When a printer appears to be printing with a strong pink bias this is usually an indication of a colour being missing from your prints rather than an excess of pink being put to paper. This is all to do with the way that inkjet and colour laser printers create colours. The majority of printers on the market use a subtractive colour model commonly referred to as CMYK. This colour model used four coloured inks or toners to create any colour you can think of (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). Your printer mixes these four colours in various combinations on a page to create this effect and as you have gathered an absence of one colour gives another unintended colour.
Why is my printer printing pink instead of red?
If red portions of your documents are appearing as a vibrant pink (magenta) this would tend to indicate an absence of yellow on your prints as shown below.
It is likely that many other colours will be affected giving them pink and blue overtones and making any images look very lifeless. To see how magenta mises with other colours please see the simple diagram below.
Why is my printer printing pink instead of blue?
As mentioned previously printers don’t use blue in at all, instead they combine magenta and cyan to give a deeper blue and add yellow and black if necessary. If however your printer cannot put cyan ink to paper they can produce a very unnatural shade of pink in its place.
As demonstrated above this can leave the majority of the photo looking relatively normal depending upon what has been printed. Please see the colour mixing diagram below to see how these different colour interact.
What can I do to resolve this?
As discussed problems with colours not being printed accurately are likely to be caused by a single colour not being dispensed by your printer. So we can say with certainty which colour is the culprit I recommend first printing a ‘Test Print’ or ‘Nozzle Check’ from your printer to break down the 3+ colours your printer uses. From here it should be easy to identify the problem.
The method of producing these sheets and how your printer refers to them depending upon the make and model of the printer. If you struggle to locate the facility to do this I would recommend printing our very own ‘Colour Inkjet Printer Test Page’ or ‘Colour Laser Printer Test Page’.
For owners of inkjet printers I would recommend reading the short article I wrote on the subject of missing colours that you can find linked here. If however you have a laser printer all I can recommend is getting the toner cartridge replaced.
I hope you have found this article useful, if however you have any further questions please let us know in the comments below.