5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 24, 2012 2:45 PM by Jao vdL

    How to get a "crisp" graphical identity plate on prints?


      I'm a long time LR user (currently LR 4.2), but just recently started producing a series of limited edition prints that include a graphical identity plate centered below the image.  As LR insists on having to scale the identity plate, the result is that I can never produce a print where the text appears crisp and sharp.  Rather there's always some perceptible softness in the text.


      I'm using PhotoShop to produce the graphical identity plate and have produced it in the exact dimensions as it should appear beneath the print.  When I bring it into the LR print module, however, it immediately scales it to 100% of the page size so I'm left with no option but to select a scaling % that most closely represnts the original size.


      Is there a solution to this?  I only recently purchased PS CS6 and am thinking I should probably be doing this within that application, but honestly I'm just more comfortable in LR.  For this print, I have the page size set to 20" x 30" and the cell size containing the image at 16" x 24".  I think I know the correct process to duplicate this within Photoshop, but I'd feel better if someone with more expertise than me could verify the procedure if LR isn't up to the task.


      Thank you in advance.
      Ken Schram

        • 1. Re: How to get a "crisp" graphical identity plate on prints?
          Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          The identitity plate thing in Lightroom unfortunately does have this problem and I haven't found a solution. It scales surprisingly badly both on printing and on the export module so I would recommend using PS. This is unfortunate as the Lightroom print module is very easy to use and much less of a hassle than having to go through PS. I don't understand why you can't use vector art for the identity plate or why it simply doesn't scale better, either of which would solve this problem.

          • 2. Re: How to get a "crisp" graphical identity plate on prints?
            Ken-Schram Level 1

            Thanks for the validation, Jao.  Can someone confirm for me that the following steps are the correct method for creating the same 16" x 24" on a 20" x 30" in Photoshop?


            1. Export image with adjutments from LR.
            2. In PS, I change the image document size to 16 x 24 (240dpi).  This is upscaling this particular image which is what makes me nervous (native is 10.1" x 6.7" as its cropped).  I have prints at this size already produced out of LR and they look great, but I don't know of LR is essentially doing this same thing or not?????
            3. Now I'd either create a new 20 x 30 PS document and copy the layer from step 2 into it or I'd take multiple steps to expand the canvas size on the same document from step 2.  Can anyone weigh in on the benefits of one over the other?
            4. Assuming that now I can add a layer with my text titles without having to worry about scaling issues.


            The other thing I can do in LR is pick a paper profile in the print module and then print the image to a file.  Not sure how to do the same in PS.


            I'd really appreciate some feedback from someone more seasoned in Photoshop.  I'm having these commercially printed at roughly $40 a pop which gets slightly expensive for the "trial and error" approach.


            Thanks again for the help.


            • 3. Re: How to get a "crisp" graphical identity plate on prints?
              Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              I use two different workflows for this sort of thing that both work fine. One is to Export the image from Lightroom to a upscaled, color profiled and print sharpened image already. So in export I select the correct profile for the paper, use 8-bit tiff (16-bit gives no advantage if you use the correct paper profile in my experience), set the correct size and ppi, and select medium (or different depending on your taste) sharpening for the type of paper I am going to use. Then in Photoshop, I drag this on a blank document of the bigger dimensions as a layer (make sure to have it already in the same color profile) and position it and than drop in my logo in another layer and print this. The other workflow I use is even quicker and I haven't seen any quality disadvantages from this yet. What I do is to set the print panel to output to jpeg and create the layout how I want it, but sans logo. I set the icc profile and the print sharpening and output the jpeg to reasonably high quality (you won't see any difference above about 90) and open this in PS and drop the logo in and print. I have not been able to detect any difference in quality between using jpeg and tiff as the intermediary step at least if I use the correct paper profile but the Lightroom scaler and sharpener is a lot more convenient than optimizing this step yourself in Photoshop which is a lot of work if you do not have something like Photokit sharpener.


              When I print these at a commercial printer, I simply output the final result to a flattened jpeg and send those files. Depending on the printer, you can either use their paper profile or simply stay in sRGB or adobeRGB.

              • 4. Re: How to get a "crisp" graphical identity plate on prints?
                Ken-Schram Level 1

                This is really great to hear.  I'd considered option #2 you present in your workflow, but was worried about the additional jpeg compression caused by exporting it and then having to save it again once the logo/text was inserted.  Happy to hear you've been happy with the results.


                Your advice is sincerely appreciated.


                • 5. Re: How to get a "crisp" graphical identity plate on prints?
                  Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Yeah if you pixel peep and use quality below 90, you might see some jpeg

                  artifacts in the files when zoomed to 100%, but these don't actually

                  translate at all to the final print in my experience. So I use 95% quality

                  for safety and have never seen anything resembling a jpeg artifact.