18 Replies Latest reply on Dec 23, 2013 6:06 AM by Peter Spier

    Print Issue


      Im kinda new to the printing aspect so please bear with me


      I have a 112 page brochure with images that have been color corrected and edited with sky replacements, the problem is when I send the brochure for offset printing the images appear dull and dark, the images were edited in photoshop and placed in indesign and exported as a High quality Pdf, onscreen they look fine in the final pdf but printed its alot different, my question is, is there anything I could do without overly damaging the color of the images and if its possible that it could be the printer thats messing up the colors?

        • 1. Re: Print Issue
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          Without more information it's hard to say, but it sounds like a color conversion issue from your RGB images to the printer's CMYK color space. Did you send PDF (if so, what settings did you use to make it) or native files? Did they give you a color profile to use?

          • 2. Re: Print Issue
            joshnx Level 1

            Yes I sent a pdf generated from indesign itself which from what I hear converts to CMYK the same way photoshop would, basically this is what I did, Inserted RGB images from photoshop into the brochure created in indesign, chose to export as High quality preset ( I didnt fiddle with anything else )

            • 3. Re: Print Issue
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              The High Quality Print Preset preserves colors, and would have included the source profiles IF you embedded them in your images when you saved them.


              Again, without knowing what the print conditions were, and what the images look like, it's not possible to know if the colors in the images were out-of-gamut for the destination space, or if the printer did a bad job of converting.

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              • 4. Re: Print Issue
                Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                You should not use HigQuality Printing for Offset, use a X Standard instead. You sould ask yur printer before exporting the PDF which standard he wants and what output profile and other technical requirements you have check.

                In InDesign place only RGB images which will be converted to your output profile not before PDF export.

                • 5. Re: Print Issue

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                  - Mike

                  • 6. Re: Print Issue
                    joshnx Level 1

                    Thank you for all your input,


                    @peterspier the images are not embedded they're linked to RGB TIFF files and some PSD files


                    @Willi Adelberger Thank you for your suggestion I was wondering what kind of preset was used for offset printing, if incase the printer doesn't tell me, what is a standard profile choice used? also the images are in RGB converted in indesign to CMYK in final pdf

                    • 7. Re: Print Issue
                      Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                      There is not such a uniform standard. Here in Germany most printers ask for an output profile ECI 300 v2 (www.eci.org) when they work with the maximum ink coverage of 300%, some work with ECI 240, some with Fogra 39 and so on.

                      If a printer requires CMYK images I deliver PDF/X-1a, some more modern equiped printers require PDF/X-4, then the images remain in RGB. In Europe the recommendation is to work with ECI-RGB, but most people work with sRGB. ECI-RGB has a gamuth closer to ECI-CMYK-Profiles gamuth than any other one.


                      But the best idea is ALWAYS to ask and to communicate with the printer, they should be able to deliver you a .JOBOPTION file. Look on their web site, they might have it in their downloads, they should have it. If you get a joboption, open Acrobat Distiller and drag it into the open Distiller Window, it will install the .joboptions in a way that all Adobe applications can use it for PDF Export, so will InDesign find it too to export PDF files.

                      • 8. Re: Print Issue
                        joshnx Level 1

                        Thanks for your reply,


                        I'm currently in the UAE so I really don't know what standard is used, also the printer im working with, sound like they have lesser knowledge than me about printing (The client's printer) Also they don't speak english very well, so explaining job options to them would be quite the task, even asking for what presets they want, so you can see i'm in quite a pickle, I will go ahead with the PDF/X-1a as I read its the least problematic if you don't know what you're doing and neither does the printer.

                        • 9. Re: Print Issue
                          Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                          Make a screen shot of every window in the PDF export dialog and ask what values he will need there. But if the printer does not know what profile he uses how will you do it? In such a case your possibilities are limited.

                          • 10. Re: Print Issue
                            joshnx Level 1

                            Thats what happens when clients wish to go with inexperienced printers for better pricing I think ill stick to the PDF/X_1a preset and hope for the best? would it be a vast difference from the X-4?

                            • 11. Re: Print Issue
                              Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                              X-1a flattens transparency and converts RGB to CMYK, with an unexperienced printer I would use that.

                              X-4 allows live transparency and RGB images.

                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: Print Issue
                                joshnx Level 1

                                Yes I think 1a is more suitable for me at the moment considering my situation, thank you for all the help

                                • 13. Re: Print Issue
                                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                  joshnx wrote:


                                  @peterspier the images are not embedded they're linked to RGB TIFF files and some PSD files


                                  I was referreing to empedding the color profile in the image, not embedding the image inthe ID file. You have the option, In Photoshop, to embed the image source profile for most formats, or not. There are really no good reasons I can think of not to do so, but not everyone does it.


                                  Without an embedded source profile ID treats the imported image as being in the corresponding document working space, whgich may or may not be correct.

                                  • 14. Re: Print Issue
                                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                    It doesn't look as if the reply I posted by email maid it back to the forum while it was down for maintenance...


                                    It's all well and good to send an X-1a file, but that won't solve the color problem if you choose the wrong destination space. It could even make it worse with a CMYK-to-CMYK conversion at the printer.


                                    At the very least, you shoud do a soft proof -- View > Proof Setup and choose the output profile you will be using, then View > Proof Colors -- so you have some idea of what to expect if they get it right.

                                    • 15. Re: Print Issue
                                      joshnx Level 1

                                      Hi Peter,


                                      After your comment I just checked the image files and they were infact CMYK color space before imported into indesign so basically once its exported its undergoing a CMYK-CMYK conversion, So is there anything that can be done to avoid the repeated conversion?

                                      • 16. Re: Print Issue
                                        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                        Basically, no, other than to be sure you've converted to the correct space yourself, which means you need to know in advance what this will be.


                                        I sitll use a convert to CMYK in Photoshop workflow for jobs that are color-critical and will go only to a press for which I know the correct destination profile (because I work with a particular printer who is well versed in color management for that sort of work), but only because it gives me the abilty to make small tweaks in Photoshop after the color conversion. For other work I tend to follow the newer workflow of placing RGB images (generally AdobeRGB, which is larger than sRGB so capable of reprodcing a few more colors, though they won't necessarily be printable). I then either convert to the destination CMYK during export, or use a preset like PDF/X-4 wich preserves all the image information to allow the RIP to do the most accurate conversion possible.