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Mr Skills
Mar 19, 2008, 06:01 AM
I've made a PDF for my band's record cover, but when I take it to the local print shop, it comes out unexpectedly dark. It looks fine on my Mac Pro, MacBook and iMac, in both Preview and Adobe reader.

Is this something I am doing, or should I just ask the printer to turn up the brightness?

You can see a picture of the cover here (http://www.templescene.com); PM me if you want a link to the actual PDF.

Thanks!
[sorry for the beginner question! I made the cover with iPhoto, Pages and Preview!]



IgnatiusTheKing
Mar 19, 2008, 09:44 AM
I've made a PDF for my band's record cover, but when I take it to the local print shop, it comes out unexpectedly dark. It looks fine on my Mac Pro, MacBook and iMac, in both Preview and Adobe reader.

Is this something I am doing, or should I just ask the printer to turn up the brightness?

You can see a picture of the cover here (http://www.templescene.com); PM me if you want a link to the actual PDF.

Thanks!
[sorry for the beginner question! I made the cover with iPhoto, Pages and Preview!]

It's probably printer error. The people I work with used have a tendency to make everything shift a little toward green on one of their large format printers, but I've worked with them and they've gotten it sorted out.

Talk to them and they'll likely be more than willing to work with you. If they're not, find a new printer.

snickelfritz
Mar 19, 2008, 10:37 AM
Is the artwork in CMYK mode?
My experience with the following online printing service has been virtually perfect color matching with press-ready PDF files.
http://trade.4over.com/

Prices and quality are difficult to beat anywhere.
For example, 1000 single panel 4/4 CDROM covers cost $74.00 + shipping.

Mr Skills
Mar 19, 2008, 07:25 PM
It's probably printer error. The people I work with used have a tendency to make everything shift a little toward green on one of their large format printers, but I've worked with them and they've gotten it sorted out.

Quite possible; in this case there seems to be too much red in the picture (the 'yellow bear' comes out rather orange).

Talk to them and they'll likely be more than willing to work with you. If they're not, find a new printer.

So far it's been "oh, yeah, well I can turn the brightness down a bit..." - it's just a local place and they don't seem to know much. I was thinking it's probably something more complex, like a colour profile issue that would go over my head.

Is the artwork in CMYK mode?

I don't know - it's a PDF saved from Pages, and if I show the inspector in Preview, it doesn't mention anything about a colour profile. I don't even know if PDFs have colour profiles. I can't convert it to a TIFF, because then I don't have absolute control over the size (which is important, since it's a CD cover).


My experience with the following online printing service has been virtually perfect color matching with press-ready PDF files.
http://trade.4over.com/

Prices and quality are difficult to beat anywhere.
For example, 1000 single panel 4/4 CDROM covers cost $74.00 + shipping.

Unfortunately I'm in the UK, but thanks for the recommendation! I might try elsewhere, but first I really want to get to the bottom of it. I'm hoping someone can tell me how to make an idiot-proof file :)

snickelfritz
Mar 19, 2008, 07:50 PM
Use Adobe software to create the file.
Pages is not going to produce the same quality printing.

Mr Skills
Mar 20, 2008, 09:54 AM
Use Adobe software to create the file.
Pages is not going to produce the same quality printing.

Unfortunately Pages is all I have (well, I have Gimp but it was too complicated for me). Can you recommend any way to get it out of Pages and into something useable?

snickelfritz
Mar 20, 2008, 11:53 AM
Part of the problem might be the method you are using to create the PDF.
Go to 4over.com, and register a new account.
http://www.4over.com/

Download the OSX PDF engine and instructions.
(it's basically just a postscript virtual printer driver that creates CMYK press-ready PDF files from any application that has a print command.)
Install it and follow the instructions provided.
http://tools.4over.com/moretools.html

Calibrate your display carefully using Supercal.
http://www.bergdesign.com/supercal/

Save all images from Gimp @ 350ppi in CMYK color.
(Gimp may not support CMYK, so just be sure the images are 350ppi)
That's all I can think of right now.
YMMV