10 Pre-Press Tips For Perfect Print Publishing

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A lot of designers think CMYK is the way to go when designing for print. We will, of course, always use CMYK-based ink, but this does not mean you have to work with CMYK files. You can work with RGB images to perfectly optimize your print colors and save a great deal of time in the process.

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1. Use RGB Color Mode For Photoshop Images

For several of the following tips to work, you will have to create and save all of your Photoshop images and artwork in RGB color mode. If you’re a veteran designer, you probably think this goes against what you’ve been taught, which is to use CMYK color mode. Well, technology has come a long way, and nowadays RGB color mode is better because it produces a wider range of colors and allows you to use one image for several media, including print and Web.

Screenshot

Think of it this way: RGB colors (red, green, and blue) are created with light. That’s why your computer monitor and TV use RGB colors to produce its fantastic range of colors. CMYK colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and key, or black), on the other hand, are created by putting ink to paper. “Ink-on-paper colors” will never be as bright or saturated as the colors on your computer screen or TV, no matter how much ink you add to the paper. So, to get the widest range of colors possible, you need to save all of your Photoshop files in RGB color mode. Most of the time, you won’t even have to think about it, because almost every photographer will supply you with RGB images. All you have to do is keep them in that mode.

Screenshot
A 3-D map showing the range of the Adobe RGB (1998) color space, the sRGB (or small RGB) color space and the common newspaper CMYK color space. sRGB’s range is much smaller than Adobe RGB’s. Working in the Adobe RGB color space would result in much brighter colors. The range of the CMYK color space is much narrower. Especially for this newspaper, the white in CMYK mode isn’t white at all. It’s more of a dirty brown.

2. Specify The Right Color Settings

To successfully use an RGB image in Adobe InDesign, you first need to specify the appropriate color settings. Fortunately, Adobe has made it really easy for you to specify the right settings and quickly apply them across its Creative Suite. This is where Adobe Bridge comes in.

To specify a color setting in Adobe Bridge, choose Edit → Creative Suite Color Settings and then select your region: either “North America Prepress 2,” “Europe Prepress 2″ or “Japan Prepress 2.” If your region isn’t displayed in the dialog box, select “Show Expanded List Of Color Settings Files” at the bottom of the dialog box. After clicking “Apply,” the setting you have specified will be applied to Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat.

3. Ditch Photoshop EPS Files And Use PSD Files Instead

After your images and artwork have been saved in RGB color mode and you’ve specified the right color settings, it’s time to start designing. Do you still keep a copy of your native Photoshop (PSD) files and save TIFF or EPS versions, which you then import into InDesign? If so, you’re missing out on some valuable opportunities.

If you’ve been using InDesign for a while, you probably already know that it honors transparency effects in PSD files, but that’s not all. When you import PSD files, InDesign also honors clipping paths, spot colors, alpha channels, duotone colors and vector information (such as Smart Objects). You can even access all the layers in a PSD file by selecting “Show Import Options” when you import an image or choosing Object → Object Layer Options after importing an image. With all of these time-saving opportunities, saving all of your Photoshop images in the PSD file format is a no-brainer.

4. Accurately Simulate CMYK While Working In RGB

Keep in mind that even though you’re importing RGB images with bright and saturated colors, InDesign actually shows you what the CMYK equivalent of each image will look like. So, how does InDesign make that color conversion properly? Well, because you’ve specified the appropriate color settings in Adobe Bridge, InDesign will use those settings to accurately display each RGB image when it’s converted to CMYK color mode.

InDesign even goes a step further and shows you exactly how the colors in a layout will appear when printed on a certain type of paper using a specific output device. Simply choose View → Proof Setup → Custom. Then choose an output device from the “Device to Simulate” pop-up menu, and select the “Simulate Paper Color” option. After clicking “Okay,” the color of your pages will change, and your images will appear darker and less saturated. So, to get a good idea of how your layout will appear when printed on coated paper using a sheet-fed printer, choose “U.S. Sheetfed Coated v2.” This feature is great because it gives you an accurate idea of how your colors will appear when they’re printed.

If you use Photoshop, you may be wondering, “Wouldn’t it be nice if Photoshop could do the same trick, so that I can see what happens to my RGB images when they’re converted to CMYK?” Well, of course it can. Just choose View → Proof Colors, and make sure that “Working CMYK” is specified by choosing View → Proof Setup → Working CMYK. When you proof colors, you’re not actually changing the color mode of the image, so you can continue working in RGB color mode while simulating CMYK. This is yet another reason not to convert your Photoshop files to CMYK.

Screenshot
The top part of this image is a “SoftProof” of how this RGB image will appear when printed in a newspaper. The bottom part shows the original sRGB. The dirty color is actually the color of the paper. As you can see, the color of the paper affects all other colors.

5. Selecting the Right CMYK Output Profile For The Job

There are many different kinds of paper, such as recycled and brownish paper for newspapers, glossy paper for magazines, uncoated paper for stationary and bright-white coated paper for high-quality brochures. As you can imagine, each type has different characteristics when it comes to printing. The recycled paper sucks up more ink, and if you don’t take this into account, your beautiful full-color photos will become too dark, and the ink will blur over the paper, creating an ugly brownish effect.

So, how do you optimize artwork for all of these different kinds of papers? Well, that’s the easy part. Standard CMYK inks have been tested on every type of paper to the extreme. The way cyan, magenta, yellow and black are printed on a specific type of paper is documented in an ICC profile. All you need to do is download these free “Color Profiles” and select the right one when you export a PDF using InDesign (Export → Output → Color Conversion & Destination). If you’re not sure what kind of paper your printer will use, simply ask them. Most printers would rather answer a simple question than clean up colors afterward.

The information provided by the color setting that you specified in Adobe Bridge is used by InDesign to determine how to convert RGB images to the CMYK color space when you output a document. By using InDesign instead of Photoshop to make that conversion, you gain the benefits outlined in the following point.

6. Use InDesign Instead Of Photoshop To Make The Final Color Conversion

There are several good reasons to let InDesign do the conversion:

  • Images are all converted at the same time instead of one at a time before you import each into InDesign.
  • You can reuse the same image for different purposes. For instance, you might want to re-use the image on your website for a brochure, magazine or newspaper. If you let InDesign do the color conversion, it will optimize your RGB images for whatever output device and type of paper you choose.
  • You can simulate how the colors in a layout will appear on different kinds of paper using the same RGB images.

When you use Photoshop to convert all of your images to CMYK before importing them into your InDesign layouts, you prevent InDesign from optimizing the color for different output devices and paper types. If you make the conversion to CMYK first and start designing later, you might unwittingly alter the “maximum ink” and other important color-related characteristics that were pre-defined in your Photoshop file when Photoshop converted your RGB image to CMYK.

As a result, when you work on the colors and contrast later, what you see on screen won’t be what you get in print because you have altered the optimal colors.

7. Download All The Profiles

Different CMYK Color Profiles are available for different kind of papers and print processes. Several organizations provide top-of-the-line ICC profiles, all of which can be downloaded for free at the bottom of this page. The most common are:

  • Newspaper: ISOnewspaper
  • Magazines: ISOWebcoated
  • Full Color Offset:
  • U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2
  • ISOCated_v2
  • ISOuncoated
  • Europe ISOCoated FOGRA27
  • (or the new one, FOGRA39)

8. Exporting A Perfect CMYK PDF Using RGB Images

Once you’ve downloaded and installed the ICC profiles, they’ll be available to InDesign. You don’t even need to select the right profile and assign it to your InDesign document. All you have to do is select the right ICC profile when you export the document to PDF (Export → Output → Color Conversion & Destination). Although you don’t need to assign the right CMYK profile, I would recommend it, because it allows InDesign to match the colors when you select the “Proof Colors” command.

After choosing File → Export and specifying Adobe PDF as the file format, select the “Output” category on the left side of the “Export Adobe PDF” dialog box. Choose the appropriate CMYK destination from the “Destination” menu, so that InDesign can optimally convert all RGB images to CMYK. Also, be sure to select “Convert to Destination (Preserve Numbers)” from the “Color Conversion” menu so that the colors you’ve created in InDesign will maintain their original values.

9. Avoiding Errors When Using RGB Images And Spot Colors

You can use RGB images even when producing a high-end brochure that has die-cut embossed areas and spot UV coating. All you have to do is lay everything out in InDesign and then use a spot color to define the areas that will be die-cut, embossed or UV-coated. Make sure that the spot color objects are placed on top of the RGB images and that they are set to overprint: choose Window → Attributes to open the “Attributes” panel and select “Overprint Fill.”

When you export the document to PDF, the RGB images will convert to CMYK, and all of your spot colors will remain unchanged. I recommend that you check the color separations in Adobe Acrobat to make sure that everything that needs to overprint has been set to “Overprint” (Advanced → Print Production → Output Preview).

Screenshot
The cover of a brochure for a well-known Dutch beer brand. Adobe InDesign’s “Separations Preview” shows the RGB image in CMYK. Scene 2 shows the parts that will be highlighted using a glossy ultraviolet coating. Scene 3 is the part that will be embossed. Scene 4 shows all of the colors combined. (The combined image looks a bit weird because the UV coating and embossed parts have been given a extra spot color so that the printer can keep them separate from the full-color artwork).

10. Share Your PDF Files With Acrobat.com

Now you have but one problem to solve: getting that high-resolution PDF to your client and the printer. Email won’t work because a high-resolution PDF is usually too big. Most printers offer an FTP website, but many clients don’t know how to use FTP. Fortunately, sending out large files is much easier with Acrobat.com, which is a free Web-based service provided by Adobe.

With this incredibly easy and free service, you get your own online storage where you can upload high-resolution PDF files. You can notify your client and printer via email that a PDF is ready to download. And the email even contains a preview of the PDF. If you don’t want Adobe to email your clients, Acrobat.com lets you create a short URL to include in your own email. You can create an online “vault” if you wish, but no log-in or registration is required by default for your client or printer to access the PDF. You can even share PDF files on your website or blog using the embed code provided.

Screenshot
This email is automatically generated when you upload a PDF to Acrobat.com. Feel free to take a look at the PDF file of this brochure (which I’ve downsized to 100 dpi). I’ve shared it on Acrobat.com. Click this link to see it: https://share.acrobat.com/adc/document.do?docid=6ba6d3e1-988e-4452-83bf-2fe0367491715

Further Resources

All of the color profiles and tricks in this article can be used throughout the entire Creative Suite: 1, 2, 3 and 4. ICC Profiles can be accessed from the following directories:

  • Mac OS X: …/Library/ColorSync/Profiles
  • Windows: …Windowssystem32spooldriverscolor

Owning a copy of Adobe Acrobat is not necessary, but the application comes in handy when checking the PDF files that you’ve exported from Adobe InDesign. Adobe Acrobat even lets you see which destination profile you have specified in InDesign by choosing Advanced → Print Production → Output Preview. Quark XPress users can use these same ICC profiles.

Keep in mind that experimenting with color can create undesired results if you’re not sure what you’re doing. I highly recommend speaking with your printer before altering your workflow because he won’t be expecting color-optimized artwork if you’ve never bothered to submit it before. Should you have any doubts about the colors in a design, ordering a color proof on paper is always a good idea.

Related posts

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(Illustrations by Frank De Man.)

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Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/04/16/switch-from-print-to-web-where-to-start/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/10/02/the-ultimate-round-up-of-print-design-tutorials/
  3. 3 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/04/21/creative-print-typography-layouts/
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/11/award-winning-newspaper-designs/
  5. 5 https://share.acrobat.com/adc/document.do?docid=6ba6d3e1-988e-4452-83bf-2fe036749171
  6. 6 http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=3680
  7. 7 http://www.eci.org/doku.php?id=en:downloads
  8. 8 http://www.ugra.ch/index.php?session=29403&show=197
  9. 9 http://www.color.org/iccprofile.xalter
  10. 10 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/04/16/switch-from-print-to-web-where-to-start/
  11. 11 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/10/02/the-ultimate-round-up-of-print-design-tutorials/
  12. 12 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/04/21/creative-print-typography-layouts/
  13. 13 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/11/award-winning-newspaper-designs/

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Marco Kramer is a graphic designer who works in the Netherlands. He specializes in the technical aspects of the design process. As such, he refers to his position as Digital Engineer. Marco has been publishing articles about pre-press and design-related topics for eight years on his blogs DigitalEngineer.net and MacMojo. He has recently started publishing articles for an international audience.

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  1. 1

    Good questions. CMYK optimizer is used by a lot of printers (often without the knowledge of graphic designers). This allows printers to change the CMYK values, TAC, UCR, etc. to better match their needs or paper. Pistop is ‘the mother of al pdf-editors’ (review of ’09 on my site) and ‘PDF Standardizer’ can also adjust color values and convert to other ICC profiles.

    Regarding black: I never use ICC-profiles for logo’s and other vector-based (logo- or identity) elements. They would indeed convert to full-color black because of the cmyk-to-cmyk conversion in profile when exporting…

    @Godzilla: Thanks for the links!

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  2. 152

    Very interesting…. new approach…must give it a try…… Ravi

    0
  3. 303

    Reading some of these comments made me feel I was back in 2001 or something! The RGB workflow has been reliable and robust and in use by far more publications than you might realize over the past decade. InDesign just makes it easier than ever. Yes, there are reasons to convert to CMYK first, but in most publications, RGB makes more sense.

    I made a few more comments on this blog post at InDesignSecrets: http://indesignsecrets.com/this-week-in-indesign-articles-number-14.php#comment-479684

    (That’s not meant as spam; I just didn’t want to repeat it all again here.)

    Thanks,
    David Blatner
    co-author “Real World Photoshop”, “Real World InDesign” and others

    0
  4. 454

    FWIW: A really good reason to have a RGB-workflow is that there is an increasing chance that the printing may be NOT done in pure CMYK… How about Hexachrome or similar 5 and 6 colour systems. Not to mention developments with enhanced inks.

    And in response to a lot of comments that state that one cannot do CMYK-corrections on a RGB-image: CMYK and RGB are complementary. If you have ever worked with old-fashioned scanners (or, god forbid, had to work with separate filters on a stat camera) you may have noticed that the colour-filters used are red, blue and green. And lo-behold. look at the Color Balance sliders in PhotoShop: Cyan to Red, Magenta to Green, Yellow to Blue. Have the Adobe-engineers gone mad? Or do they in fact have a basic knowledge of how colour works? I know the answer…

    0
  5. 605

    To me this article/thread sums up how screwed up some art creators can be and how simple CM assumptions are dangerous. I manage prepress for clients like Nike, Columbia Sportswear, Weiden+Kennedy, etc. and they understand this vital link to success. All their native art (PS, INDD, Ill) is supplied to the printer in one common color space, GRACoL. It’s the one color space most good North American offset printers are adopting as their own
    Personally I’m fine with creating art in RGB at first for maximum color depth but then always saving out from its native app as GRACoL. It cuts out any possibility for error.

    We are not in an age yet where a singular file (PDF) can be supplied without worry of last minute correction cycles. Besides its unrealistic to think there won’t be at least one round of corrections before final approval.

    PDFs to me are great for FPO proofs unless a client states thats the only option.
    But remember when metal is spinning on a $500-600 an hour press its an ugly place to be when something wrong is discovered on a press check and you realize you cant make that change with the supplied PDF that was used.

    I’ve had too many over-simplistic theories (and its obvious when reading this thread) as to how to handle color and time and time again their model keeps changing when it actually comes to churning the job through on time with desired results. Today’s print market doesn’t always allow for that extra 3 hours of custom prepress work and designers for the most part won’t supply the necessary information regarding how to handle their job let alone hard copy.

    I’m well aware of up front color servers like Alwan and I know they can be a great tool especially in its handling on RGB conversion. But like someone who earlier commented, what happens when you’re asked to make a particular color move while the pressman are waiting for new plates. A needed custom 10% Magenta cutback isn’t just that when the dvl is always rebalancing the color.

    1
  6. 756

    Regarding your questions in he last comment: “So saying hey work in rgb or anything you want because it doesn’t matter” Well thats not exactly what said. I do mention using RGB for the most common different kinds of paper. (not t-shirts or other kinds of materials). I also specify the most common kinds of paper, like: Coated, Uncoated, newspaper and Magazine.

    http://www.eusb.de/view.php?filename=43gts_00003.jpg

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  7. 907

    It’s been a while since I stopped by to read the comments, but Eric’s remarks require a reply. You know Eric, I never need to do color adjustments like ‘custom 10% magenta cutback at the press’. If you’ve supplied a file that requires this you’re basically screwed. Color management done right can prevent last minute changes.

    Also, this part of your comment contains a false assumption:” It’s the one color space most good North American offset printers are adopting as their own”. One of the most important parts of color management is the fact that there is no ‘one-cmyk-color-space’. There’s one for *every* kind of paper; coated, uncoated, newspaper etc. Sending everything out “optimized for standard coated” will result in non-optimized colors as the paper works with the ink.

    Where color is most critical (usually food and or clothes) we send out certified colorproofs. When a control strip is printed next to the artwork everyone can rest a sure there won’t be any last-minute press color changes.

    good news by the way: The US is catching up and is setting up an audit & certify program with ISO 125647 standard. More info here: Welcome to the ‘Certified Color’ Party America! http://tinyurl.com/ycs75yj You know one of the good things about Europe is we’ve had to come up with a standard as we are so diverse.

    Oh, nice client list. I work for clients like Pepsico, Nestlé (Mars, Kit-Kat), L’Oreal and may others. Color is very important for them as well…

    2
  8. 1058

    @ Eric:

    GRACoL is _not_ a colour space. It’s a set of data included in an ICC profile. Saying “I don’t use RGB, but only GRACoL” is not even comparing apples and oranges, it’s comparing apples and cars ;)

    2
  9. 1209

    Little remark:
    If you have a calibrated monitor (I use Apple Cinema Display) and a Mac with Snow Leopard, then you see your work in LWF Gamma 2.2.

    0
  10. 1360

    Some food for thought:

    I have been a graphic designer working in the print industry (be it newspapers, magazines, brochures, you name it) for 25 years now, so I guess I could be one of the old dogs mentioned in the comments above.

    At the moment, I work a lot for clients who have supplements, special reports and so on… published in The Times or other papers, thus using the appropriate ISOnewspaper26v4 ICC profile in that case.

    The Times guidelines and instructions for using their ICC profile are very clear: “ALWAYS work on your images, colour correct them etc. in RGB mode, then convert them to CMYK only at the very end of the workflow, when you are 100% happy with the result. NEVER do any alteration to a CMYK image once the ICC profile has been applied to it.”

    This is coming from the guys at The Times, and I don’t think anyone (including the self-proclaimed old dogs) can suspect them of being a bunch of unprofessional or clueless amateurish people compared to the rest of the print industry which some gurus here claim to be a part of…

    I also have to check that all artworks sent by the clients advertising in the supplements comply to The Times specifications which they are sent beforehand. Most of the time these artworks come from so-called established and professional design and advertising agencies…

    I insist on ‘so-called’ as in 90% of cases, they consistently get it wrong and guess what happens: I have to convert the artwork of these CMYK ‘purists’ back to RGB in order to have the correct ICC profile applied so it can get properly printed.

    Of course I don’t get paid for the extra work I have to do to fix their mess, but it would take me more time to explain these ‘professionals’ how to do it properly rather than doing it myself…

    And you would be amazed if I told you who these incompetent agencies are, believe me!

    Though not as experienced as I am, Marco is 100% right: RGB workflow (with soft proof activated) is the way to go. At the end of the day, ICC profiles haven’t been invented just for fun and everything gets delivered to the printers in a state-of-the art CMYK respecting their specs to the letter, when properly used.
    On the opposite, fiddling with images in CMYK during the workflow is asking for trouble, and always an accident waiting to happen.

    3
  11. 1511

    @harryposter: Thank you for the detailed insights!

    0
  12. 1662

    Wow, there are so many dinosaurs posting on this page…anyone still using CMYY for images, whether in Quark, InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop, are quite frankly burying their collective heads in the sand. Move on.

    If you don’t know by now why you should be doing it (RGB image workflow), think very hard about whether you are truly qualified to play with color at all. Seriously, that is how backwards the “CMYK is better than RGB” argument has become. Ten years ago, I would have agreed with some of the comments on this blog.

    Look up Dov Isaacs sometime, and read his mantra about keeping ALL files at the highest level of abstraction. He should know; he is the principal scientist from Adobe for PDF; better known as the godfather of PDF.

    And before you ask, our company was the first magazine publisher in the world to go 100% RGB image workflow, and it scares the living you know what’s out of me thinking of the CMYK only days.

    Please don’t confuse primary colors (C, M, Y, and K) in vectors; ie pure colours that are not meant to be converted to any profile, versus bitmap images that MUST be converted to the correct profile. As for softproofing, how else are you editing your files if you are not doing so with the output intent in mind. That is why hard wired CMYK number in an image are a complete nonsense when you are correcting it, if you are not simulating the destination.

    How many people still use SWOP, or Chromalin on this thread? Ouch for you if you still do.

    4
  13. 1813

    The way I work is I first clean up an image in adobe RGB.

    Then turn on proof colors and use masked adjustment layers to desaturate and curve out any gamut problems. Group those together and label according to the destination profile. Depending on project there might be fixes for 2-4 profiles per psd. None-destructive, and if you happen to need to make EPS files for any reason you can just batch with convert profile and toggle visibility on the desired adjustments group while getting a coffee refill.

    That’s how I do it anyway…

    With almost any CMYK profile you will need to do some fixing to avoid gamut problems. You can leave the actual conversion to the app that’s exporting the PDF, but you sure as hell need to fix it before or you will have fun results, especially with the ISOnewspaper26v4.

    0
  14. 1964

    In my classes about how to prepare the PDFs we are working with the reading of this article, this is a very good point, thank you very mutch!

    0
  15. 2115

    Hmm,

    i’d have to say that working in RGB is great. I would however disagree that making any changes in CMYK is asking for trouble.

    First many are pointing to other companies on how they work and their workflow. Thats great, it works for their particular paper, TAC limitations and imagery. However, if you’ve ever tapped into the power of using calculations to customize your black plate and do specialized color separations, then of course you use CMYK, and you most definitely dont let indesign do your conversions. Sure for a lot of projects its fine, but if you need to control the process for every images, its not the way to go.

    Just because this workflow works for some people doesnt mean its the best. And just because this is a new way to work (which it isnt, people have been working in RGB for years) doesnt mean that other methods shouldnt be used.

    Simply put, calculations can control the black plate giving you tight control of your color separations. You do this in the CMYK mode. I do work in RGB but i definitely dont just blindly let Indesign do the conversion.

    For the most of my work, i would say however that RGB and a good conversion is all one needs. However I always want to look at the results and adjust. Maybe add contrast. Pop the highlights because I know the paper isnt very bright. Take a bit of yellow out of the 1/4 tones.

    Good luck everyone.

    The beatles.

    0
  16. 2266

    Thank you so much, If I did not find this I don’t think I could have met my deadline. Color management I get!

    Before reading this I was using CMYK and even with all of my color management tricks (device calibration, using bridge, placing psd files, etc) my colors were still not matching when exported. Now they do!

    0
  17. 2417

    I just saw this article today, in 2012, and I have to say most of it is pure rubbish. Particularly the one of dumping EPS for PSD – that’s a ridiculous piece of advice. What it should be is dumping EPS and using PDF instead! Well if you have no vector elements at all, then PSD or TIFF is perfectly fine and better than EPS, but if your photoshop file contains vectors then PDF is definitely the better option.

    Very poor advice, I expect better from Smashing…

    0
  18. 2568

    I think most people here know they are not seeing CMYK on the screen but i can say anytime I convert something from RGB to CMYK I notice fine detail changes in the shadows and sometimes banding problems in gradient areas. Although you are still seeing it in RGB there is still a significant difference in color shifting of vibrant colors. I have job security because of articles like this as I get artwork in all day long from fancy shmancy firms that is all mucked up like this and like it or not most of the printers I work with all over the country will refuse the art with RGB files linked. Maybe they are “old school” but I get back what I am expecting from them. Interesting article but I just don’t have enough faith in the auto conversion to trust the results.

    2
  19. 2719

    Should I still be exporting as pdfx1a? It seems that most paper prints I get back nowadays are way too dark. The thing is, a reasonable percentage, including large format prints (banners/billboards/vehicle wraps) are PERFECT using the same export settings. I am at my wits end trying to get a decent print these days. Am I the only one?

    0
  20. 2870

    Remember black is a color too. Working in RGB to edit a photo before converting to grayscale is the only way to go. You have so many more options.

    I am old school been in this business for 45 years. Remember two things are certain: death and change. All you guys need to reread step number 8 and find out from your printer which profile they use for the paper your job will print on. Some of you may even need to read it out load as so many comments skipped many need to know procedures. I know, it’s too simple for a “designer” but the printer knows his equipment so follow his lead and don’t second guess him.

    0
    • 3021

      Oh, by the way, did I mention that working in RGB gives you more options for CMYK too? The conversion to either grayscale or CMYK works for us.

      0
  21. 3172

    Hi, Looking for some support.

    I have designed a manual of 20 pages entirely in Illustrator thanks to the multiple artwork capability of latest versions.

    But of course illustrator do not compaginate as indesign. I sent to the printer and apparently they try to open the file again in illustrator and pum big mess.

    So can I save the illustrator file as press quality PDF, import each page and recreate the book in indesign and then Export as PDF again for offset printing

    Thanks in advance
    Gab

    0
    • 3323

      Hi, answer first to Gabriel: I suggest you export/output your illustrator data as a press quality PDF. If you had to work in individual pages, just combine it all to one PDF (most likely in Acrobat Professional (not reader) or there are good free or nearly free programs that do it for you e.g. Adolix). If nowadays your printer can’t handle pdf files without going round the world, please look for another printer!! Most printers work with pdf editing software such as Enfocus Pitstop and output to plates or digital using some sort of PDF workflow program (Agfa Apogee, Heidelberg Prinect, Kodak Prinergy) to impose pages, Quite Imposing 2, costing pocket money makes quite (sorry pan) a reasonable job.

      referring to other posts earlier on the RGB/CMYK, please make sure YOU work and output to cmyk without ICC profiles. Litho requires it, Digital doesn’t care about it quite often for the following reasons:
      unless you use hexachrome or keep some colours as spot colours, you will get a nasty flat result with some RGB colours, hence the gamut warning triangle when you want to use certain colours in some versions of Photoshop (haven’t checked on PS CC). Reason: CMYK gamut is smaller than RGB (ignoring the fact that RGB is for screens etc) if you like as ananlogy car and lorry: yes you can carry some heavy stuff in a car but that’s what a lorry is better suited for.
      If you need to use Pantone colours as CMYK use the PC ones you find in photoshop (Quite a Box of trix is by default set up to use same)
      BTW been in Prepress for 20 years and seen some what I described

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