6 Replies Latest reply on Oct 14, 2012 1:20 PM by tom.shaked2

    Help with Newspaper Printing Workflow

    tom.shaked2

      Hello everyone,

       

      I'm designing for a newspaper right now, and I was hoping to get some assistance regarding establishing a good workflow.

      Here's the info about our operation right now:

       

      Adobe Indesign CS4 (Mac OSX Snow Leopard)

      Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Mac OSX Snow Leopard)

      Our Pre-press department use a thermal Screen CTP configured to 1200 DPI and 85 LPI with the latest version of the Harlequin RIP (v9.2)

      We transport the PDF files using flash drives or Google drive, neither of which (to my knowledge) perform any compression.

      Our printing press is an Offset Web Press called Goss Community.

      The paper we're printing on is Standard Newsprint (48.8 GSM)

       

      I've been messing around with configuring the InDesign PDF output options, such as trying to change the default Destination from the US Web Coated (SWOP) to SNAP 2007, but I'm no big expert in creating newspaper print-ready PDFs, or in preparing images for this purpose in Photoshop.

       

      Also, we're not going to pull off anything too fancy, just trying to stick to the basics.

       

      I'd appreciate advice on how to best output the PDFs and prepare the images.

       

      Best Regards,

      Tom

        • 1. Re: Help with Newspaper Printing Workflow
          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I've been messing around with configuring the InDesign PDF output options, such as trying to change the default Destination from the US Web Coated (SWOP) to SNAP 2007, but I'm no big expert in creating newspaper print-ready PDFs, or in preparing images for this purpose in Photoshop.

           

          You probably want to start by using the SNAP profile as your document CMYK and for any conversions you make to CMYK in Photoshop—if your default PDF export destination is SWOP you're not setting up your docs to SNAP.

           

          So a Color Settings saved out of Photoshop and used in all your CS apps might look like this:

           

          Screen shot 2012-10-10 at 8.18.11 AM.png

          Note that I've loaded the SNAP CMYK profile as the Gray profile. The SNAP profile is better than the default Dot Gain 20% because it flattens the grayscale preview, which is a better soft proof for newsprint:

           

          20% Dot Gain

          Screen shot 2012-10-10 at 8.26.52 AM.png

           

          SNAP:

           

          Screen shot 2012-10-10 at 8.17.57 AM.png

           

          In InDesign you have to have Overprint or Sep Preview turned on to get the SNAP preview.

          • 2. Re: Help with Newspaper Printing Workflow
            tom.shaked2 Level 1

            Hey Rob,

             

            Thanks for the tip.

             

            I called up the RIP company and asked them for some help. They basically told me be consistent. Use Photoshop for working with images, and try to keep either everything CMYK or RGB (they also recommended I give SWOP a try in additional to SNAP, see if I get better results).

             

            So I figured I'd configure the workflow so all image work is done in Photoshop, and InDesign doesn't mess with the photos.

            This is the color configuration I ended up with in InDesign:

             

            Screen Shot 2012-10-10 at 2.27.58 PM.png

             

            So now when I import the photos, they are using the settings I converted them to in Photoshop.

             

            What I'm curious about (I'm hoping you could help me) is the PDF Export settings.

            Currently, I'm using the [Press Quality] default and changing up some values.

            changes:

             

            Optimize for fast web view (turn off)

            Bicubic downsampling changed to 300 PPI for images above 300 PPI on both color and grayscale images.

            The Profile Inclusion Policy I use is Don't include profiles, and the Destination is set to US Newsprint (SNAP 2007).

            For the color Conversion, I set it to Convert to Destination (Preserve Numbers). I understood this is supposed to leave the images as they are in the document and not attempt to convert them because they are already SNAP configured in Photoshop.

            Also, the PDF Standard is left at none, and compatibility at Acrobat 5 (1.4).

             

            Should I bet setting the PDF standard? I read somewhere that the PDF/X-1a:2001 is a good standard to use when sending to prepress RIPs because it is very self contained.

             

            Thanks again for the help.

            • 3. Re: Help with Newspaper Printing Workflow
              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              I called up the RIP company and asked them for some help. They basically told me be consistent. Use Photoshop for working with images, and try to keep either everything CMYK or RGB (they also recommended I give SWOP a try in additional to SNAP, see if I get better results).

               

              There would be all sorts of problems with SWOP. First it is a profile for coated paper—it's radically different than the SNAP profile in both its soft proof appearance and the conversion it will make from RGB or other CMYK spaces. Also SWOP allows 300% total ink, which I doubt many newspaper presses can handle.

               

              For the color Conversion, I set it to Convert to Destination (Preserve Numbers). I understood this is supposed to leave the images as they are in the document and not attempt to convert them because they are already SNAP configured in Photoshop.

               

              In the PDF export Convert to Destination (Preserve Numbers) does not preserve the numbers of linked files—it protects native InDesign colors from being converted when there is a profile mismatch (the destination is something other than document CMYK). This guarantees that a color swatch like 50% black or 100% cyan never gets converted

               

              If you want to prevent conversion of linked files your Color Settings CMYK policy should be set to Preserve Numbers (Ignore Linked Profiles), which is what you've set. If you set the policy to Preserve Embedded, your SNAP CMYK photoshop files will still remain unchanged  because there's not a conflict (your InDesign document CMYK profile is also SNAP).

               

              If you were to place a SWOP Photoshop file it would get converted to SNAP on export if the policy is Preserve. You probably want that to happen because of the ink limitations of newsprint.

               

              Should I bet setting the PDF standard? I read somewhere that the PDF/X-1a:2001 is a good standard to use when sending to prepress RIPs because it is very self contained.

               

              PDF/X-1a forces all color into one CMYK space on export—in your case everything is already SNAP so it isn't really an issue. It also flattens all transparency on export.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Help with Newspaper Printing Workflow
                tom.shaked2 Level 1

                Hey Rob,

                 

                Thanks for all your help. I'm glad I could get some expert opinion.

                I made a PDF with the mentioned configuration, and am sharing it with some of my fellow designers in the company so we all work with the same settings.

                 

                I'll post how well the final prints come out.

                 

                Meantime, I'm starting to think about  a preflight. For the most part, it's pretty obvious what I've got to do. Check that all images are of good resolution, scaled properly, proper colors throughout the document, no missing links, everything in line, etc.

                 

                I tried to look for some help online, and it seems there's a lot of questions regarding preflight, but I couldn't find tutorials for specific requirements (like newspapers, magazines, etc)

                 

                Any critical or discreet items I should look out for?

                 

                Thanks.

                • 5. Re: Help with Newspaper Printing Workflow
                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Any critical or discreet items I should look out for?

                   

                  Color Settings works for new documents. If you have existing documents you have to check the profile assignments via Edit>Assign Profiles.... The policies are also saved with the documents when they are created, changing the policy in Color Settings doesn't change an existing doc's policy.

                  • 6. Re: Help with Newspaper Printing Workflow
                    tom.shaked2 Level 1

                    Hello Rob,

                     

                    We ran the PDFs on the press the day before yesterday.

                    They came out fantastic .

                     

                    For anyone reading this thread, I found this link EXTREMELY helpful: http://www.vigc.org/standard-preflight-profiles/

                     

                    Great preflight profiles for many needs. I used webcmyknews, and aside from turning off the bleed check (we don't print beyond the margins of our paper, let alone the edge of the paper, so no need for bleeds) the profile worked great.

                     

                    Thanks for the help Rob!