7 Replies Latest reply on Nov 13, 2012 5:00 AM by Peter Spier

    ID colour, matching proof

    luca del carlo Level 1

      I know this question will cover a range of basic issues, but a little steering in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.  I've an Illustrator file containing a photo of marble material which was used as a background for a printed book cover originally laid out in Quark. I'm to recreate that cover in ID and attempt to match colours as much as possible, hopefully avoiding more than one printer's proof. Currently, the marble file appears drastically more pink than the proper sandy yellow, intended for the printed cover.

       

      The circumstances I'm working under are less than ideal, most obviously, in the use of an non-calibrated monitor (it's a simple Asus laptop, whilst stranded here in hospital in Taiwan). Purchasing a high-end monitor, or other calibration equipment (unless there's a handy inexpensive tool or app to address this) aren't really an option at the moment, so what basic steps might I be looking at taking to at least hopefully get the colour somewhere 'in the ballpark' before sending to the printers? I believe everything I'm looking at is a CMYK file, though confirming all that in ID,IL and Qk, hasn't been done.

       

      Appreciatively, Luca.

        • 1. Re: ID colour, matching proof
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          That's a tough one. Do you have the actual photo, or just the embedded version? How about the quark file?

           

          I'm aiming at trying to get a reading on the numbers in the photo so you have some idea of what the expected color was. Big problem here, I think, is probably that Quark isn't, in my opinion, terribly good at color management and it's hard to know what sort of color shifts might have been introduced there, or at the press.

           

          Maybe if you can give us a reading of the clor numbers you see in ID's separations preview we can tell you if they really are pink or if it's just your monitor.

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          • 2. Re: ID colour, matching proof
            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            I've an Illustrator file containing a photo of marble material which was used as a background for a printed book cover originally laid out in Quark.

            Do you know if the CMYK file you are working with is the same file that was output for the first printing? If it is and the second printing will happen under similar press conditions, you probably don't want to try and make color corrections on an uncalibrated display.

             

            Does the CMYK file have a profile embedded? Keep in mind that both the system's monitor profile and the assigned CMYK profile drive the soft proof—they both have to be accurate to get a good soft proof

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            • 3. Re: ID colour, matching proof
              luca del carlo Level 1

              The original UK publisher (we're publishing a new German edition) supplied what are the original files used in their printing, and the photo of marble background came seperately as an Illustrator image. That is all I have for the photo. Given that the book was published in the 1990s, Quark was more the standard then, and their Quark file contained this Illustrator image, supplied separately.

               

              In the separations preview of the image, it's:

              CMYK 41%

              Cyan 9%

              Magenta 13%

              Yellow 18%

              The values change a bit as the cursor hovers over the varigated marble texture, but the numbers above are average. What's the better way to get an average value?

               

              We will not be using the same printer (It's on-demand printing now, rather than offset). How do you check for embedded CMYK files?

              • 4. Re: ID colour, matching proof
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                I wouldn't call it "yellow" on my screen, but it's definitely a sandy tan, not pink.

                 

                There's a reasonably good chance that the profile is whatever the default might have been -- in the US that would be SWOP, but it might have been something else in the UK, so presuming that might get you close.

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                • 5. Re: ID colour, matching proof
                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  hopefully avoiding more than one printer's proof.

                  Given that you probably don't have an accurate display profile or an accurate profile for the POD press, you should expect to need more than one proof, which isn't much of an expense with POD.

                   

                  The CMYK profile can shift the soft proof of light neutral colors a fair amount. Here's your color with Japan Web, Euroscale, US Web Coated, and US Sheetfed Coated profiles assigned:

                   

                  Screen shot 2012-11-12 at 6.14.33 PM.png

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                  • 6. Re: ID colour, matching proof
                    luca del carlo Level 1

                    That's really great to see, thank you. I believe it's US coated that the print facility will use, which is a tad more pink it appears.

                    • 7. Re: ID colour, matching proof
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      Your question about calibration seems to have disappeared...

                       

                      I use an iOne Display colorimeter. It works pretty well on my desktop, but laptops tend to have far less contol available for the screen so I don't think it does quite as good a job there, at least not on mine.