Exporting for Printing Help - Colour & DPI - ID to PDF

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by LERsince1991, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. LERsince1991 macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    Ok so I've done a poster thing on InDesign CS4 and I exported it as a PDF document.

    When the PDF exporting settings come up I selected CMYK colouring as I thought printers needed this. But the solid pure black background came up as grey in the PDF. When I chose RGB it came up pure black (how I wanted it).

    But when I go to print this PDF what will happen if I exported it in RGB to get the pure black. I thought printers needed CMYK?
    There is an option to include the colour profile (or something?) I assume this means the device (printer) would be able to convert it to CMYK itself when printing, would this then come out grey or the proper black? :s

    Also what sort of DPI can a professional printer take and what will actually be noticable. I will be printing a document A1 size.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Busy Bee macrumors Demi-God

    Aug 3, 2007
    Did you create the file in a CMYK colour space? If not, then I suggest that you rework the file and its components instead of leaving it for InDesign to handle the conversion to CMYK. Any solid blacks should be done as a proper CMYK rich black, rather than some muddy and hit and miss RGB conversion, especially where trapping and overprints are involved.

    A knowledge of the fundamentals of working with repro and CMYK and spot colours is important to get the best results. CMYK splits are never going to approach the hue intensity of RGB hues; that's not how ink and paper works, as opposed to colour seen on a display.

    An A1 poster can be safely output at 200ppi; no-one is going to view it as close as they would a book where 300-450ppi might be more useful. However, if you have rasterised type in there, outputting at 450-600ppi would be more appropriate... but may lead to a large file size.

    If you're not accustomed to preparing files for press, please ensure that the file and PDF has a 1/8" (or 3mm) bleed on it... plus slug, registration marks and colour bars if the printer wants them.
  3. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    I'm very new to ID and printing things, I normally work on just monitor based stuff, but I'm learning.

    I'm not sure if I created it in CMYK or RGB, I presume CMYK was default for ID. How would I check this? What settings should I check to make sure everything is how it should be? (I'm using CS4)

    It has 4 raster images in but there like just over 56Mp Tiff renders so I was wondering what to output them as when exporting to PDF. Large file size's aren't much of a problem... I exported them in 600dpi in max quality JPEG format. The file was only like 7.77Mb and when the original images are like 200Mb odd each, it seems nothing.

    I have never prepared anything for a professional print.
    What would the bleed and slug be for?
    ID's units are pt's aren't they? Can I change this to mm or what bleed and slug should I put in pt's units?

    Sorry for all the questions as I'm new to this sort of stuff but I'm here to learn.
    I've attached a low quality JPEG so you know what I'm dealing with.

    Attached Files:

  4. LeviG macrumors 65816

    Nov 6, 2006
    Norfolk, UK
    May I suggest a spell check and a grammar check before sending to print
    From a quick view -
    taylored - female office flirt come slut
    should be tailored - bespoke/custom made

    Over 100,000,000 millions ipods ..... - um they're popular but maybe not that popular ;)

    JPEG - compression is due to minimal amount of colour change and also due to the compression which happens with jpeg also tiff's generally have layers (RGB) and alpha (transparency) which bump up the files size.

    slug - linky (along with other terms) but basically the text at a bottom of a magazine (like the name/date etc)

    bleed - linky but basically a bit of extra print to allow for the trimming etc

    Now the personal view (product design and cad background/work)
    The white is too 'flat' compared with the paint in your photo's, it has a subtle texture as I'm sure the legs would have too.
    What happened to the drawers in the main image?
    I'd also argue your design isn't really a flat packed design, part assembled with final assembly required would be a more accurate description as some parts are already assembled.
  5. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2009
    Can I suggest you talk to your printer about what resolution and what bleed they will require. Different printers will have different requirements due to their printing or prepress equipment and systems.

    If your printer needs, say, a 3mm bleed then you add this all round in the page setup. You'll then notice that ID has created a further guide measuring 847x600mm outside of the page guide of 841x594mm. You then need to ensure that your black background extends right to this outer guide.

    Your printer will likely need a packaged InDesign document or a print-ready PDF.

    If the former, then Preflight your document (File>Preflight) and check what errors ID reports and fix them before packaging. It will find things like images that are still in RGB and so on. Packaging basically runs a Preflight and then gathers your ID document, all of the images and fonts and copies them into a new folder ready to give to the printer. Also produce a hard copy (obviously not life size) to give them, or a standard PDF if you're transmitting the files rather than on a disk.

    If the latter, ask them what PDF standard they need.

    The printers will usually have a document they can send you setting out all of these requirements.
  6. Toppa G's macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2003
    The exurbs, MN
    Bleed is definitely important - generally, a printer's imposition software will take care of adding the slug, registration marks, and color bars.
  7. efxgraphx macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2009
    Sugar Land, TX
    Ill try and help you out on the black issue. I also noticed this in my pdfs. There is a difference between 100% K and Rich Black (containing multiple colors in CMYK typically C = 60% M = 40% Y = 40% K = 100%). You can also read a bit more about it here or here. If that doesnt work, try Google.

    You can also go in Indesign, go to "Preferences" select the first menu and start looking around. There is also an "Appearance of black" tab which will show you the colors that your seeing in your PDF.

    Printers will ask you for the file type they need or prefer. Some ask for your InDesign file (which is a whole other topic about collecting and ensuring all your files are correct for print) or some ask you for PDF's (which you would export with the "High Quality Print" selection. There are also different things you can do with Distiller (another topic again, lol).

    Bleed is the trim area the printer will be cutting off on the edges. Lets say you have a picture you want to "Bleed" off the page. When the printer cuts it, it will cut over the printed area to give it a look as if it was printed to the very edge, hope this makes sense. Here is a link.

    Another good page to read is here. It basically says:

    Bleed: "When any image or element on a page touches the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge, leaving no margin it is said to bleed. It may bleed or extend off one or more sides." Bleed Illustrated:
    Slug: "Usually non-printing Information (such as a title and date) used to identify a document" .. Read Slugfest in the Forum

    Yes you can..... go back to the "Preferences" area and you can change it in "Units & Increments"

    Hope this helps. :D
  8. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Because you're reversing text out of the black I would suggest a simple Rich Black -- perhaps just 30c 100k. There will be fewer alignment problems on press. Though Acrobat can convert RGB to CMYK, if you know CMYK is the target it's best to build your InDesign file that way. This requires converting RGB to CMYK TIFF (or PSD) in Photoshop before placing in InDesign.

    Since you have several neutral density (gray) photos, it would be best to adjust Edit > Color Settings so that most of gray is on black plate. If this is your first CMYK print job, I worry about going too far over your head attempting to explain how to prepare a custom color setting for that purpose.

    From an earlier linked Printerernational article: "If you select 'Fill with Black', Photoshop fills your selection with 100% of all inks, not just black. From a prepress standpoint, it would be nice if Adobe hadn't made it work that way, but oh well, that's the way it goes."

    Default Photoshop black in CS3 is 36c 26m 25y 100k. That website offers rudimentary explanations.
  9. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    Thanks for all the help, it really explains things for me.

    Ok I have opened the rendered images in photoshop and converted them all to CMYK.

    I have checked the spelling and grammer - Thanks LeviG I didn't notice them.

    I have also added a 3mm bleed along all edges and changed the units to mm (YAY)

    And I've emailed the printer to ask him what he wants.

    As for the output, I've done a test print on A4 size on a good laser printer at school. It looked pretty cool. When I output the file though I'm still unsure as to whats settings to use. If I use CMYK the black isn't black. I know the printer can't output the blacks as pure black as a monitor but it can definatley print deeper blacks than what the PDF is producing. I haven't tried it but if I export a RGB document then the black is black in the PDF and the printer would then print this as black as it can I belive. There were deeper blacks on the A4 prints I did, the iMac frame was black.

    Thanks for all the help, I'm getting there.

    Attached Files:

  10. LeviG macrumors 65816

    Nov 6, 2006
    Norfolk, UK
    for deeper blacks look up rich black, which will help with making the black pop more :)
  11. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Within InDesign, create a new CMYK color called "Rich Black." This color includes 100% black (100k in printer speak) and one or more tints of other colors. Ninety percent of the time I use cyan. When there is tinted text knocking out, I use those values to eliminate trapping issues. As long as you mix something with the black and it does not need to be much, a professional printer can produce a dense black.

    RGB black might convert to 100% of all colors or other values based upon an established ink limit and GCR or UCR settings. Having too much ink on a piece of paper can cause smearing, warping, extend drying times or even cause ink transfer to the next sheet when pages are cut in bindery. Most printers have a preferred maximum ink limit between 270 to 300 percent.
  12. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    ah wicked. That worked a treat.

    I've looked into rich black and found that theres a lot of variation in what people use.

    Kwill - You said you use cyan most of the time with 100k, I tried 100CK and it looked a bit tinted. So I thought I'd balance them out and use 50CMY + 100k and this seemed really black, would this be too much? What would other people reccomend for a balanced black.

    Works really well anyway! :)

    Attached Files:

  13. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    When you get much higher than 40 percent, you risk tinting the black. If it's your goal to have a cool or warm black, that's O.K. but if you want your black to look "black" then keep the tints low. On a press there is typically 20-25 percent dot gain as ink absorbs into paper.

    Years ago, here in the States, there was a company called Tyco Toys (not to be confused with Tyco International) that produced toy trains and racing sets. This was in the 1980s, before the popularity of desktop computers. I was employed as a handletterer to produced the title logos for about 200 products. Most were limited to three market-driven colors: red, yellow and black. We always backed the big black logos on packaging with 30 percent cyan.

    When the Mac became worthy of pre-press, it became easier for artists to read cmyk values in images, alter them, and proof results. Therefore, we could take liberties with the 30-percent "rule." If there is text knocking out of black that is 5c 10m 20y, the designer might decide it would be cleaner, from a trapping perspective, to use those values under the black. In this way there is no chance of a white halo from misregistration. If the tinted text in black background where 40c 60m 20y, then 40c might be used in the Rich Black.

    Another exception to the 30-percent cyan standard is on the rare occasion that one wants to simulate spot varnish over a black background. This is a technique used in many publications limited to 4-colors + perhaps full-page UV gloss or AQ coating. Many print shops will include full-page coating for much less than the cost of spot varnish. A spot varnish is traditionally accomplished by running a clear UV coating as a 5th color with a plate that isolates shapes like a logo or something else you want to stand out against perhaps a black background. To simulate the effect, the background would be standard Rich Black (30c 100k) and a logo could be between 80c 80m 80y 100k or even 100c 100m 100y 100k. Printers don't really like this much ink on a page but if limited to small areas, it produces a glossier look than the predominantly Rich Black background.

    Over the years press registration has greatly improved and stochastic screening virtually eliminates trapping issues. Many 4-color jobs are gang run so one element on the sheet with heavy black affects others in line with it. Rich Black prevents press operators from having to oversaturate the black, thereby darkening other jobs too much.

    Regarding your PDF, the images appear to be low-resolution JPEG. I assume this is just for the forum and that higher resolution images are in the one used for the printer. Your use of "50cmy" beneath 100k is more than I would recommend. For one reason, that's a lot of ink on the press. Secondly, if there is a remote chance of misregistration, you are tripling the chance of a dark color peaking through the text knocking out of the black.
  14. design-is macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    London / U.K.
    Just to add, even though a little late... here is an article outlining more info on 'black' than a lot of designers will ever know.
  15. dazzer21 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2005

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