Question about printing in black and white

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by art8100, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. art8100 macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2014
    I`m a comic book artist , and i`m working on a new graphic novel , the graphic novel will be printed in black and white with some gradient gray scale tones , (the drawing style will be similar to the walking dead graphic novel)
    i have a question .
    To prepare the pages of the graphic novel for print , should i work on grayscale mode and deliver it to the print house in a grayscale format ?
    or should i work using CMYK format ?

  2. covisio macrumors 6502


    Aug 22, 2007
    I assume you're working in Photoshop? What are you doing, drawing freehand first then scanning in and adding other elements? Or are you creating from scratch in an application?

    Having had a look at some images of the Walking Dead Graphic Novel, the art looks as if it has been hand drawn and shaded with those Prismacolor or similar pens, then scanned and the lettering, speech bubbles, etc. added digitally. Could have been done with some sort of professional comic drawing software or maybe just something like Illustrator.

    To answer your question, yes you could handle the image elements using greyscale only to achieve a similar result - however you should look carefully at the actual graphic novel, using a lupe, to see if they're actually printed in grayscale, it could actually be colour print that looks like grey shades.
  3. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2012
    B'more or Less

    Are you using Manga Studio software to create your comics? If so, there is a really helpful user forum which can answer your questions here.

    I use Manga Studio 5 but not for comics or print, it's a really great drawing program (!), so I can't help you with your question specifically, but other users on the MS5 forum have asked similar questions to yours and gotten a lot of good info.
  4. art8100 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2014
    covisio - thank you for your replay , and yes i`m using photosop , About the drawing process i Ink each page traditionally then scan it to photoshop , then add the gradient tones and the speech bubbles , so most of the process is done in photoshop ,


    CrickettGrrrl thank you for your replay , i don`t use manga studio , but i use photoshop , manga studio is really awesome program too
  5. bigus7674 macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2005
    Grayscale vs CMYK

    art8100: what I would recommend, is to actually determine where your graphic novel will be printed and then contact the printer to find out what their requirements are. Depending on how they are set up, even printing grayscale work might require the artwork to be in CMYK mode, but it may not. It's always best to contact your printer and find out their requirements before getting too far along in your project. Nothing worse then finding out you have to go back and redo things and spend more time doing what you've already done.

    CMYK files will be much larger in size than grayscale (due to the additional 3 channels of 8 bits of information) so that's something to keep in mind as well. Another thing you will want to find out from the printer is what resolution your artwork should be done in…300 ppi? 600 ppi? Again, nothing worse than designing something at 300 ppi to only find out that they want 600 ppi because unfortunately, it's not as easy as just going into "Image size" and changing the resolution as a lot of people think is a viable option.
  6. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    Totally agree. Always check with your printer first.

    But just a note about color space ...

    I've worked for over 20 years in pre-press and print design, and I constantly see people using the wrong color space—especially for black and white or grayscale art.

    IMO, grayscale should never be in RGB or CMYK. If the intent is to print something using black ink only, then the file in grayscale. And if there are no shades of gray in the piece, then it should be in Bitmap (B&W only) format.

    I've done published cartoon work using the following method ...

    I would scan the line work in as Grayscale, with at least 600 ppi. Using Photoshop and Layers I would keep the line art on the top layer and create all my shading in Layers below that. You can either Multiply the top layer of line art or I would use the line art as a Mask.
  7. Jim Campbell, Jan 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014

    Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Dec 6, 2006
    A World of my Own; UK
    Flattened grayscale TIFF at 600dpi will absolutely do the trick for supplying to the printer. Check with the printer to see if they want you to specify a dot gain at your end, but otherwise you'll be fine.

    (I'd use LZW compression to keep the filesize down but it may be worth checking — there's still the (very) occasional printer who objects to LZW.)



Share This Page