One reason your prints might be different than what you see on your display is because of the printer. To produce good quality prints similar to what you see displayed on your monitor, you will also need to take into consideration your printer.
There are two common types of printer technologies to choose from, Dye-sublimation and Inkjet. Dye sublimation uses heat and a special paper to produce a print. The more common type of printer used today. The quality of your printer will also greatly affect the quality of your prints. Most printers today use the basic CMYK cartridges, whereas professional printing studios will have printers that use the basic CMYK cartridges as well as Light Cyan, light magenta, light black and light light black, to produce a more accurate and better quality print.
Better print head technology and screening algorithms also provide for a better, more accurate print.
Now that you have your printer of choice, you now need to choose the proper color profile for your needs.
ICC profiles or Epson Advanced Black and White mode?
A good general Rule of Thumb for this is, it’s better to use Epson ABW mode. But, it is possible to get good or even better results using a standard ICC profile, depending if the image is in grayscale or RGB mode. Also, if you have toning applied, such as with 3rd party software.
Epson ABW mode is recommended for grayscale images and even for RGB images that do not have heavy toning. For heavily toned images an ICC profile might be better. Some of the advantages of using Epson ABW mode are, Deeper blacks, more shadow detail, and printing with ABW drivers also helps minimize classic issues, such as bronzing, metamerism, and gloss differential.
Be careful when using toning options in ABW mode, as they might not produce an image that suits you. Quadtones are much better for toning but you will also need a paper that is profiled for quad tone. The quality of your prints will depend greatly upon the image quality, how it was processed, and also the paper white point. The whiteness of your paper can also affect the outcome of the print.
Windows users also need to disable printer color management in order to prevent Double Color management. This option is automatically disabled for Mac users.
With all that being said, whether you choose to produce your own prints or get them done at a professional printing studio, the information in this article will provide you enough knowledge to get you better and more accurate color prints.