Why does my PDF print out so dark?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Mr Skills, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #1
    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; 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!]
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    das Fort
    #2
    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.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #3
    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.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #4
    Quite possible; in this case there seems to be too much red in the picture (the 'yellow bear' comes out rather orange).

    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.

    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).

    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 :)
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #5
    Use Adobe software to create the file.
    Pages is not going to produce the same quality printing.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #6
    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?
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #7
    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
     

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