magenta cast to your print, in addition to very poor print quality.

Because double color management sends mixed signals to the output device and mishandles information, the image quality is greatly reduced, and colors become distorted.

Marketing Ideas For Printers, Double Color Management: An Extraterrestrial Experience, Tip

One or the Other: Never Both

To avoid double color management, the biggest thing to remember is you need to allow either InDesign or the output device to handle the color management. Never both.

It doesn’t really matter whether you choose InDesign to handle the color management or the output device. It’s totally up to you. Just remember that when both the software and the output device are trying to manage colors, that’s when things can get, well, ….rosy.

Ditch the Double Agent

To avoid this sneaky imposter, check your software settings by going to the print dialog box within InDesign and choosing Color Management from the menu on the left. From there, look at Color Handling under Options and pick the option that works best for your shop. If you choose to let InDesign manage colors, be sure to turn off color management for the output device. If you wish to let your output device manage colors, be sure to select that option from the drop-down menu in the Color Handling option.

Double Color Management: An Extraterrestrial Experience

If the print quality of your images is poor or has that rosy cast, chances are you’re experiencing double color management. Don’t worry, though. We’re here to help guide you through the steps needed to get you back on track to producing great looking prints. Just give us a call at (800) 736-0688 or (701) 241-9204 or email us at