13 Replies Latest reply on Dec 8, 2016 8:41 AM by rob day

    CMYK Black densities too high, how do I change this?

    FakeRock

      I have done all of my brochures using inDesign and this is the first time I've had this issue. I export my file to a PDF and have tried several different settings to change the cmyk output.

       

      Here's the message that they gave me:

       

      "Please note that the CMYK densities of the black color on your file(s) are too high. If we print your file as is, the black may not dry completely, and may offset as a result. In Photoshop, please select the eye dropper tool, sample (click on) the black. Then in the tool palette, double-click on the black swatch at the bottom. This will open the color picker window. On the bottom right, the CMYK percentages are listed. Make sure they are C = 60, M = 30, Y = 30, and K = 100, and apply this color to your file."

       

      Obviously I didn't create my brochure using photoshop, so their instructions don't help much. Anyone have any ideas?

       

      Thanks

        • 1. Re: CMYK Black densities too high, how do I change this?
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          Did you create a swatch for these black objects, or are the colors coing from an image? What settings are you using for exporting the PDF, and what is the CMYK working space assigned to the document and destination profile specified in the export?

          • 2. Re: CMYK Black densities too high, how do I change this?
            Doc Maik Level 4

            The reference to Photoshop was just a hint, as it seems.

             

            You have exported a PDF, so you either need to adjust the CMYK density in Acrobat or when exporting from Indesign.

            Both, Acrobat and the PDF export dialog of Indesign, have a colour manager setting where you can set the density like 0.60 for 60%.

            • 3. Re: CMYK Black densities too high, how do I change this?
              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              have a colour manager setting where you can set the density like 0.60 for 60%.

               

              Are you referring to the Ink Manger Neutral Densities? They have no affect on total ink which is what the printer is warning about.

               

              Make sure they are C = 60, M = 30, Y = 30, and K = 100, and apply this color to your file.

               

              Unless you are printing on newsprint a 220% total ink limit (60+30+30+100) is unnecessarily low. Typical ink limits for coated sheets are 300%-350%.

               

              The ink limit is set by the destination CMYK profile when you convert an image to CMYK, so for the default US SWOP it would be 300% for US Sheetfed it would be 350%. There has to be a conversion RGB>CMYK or CMYK>CMYK, for the limit to be imposed. When you manually build a CMYK swatch or color there's no limit.

               

              You can check ink limit violations via Separation Preview. Here the red highlights a black fill that exceeds the 220 limit I've set in the dialog.

               

               

              Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 9.02.01 AM.png

              • 4. Re: CMYK Black densities too high, how do I change this?
                FakeRock Level 1

                I have both blocks that have black swatches and obviously images that have black in it. unfortunately I don't see anywhere in acrobat export settings to change levels. I'm printing this up via gotprint.com and have never run across this issue with any of my other brochures.

                pdfexportsetting.JPG

                • 5. Re: CMYK Black densities too high, how do I change this?
                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                  What are the values for the native black blocks?

                   

                  I suspect the problems are in the images, though, and as Rob suggests you need to use the correct conversion profile, either in Photoshop if you are converting to CMYK, or in the PDF export settings.

                  • 6. Re: CMYK Black densities too high, how do I change this?
                    rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Gotprint's color guide states that their output profile is GRACol2006_Coated. See page 3

                     

                    http://gotprint.net/ray/preparing-files-colors.pdf

                     

                    The GRACol total ink limit is 330, so they are certainly capable of printing higher densities than 220. They also say all color that is not GRACol will get converted to GRACol, so you should be using GRACol not the default US SWOP showing in your capture.

                     

                    I have run into printers who are bothered by rich black builds even when they are much lower than the total ink limit that one would get in an image when it is converted to CMYK.

                     

                    Use the Separation Preview Ink Limit to find InDesign blacks that exceed 220.

                    • 7. Re: CMYK Black densities too high, how do I change this?
                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Are you using a Gotprint template?

                       

                      Looking at your export screen capture it looks like you are forcing a CMYK-to-CMYK conversion on export to US SWOP.

                       

                      Gotprint's template should have the GRACol profile assigned. When you export there's no reason to force a conversion to SWOP because they are going to either convert back to or assign the GRACol profile. In general CMYK-toCMYK conversions should be avoided. If you are going to convert to CMYK on export the destination should be Document CMYK.

                      • 8. Re: CMYK Black densities too high, how do I change this?
                        FakeRock Level 1

                        Your info has been really helpful, I feel like I might actually be getting closer . I can't believe that I talked to them three times on the phone and they couldn't direct me to thier own pdf... they just told me we're not trained with the software....

                         

                         

                         

                        Anyways, I sort of used their template. I had already started my catalog, so I had dropped the template into a layer and made it transparent. I don't think I would've had half these errors now, if I would've known what I was doing in the first place. So I tried opening the template as a standalone file and it tries to convert the color profile back to swop.

                         

                        I went into the edit-->color settings and I can't find the GRACol2006_Coated1v2.icc in the working spaces cmyk.  I went to convert profiles and was able to change it on the destination space, but every time I save the file, it converts back to swop. I even downloaded the ici file and tried installing it without any success.

                         

                        And when I went to the pdf export again I changed the output back to no color conversion, but still looks like it's outputting swop.

                        indesignpdf.JPG

                        From your seperation preview I realized I needed to manually convert all my rgb photos manually and that helped a bundle. But while that got most of things below 300%, how do you change the ink to get lower. I found this ink manager setting, so do I change each one of these densities by a fraction until I get to the 220 total?

                        indesigninkmanager.JPG

                        Thanks for th help

                        • 9. Re: CMYK Black densities too high, how do I change this?
                          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          I went into the edit-->color settings and I can't find the GRACol2006_Coated1v2.icc in the working spaces cmyk.

                           

                           

                          A document's profile is assigned via Edit>Assign Profiles... So, if you open their template you can see the assignment in the Assign Profiles dialog:

                           

                           

                          ScreenSnapz001.png

                           

                          If you want to assign the same profile to your own docs you have to save the profile into your profiles folder. You can download it here:

                           

                          http://www.color.org/registry/GRACoL2006_Coated1v2.xalter

                           

                          When you export you want Document CMYK which might be different than the Working CMYK space:

                           

                          ScreenSnapz002.png

                           

                           

                           

                          Ink Manager has nothing to do with total ink, the Neutral Densities are used for InDesign's internal trapping.

                           

                          You can't use the printer's recommneded GRACol profile and keep total ink below 220% when you convert an image with a full tonal range—they are giving you conflicting advice.

                          • 10. Re: CMYK Black densities too high, how do I change this?
                            FakeRock Level 1

                            Apparently you are correct,there are confilcting, I got it converted to the graCol profile and that wasn't good enough. So how do you reduce overall ink below 220%?

                            • 11. Re: CMYK Black densities too high, how do I change this?
                              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              So how do you reduce overall ink below 220%?

                              You shouldn't try. If Gotprint uses GRACol as their output profile they are printing 300+ total ink all the time. If you use a rich black swatch in ID you might set it to their suggested mix, again I've seen printers flag rich blacks in the layout even though they shouldn't be a problem on press.

                              • 12. Re: CMYK Black densities too high, how do I change this?
                                likeaviking

                                A quick and easy way to reduce the overall ink percentage in a photo is to convert to RGB then back to CMYK.  RGB will have a max of around 200% with the conversion back to CMYK.  The over-saturation of an image becomes a problem if you are doing photo corrections to increase your contrast.  Give it a try.

                                • 13. Re: CMYK Black densities too high, how do I change this?
                                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  RGB will have a max of around 200% with the conversion back to CMYK

                                  Total ink max is built into the destination CMYK profile—RGB profiles have no total ink info. You can find the total ink max for a CMYK profile by converting black 0|0|0 RGB to the destination. Typically it can be as high as 350 (US Sheetfed Coated) and as low as 220 (US Newsprint SNAP). 200 would be unusually low for any printing condition, and none of the profiles that ship with CC have that limit.

                                   

                                  Give it a try

                                  In PS starting with an RGB fill of 0|0|0 and using Edit>Convert to profile, convert to US Sheetfed Coated the total ink will be 350%. Then convert to AdobeRGB and back to the default US Web SWOP Coated. I get 300% total ink