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A Printer’s Color Palette

How many colors can your printer produce? A printer’s color palette helps determine both the quantity and quality of the final print. As printers become more advanced, the palettes are keeping pace with bright, vibrant colors.

But what is the color palette and how does it impact your prints?


Most printers have a handful of color cartridges. For example, the Epson Home Expression XP-400 has 4 ink cartridge colors: black, cyan, magenta and yellow. From those 4 colors, however, a full complement of colors can be created. Depending on how many cartridge colors your printer has (along with the technology and software that actually run the machine), it can literally produce thousands of colors.


Thus, a printer’s palette is all the colors it has to work with – sort of like an artist’s palette. However, many modern printers have a palette large enough that would grab the eyes (nope, not the ears) of Van Gogh. Very impressive stuff, indeed.


By adjusting your printer’s color management (usually found in the Printer / Device settings screen), you can determine how those colors interact with each other. Typical options include Photo, Graphic, Proof, etc.


The best way to determine your printer’s capability is to print a colorful photograph. Note the differences between the photo on your screen and the finished print – if there is no difference, your palette has all the necessary colors for full-color printing.


RIS offers every spectrum of the printer color rainbow. Your refilled cartridges and prices offer an unbeatable combination – many customers choose ink refilling because we can provide the best ink value.  Our inks are fully compatible with HP, Canon, Epson, Lexmark and Dell printers.  With a streamlined operator-assisted ink refill process, we provide OEM quality at bargain-basement costs.


If you’re seeking a refill store location (over 600 in North America alone) or have any questions about your particular printer’s color palette, please inquire via our contact page. Our complete retail store list with map locator is also available at RIS. Our customer service team is here to help.


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