Print comes out too dark

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by yadmonkey, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Western Spiral
    #1
    I'm having an issue with an InDesign CS3 file which is printing too dark and I can't figure out what the problem is. I'm a little out of my element and would greatly appreciate any advice.

    The document is a photo-based advertisement and it's coming out dark and muddy. It's printing through an HP Designjet 130, but I don't suspect the printer as the problem because I ran a calibration and when we print another ad it comes out perfect - identical to a copy which was printed professionally.

    The file looks fine on several computers/monitors, but always prints dark and muddy. I've played with as many settings as I could think of - stuff like relative and perceptual colorimetric colors, but when I deviate from the settings we always use, it only looks worse. In fact, we always print with the same print settings, color and paper profiles, and the same paper, so the only thing which seems to be different is this file itself.

    I'm out of ideas and would really appreciate any advice you might have.
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    What's in the file? What kind of linked images and EPSs etc? Any layered files? Any odd colour profiles or dot gain settings attached to any elements? All images and colours CMYK or K if it's a mono ad?

    Is there any type set within InDesign in the ad? If so, does that reproduce properly and at the right tone?

    When you run it through Preflight (File menu) anything untoward pop up? When you go to Assign Profiles, under the Edit menu, is everything as it should be?
     
  3. covisio macrumors 6502

    covisio

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Do you have a PostScript RIP on the DesignJet or do you use the raster driver?
    If only the raster driver, I would never print directly out of InDesign (we have exact same printer).
     
  4. yadmonkey thread starter macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Western Spiral
    #4
    Thank you both for chiming in!

    Covisio,

    We're using EFI Designer Edition RIP with the printer. We "print" to a EFI designer "printer" and it goes to the EFI Designer Edition RIP program. Then we print to the 130. I think this is what you were asking, but again this is kinda foreign territory to me.

    Blue Velvet,

    I'll take a good look at the settings when I'm in the office later and see if I can glean anything based on your questions.

    I can tell you this - it's a color ad with a large jpeg photo. Here's a detail which sticks out - there's a lady in the picture who has black hair with subtle gray highlights. Her highlights almost completely disappear in print.

    The type looks OK, but because it's small and because everything is kinda dark and muddy, it's difficult to tell if the type has the right tone.

    Thanks again. I'll post back with some more info...
     
  5. Kwill macrumors 68000

    Kwill

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    #5
    My first thought was wrong paper but you ruled that out. Does the file look correct on screen? Unless display is properly calibrated you may not be able to answer that.

    Based on everything you describe with a CMYK workflow, it is possible that Photoshop color settings (Edit menu) may have been altered before converting an RGB image to CMYK (or a wrong embedded color profile is assigned). Color settings that could have a bearing are dot gain or menu next to CMYK could have been altered with "custom CMYK."
     
  6. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #6
    My guess would be there is an embedded colour profile.
     
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #7
    JPEGs in prepress... I never fully trust them, will not use them. Convert it to a CMYK TIF (if it's a four colour job) in Photoshop using your own colour profiles and re-import the image into a duplicate of the InDesign file.
     
  8. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #8
    I agree with BV on this one. JPEGs cause no end of problems.
     
  9. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Location:
    A World of my Own; UK
    #9
    +1 on BV's wise words. Keep JPEGs out of print jobs ...!

    Cheers

    Jim
     
  10. G4DP macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #10
    +1

    jpeg's are a printers worst nightmare. Horrible things. Any one who uses them in print documents needs retraining. Or fire them and give me their job.

    Only use .tif files.
     

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