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tim
5th of September 2007 (Wed), 04:53
I'm making business cards, which is a CMYK process on an offset printer. They don't have a custom profile (yet). Express Cards (Australia) told me they use the ECI "ISO coated v2.icc" profile. It's available here (http://www.eci.org/eci/en/060_downloads.php), with info here (http://www.eci.org/eci/en/044_working_colour_spaces.php). I have a couple of questions:
- Do I use the 300% profile, or the normal one?
- I assume just create a CMYK file, copy and paste my photos in (after conversion to CMYK), and soft proof against the profile? Do I need to convert to the ICC profile before I send them the TIFF file?

Any help appreciated!

Bobster
5th of September 2007 (Wed), 06:27
you're making your cards in Photoshop??

anyway - in your colour settings select your new ISO Coated V2 profile for CMYK

then create your new CMYK document and drag the photos you want into it (copy and paste uses more RAM than dragging from 1 document to another) Photoshop will convert it all for you :)

when you save your TIFF, make sure you have the right profile :)

aRGB is the best when converting to CMYK

do you not have Illustrator or InDesign?

tim
5th of September 2007 (Wed), 06:31
Photoshop's all I have! At least that's all i've ever used. I'll use the profile that doesn't have 300 in the title, ta :)

I've made them in ProFoto RGB, i'll soft proof to that profile, and convert when i'm done. I know nothing about press stuff. Thanks Bob!

Damo77
5th of September 2007 (Wed), 06:38
Hi Tim,

If your cards are being printed on matt stock, the 300% one should be suitable. If high gloss stock, I'd go for the other one.

It's so damned hard to tell. Those profiles could be right on the money, or they could be miles off. Honestly, you shouldn't be made to guess. Ask your printer directly, and if they can't give you a clear answer that sounds like they know what they're talking about, proceed with caution.

It's tough that while the photographic industry is so savvy with ICC profiles, the printing industry (at least in our corner of the world) is frustratingly ignorant. In your case, it would be worthwhile really looking around for a printer who knows colour, and can give you a custom profile, and a guarantee of its accuracy.

I don't really understand your second question, but it's enough to indicate that you don't understand it either.

Can I assume you are designing the whole business card in Photoshop (ie the text and everything?) If so, beware of very small text. It's better to do the text stuff in InDesign, if you have it.

Anyway, you definitely do need to convert your RGB to CMYK using the ICC profile. But don't worry about all that copying and pasting.

Yes, soft proof first. Any really bright colours will be out-of-gamut, so you'll need to desaturate them to bring them into range. Look for exclamation marks ("!") next to the CMYK values in your Info palette - they're also there to tell you you've got o-o-g colours.

Once you're happy with the preview, convert and save. Perceptual will be fine, and definitely turn on Black Point Compensation.

Gee I've crapped on, haven't I? Well, I'm just glad to find a thread where I really am an expert!

tim
5th of September 2007 (Wed), 06:47
It'll be printed on 300gsm card "artboard", with a gloss laminate. The person who replied seemed to know what I was on about with ICC profiles, they've having a custom one made but it's not ready yet. I'll do it in ProFoto (easier) then convert to CMKY in the right profile.

Yes, all Photoshop. They say "Remember we prefer EPS, TIF JPEG and PDF" about files, does it really matter what I use? TIFF seems easy. It's all pixels in the end, isn't it? I know postscript type stuff and vector stuff might be a bit smoother, does it matter much?

The say something about black on this page (http://www.expresscards.com.au/helpguides.php), but I don't know what dialog they're in. Any idea?

Thanks for the tips!

Damo77
5th of September 2007 (Wed), 06:53
Ok, that's interesting, but it makes no difference. On artboard, you should definitely use the 300 profile.

No, it's not all pixels in the end. The fewer pixels you give them, the better off you'll be. But don't worry, we get all-pixel files all the time, and they usually turn out fine. Also, vector-based files are much much much smaller than pixel-based files, which printers like too!

Send me your file before sending it to the printers, if you'd like a second opinion. Is there going to be much black on your cards? It's every bit as important as they say it is.

Converting from ProFoto is fine, just watch out for o-o-g colours, like I said.

tim
5th of September 2007 (Wed), 06:54
Yes there's going to be a black background on one of the pages, i'll definitely send it to you for a 2nd opinion before I have it printed, thanks! I'll make it how I want it to look then take advice on making it print correctly, cheers :)

Damo77
5th of September 2007 (Wed), 06:55
Oh, and don't forget bleed! If you have any colour going right to the edge, you'll need to supply them with a 95x60mm file, from which they'll end up trimming 2.5mm off each side.

Damo77
5th of September 2007 (Wed), 06:56
Ok, well do what they say and make your black from 100K and 45C for the background.

tim
5th of September 2007 (Wed), 06:58
Oh, and don't forget bleed! If you have any colour going right to the edge, you'll need to supply them with a 95x60mm file, from which they'll end up trimming 2.5mm off each side.

I have bleed sorted, thanks, 3mm on each side. They're folded cards, so they're 184x59mm in photoshop.

Ok, well do what they say and make your black from 100K and 45C for the background.

I have no idea how to do that! Not a clue. I'd just change the mode to CMYK and see what happens, no idea how to fiddle with that.

Damo77
5th of September 2007 (Wed), 07:00
Well, keep your layers when converting, so you can then use curves (or whatever) to completely remove magenta and yellow from the background layer, reduce cyan to 45%, and increase black to 100%.

tim
5th of September 2007 (Wed), 07:00
Thanks, i'll give that a go when I get to that point :) I'm still designing them, will take a couple of days to get how I want, I think.

Bobster
5th of September 2007 (Wed), 08:02
I have no idea how to do that! Not a clue. I'd just change the mode to CMYK and see what happens, no idea how to fiddle with that.

you really need to be working in CMYK off the bat - change your colour slider to reflect CMYK instead of RGB

then move the sliders to show C 45, M 0, Y 0 and K 100 - then fill with that black :)

rivan
5th of September 2007 (Wed), 16:58
There's also the point Damo77 started to make about providing them vector based art - which you CAN do with photoshop. Vector elements will (almost) always produce sharper, crisper results than raster elements.

Both .EPS and .PDF from photoshop can maintain vector information, all the way through to the printer, provided it's there to begin with.

Type layers and shape layers both are vector based (hence the 'Rasterize Layer' options you may have seen) and can produce razor-sharp results. (See Shapes_save.png)

When saving out as an .EPS, use the settings shown to maintain vector information in your file - but be certain you have a .PSD version as well - the resulting .EPS will NOT retain layers for photoshop - it'll have to rasterize everything to open in PS.

The resulting file will leave intact vector masks wherever possible - detail.png shows a tight crop on the 'a' with vector shapes intact, and the shading (which wasn't vector to begin with) as pixels. This was rasterized at a very low resolution to exaggerate the differences between vector & raster portions of the image.

Lastly, Bobster's correct telling you that you should be working in CMYK - your results will be much more predictable that way.

rivan
5th of September 2007 (Wed), 17:04
Well, keep your layers when converting, so you can then use curves (or whatever) to completely remove magenta and yellow from the background layer, reduce cyan to 45%, and increase black to 100%.

If the background layer's a solid color with everything else sitting on top of it, just use a shape layer (Layer->New Fill Layer->Solid Color...) and simply pick the color mix you want. For most things we use 60/40/40/100 for a nice, rich black that won't get dominated by any darker elements sitting on top of it. Just don't multiply/darken anything onto that mix :)

tim
6th of September 2007 (Thu), 02:26
Thanks for all the info guys, i'll definitely apply it when I get time to do the business cards... hopefully this weekend. I'll definitely try to use vector art instead of rasterized. More questions will arise i'm sure!

Bobster
10th of September 2007 (Mon), 06:41
rivan how would you go about putting printers marks on the PSD, would it be a case of making them up and adding them to the file manually?