4 Replies Latest reply on Jun 3, 2013 7:04 PM by John Danek

    Color management in Illustrator CS6 and InDesign CS 6—settings & workflow questions.

    Jody Joy

      I've read the color management posts and the Adobe help file regarding the Pantone + libraries and the new differences between CS5 & 6. However I'm still a bit confused as to just what my settings should be, and a few posts offer different pieces of advice, so I'm looking for clarification. I don't need to work with legacy CS files, so I don't want to swap out the old Pantone libraries for the Plus ones. However I still have my old Pantone Solid, Coated and Uncoated swatchbooks and until I can afford the new Plus swatchbooks, I'll depend on those. I'm hoping the difference between Pantone 321U and Pantone+ 321 is not great.

       

      If I'm preparing a file for print and to be placed into an InDesign CS6 document for print, I know both document color modes should be CMYK—got that. In Illustrator CS6, I'm assuming I would use a Pantone+ Uncoated swatch (remember I'm using the old Pantone Uncoated swatch book as a visual guide and praying that the difference isn't too noticeable.)

       

      1. In the Swatch settings pallette, should I set the Spot Color option to use the first choice—use LAB values specified by the book manufacturer, or use CMYK values from the manufacturer process books.

      2. In the View menu, should I select Overprint Preview to get a (more or less-I know the drill) closer monitor color to what will be printed.

       

      I don't want to fool around with trying to set the CMYK values as listed in Pantone Color Bridge CMYK EC (found on Scribed here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/33104/Pantoner-Color-BridgeTm-Cmyk-Ec ), and I'm not even sure of the point in doing so or what it would do for me.

       

      What I want is to depend on a swatch book, select the named swatch from the Pantone library, have all my settings set properly,  then place it in InDesign, then send the file to a digital printer and get as close an approximation to the swatch book selection as possible. I need monitor color settings to reflect the swatches as best possible.

       

      When I can afford it, should I opt for the Pantone+ Coated and Uncoated swatchbooks, or the Color Bridge? I'm usure of the difference, and if there are any Illustrator or InDesign settings that would need to be changed depending.

       

      As a corollary to this questions, once the settings are OK in Illustrator, what do they need to be in InDesign? There are settings for Ink Manager (all spots to process or use standard LAB values for spots, the Color palette has check options for LAB, CMYK, RGB.

       

      I'm not  sure what needs to be set in InDesign to make sure colors are consistent between what is set in Illustrator and then what InDesign does.

        • 1. Re: Color management in Illustrator CS6 and InDesign CS 6—settings & workflow questions.
          John Danek Level 4

          Pantone reformulates its CMYK percentages from time-to-time to keep up with industry developments.  I believe Adobe has released a White Paper on Pantone + series color representations in software such as InDesign and Illustrator and Photoshop.  Why Adobe and Pantone decided to use LAB definitions is beyond me.  But, this all really depends on your proofing device' capabilities.  It doesn't sound like you plan to do any internal proofing.  Too bad, you could avoid alot of this confusion if you had a Postscript Level 3 proofer with a RIP that can do the color conversion for you.  But, I digress.  You should use your existing Pantone Spot color references, build your own swatches.  You could use CS6's Pantone+ Series Spot color swatches, in the final analysis, it's the printer who will load the press with the 321U ink formula, and how close he / she comes to your reference chip is their responsibility.  I hope you at least plan to view a press proof.

          • 2. Re: Color management in Illustrator CS6 and InDesign CS 6—settings & workflow questions.
            thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            John Danek wrote:

            Why Adobe and Pantone decided to use LAB definitions is beyond me.

            Maybe because it's a device independent color space and one can produce any RGB or CMYK values from it?

            • 3. Re: Color management in Illustrator CS6 and InDesign CS 6—settings & workflow questions.
              Jody Joy Level 1

              I appreciate the answer, but given my parameters stated above, you give no specific info on the following:

               

              1. In Illustrator's Swatch settings pallette, should the Spot Color Mode option be set to use:

              a. CMYK

              b. LAB

              c. Book Color (not sure if this refers to the pantone swatchbook)

               

              2. In the View menu should Overprint Preview be checked, and why, and would it differ based on the settings for #1.

               

              If someone could respond with specific suggestions, it would be helpful.

               

              Internal proofing is simple Canon Pixma, no PostScript Level 3. I'm just trying to make sure the settings are the right ones for using the Pantone swatchbooks as a reference, with the closest possible monitor representation.

              • 4. Re: Color management in Illustrator CS6 and InDesign CS 6—settings & workflow questions.
                John Danek Level 4

                Let me try to help you further:

                 

                1. In Illustrator's Swatch settings pallette, should the Spot Color Mode option be set to use:

                a. CMYK

                b. LAB

                c. Book Color (not sure if this refers to the pantone swatchbook)

                 

                - I would use "c" - Book Color.  This is the file going to the printer which will use Spot Color on press.  For a copy of the file to be output by your Canon, use "a" - CMYK.

                 

                2. In the View menu should Overprint Preview be checked, and why, and would it differ based on the settings for #1.

                 

                - Only if the color was transparent ( which it isn't ) would overprint preview be of any use or you use a tint value of the Spot color and a black, but even then you may not be able to detect any change in the screen view.  I typically do not use any overprint preview and I do not rely on the monitor for any color deisions.  You could be different and that is OK.  Let me know if you are able to detect any deviates using overprint preview.

                 

                I'm sorry for being a little short.  There is a lot of confusion about these issues and Adobe and Pantone are not making things any easier.

                 

                The key is your Canon will not be able to print accurate Spot color without a RIP for the necessary color tables and conversions for that particular printer.  In your case, it will be necessary to build a CMYK file to print a somewhat  approximate representation of that specific Spot color.  Another frustrating part of this matrix is CMYK cannot match all Pantone Spot Colors.