Black Color Not Printing Dark Enough on ZXP1 & ZXP3 Card Printers

Article ID: 88569084

Issue / Question

How to make the black print darker?

Applicable To

ZXP Series 1 and ZXP Series 3 printers.

Resolution / Answer

Configuration of the driver may be incorrect or in some cases the incorrect ribbon type may be being used.

Below are the typical procedures for each based off the printer model that you have:

Note:  It is always recommended to ensure that you have the current drivers and firmware for your printer to ensure that the problem is not caused by an issue corrected by more current firmware or driver releases.  

Updating Zebra Card Printer Driver and Firmware  Read More>>

Also, if you are using third party Card stock (non-Zebra brand), it is recommended to test with Zebra media to ensure the third party media is not the cause of the poor ink transfer.

You will have to access your Printing Preferences via the printer's properties to make adjustments to the black print quality.  There are two primarly locations to adjust settings in an attempt to correct the quality of the black printing on your cards.  Each is detailed below:

If using a full color ribbon such as a YMCKO ribbon, the black extraction settings would be the first section of the printer settings to adjust.  There will be black extraction settings for both the front and the back of the card (back of card only if doublesided printer is being used).  Therefore, if the issue is only encountered on one side of the card, make the necessary changes to that side (front or back).  You can access these settings via the "K Panel Options":


When you click on the K Panel Options for the side of the card you are experiencing issues with you will see the following dialog box displayed:


The appropriate selection to make is based off what objects/images are being printed on the card and where they are being printed.  For more information on the appropriate selections, click the following link which includes examples and information on when to select which setting.  Read More>>

The second option you have of modifying the quality of the black print that you are receiving is to adjust the "Monochrome Conversion" settings.  Primarily you will use this when you have a Monochrome ribbon installed and being used.  It is used to control multi-tone printing when using the one color ribbon. This can be done by within the Card Setup tab of the Printing Preferences:

Note: These options my be different based off the ribbon combination/type installed.  For example, if you have your Ribbon combination set at Front YMCKO, Back YMCKO, you will only see the Auto, Barcode, and Text Mode options.

Ideally, leaving the Monochrome Diffusion at Auto would provide optimal black output.  However, depending on the ribbon being used and the images/objects being printed on your cards, this may need to be modified.  Attempting this setting on Barcode would be the initial recommended adjustment.  For more information on Monochrome Conversion settings click the following link.  Read More>>

Helpful information
ZXP1 and ZXP3 Monochrome Adjustments  Read More>>

+ Applicable Products

  • ZXP Series 1 Standard Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 3 Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 3 with Security Enclosures
  • ZXP Series 3C Card Printers (China Only)