10 Replies Latest reply on Jul 8, 2014 6:53 AM by rob day

    Generate PDF without ICC embedded

    elellilrah

      Hello,

      I'm trying to create a file for IngramSpark without any embedded ICC profile.  Their PDF parser keep telling me this:

       

      PDF CONTAINS ICC COLOR PROFILES: LSI requests files with no color profiles assigned. Please convert all colors to grayscale for black and white images, or CMYK for color images and remove all color profiles to correct this issue.

       

      The images are all grayscale in the book. What are the settings/procedure I need to generate the PDF file from Indesign CS6 to avoid this problem? I'm generating the PDF in

      PDF/X-1a:2001

      as I read elsewhere that this should work better, as PDF/X-1a:2001 is not "supposed" to carry ICC profiles. But so far, no luck.. I was making files in PDF/X-3:2002 but the files keep getting rejected, too.

       

      If anyone can help, I'd really appreciate it. I'm ->this close<- to getting my books out and this is a crushing stumbling block.

      Thank you.

        • 1. Re: Generate PDF without ICC embedded
          Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

          Unfortunately, based upon reading IngramSpark's File Creation Guide and PDF Checklist (see attached file)s, it would appear that IngramSpark is using a very out-of-date DeviceCMYK-only workflow. Today's modern best practices PDF print publishing workflows use PDF/X-4 files with imagery left in its original color space with ICC profiles and without any transparency flattening (that is our recommendation at Adobe). To make matters worse, IngramSpark doesn't even specify which CMYK they print with (there are any number of different CMYK color spaces and if you convert to or otherwise prepare for the wrong one, your colors will be wrong.

           

          What is contradictory in their specifications is that they endorse use of PDF/X-1a:2001 and PDF/X-3:2002 although each of these file formats contradict their rules otherwise. PDF/X-1a:2001 is totally DeviceCMYK, but it does have an ICC output intent color profile. PDF/X-3:2002 not only has an output intent ICC output intent color profile, but it also allows (and encourages) use of imagery with ICC color profile-tagged imagery as well as CMYK.

           

          If IngramSpark is rejecting a PDF/X-1a file due to color profiles, it is because of the output intent color profile, which they could very easily ignore. And clearly PDF/X-3 will not meet their expectations.

           

          To totally avoid any ICC profiles and get only CMYK, use the High Quality Print export profile and change the Profile Inclusion Policy in the Output panel to Don't Include Profiles (from the default of Include Tagged Source Profiles) and the Color Conversion to Convert to Destination (Preserve Numbers) in that same panel. This is absolutely not best practice, but it will (most likely) pass must with them.

           

          You might want to consider a different printer given their fairly obsolete, blame-the-customer workflows and practices.

           

                    - Dov

          • 2. Re: Generate PDF without ICC embedded
            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            The High Quality preset with include profiles turned off would let RGB images through and strip their profiles, which I assume they would also reject. You could also use PDF/X-1a with the Standard set to None which eliminates the Output Intent but ensures CMYK. Unfortunately they don't seem to recommend a press profile, which leaves you guessing what the document CMYK profile should be.

            • 3. Re: Generate PDF without ICC embedded
              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              You might want to consider a different printer given their fairly obsolete, blame-the-customer workflows and practices.

               

              This is an example of why that's often not an option. Ingram is hardly a mom and pop print shop.

               

              Ingram Content Group - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

              • 4. Re: Generate PDF without ICC embedded
                elellilrah Level 1

                Dov,

                Thank you for the insight. I "stepped down" to PDF/X-1a:2001, then set the color profile to none and destination none. I'm not worried about it for a b&w book interior, but I've got a color book coming up soon.

                I'd love to go with another vendor but the titles can't justify a 1000+ unit run, at least not yet.

                If I can grow my publishing business big enough, then it'll be easier to do an offset run where I have more interaction with the printer.

                 

                Rob,

                Yes, I wish IngramSpark made an Indesign profile I could just plug in and use. That'd be far easier.

                • 5. Re: Generate PDF without ICC embedded
                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Yes, I wish IngramSpark made an Indesign profile I could just plug in and use. That'd be far easier.

                   

                  POD is about $ not quality. I'm guessing you will find their color to be so variable that customized profiles wouldn't be very effective anyway. It looks like one of their interior specs is a total ink limit of 240%, which if they enforce it could be a problem. The only CS profile that has an ink limit of less than 260 is US Newsprint.

                  • 6. Re: Generate PDF without ICC embedded
                    elellilrah Level 1

                    Too true. It took a while to figure out how to get to an ink limit of 240%.

                    So you're telling me I'm creating a newsprint book?

                    • 7. Re: Generate PDF without ICC embedded
                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      So you're telling me I'm creating a newsprint book?

                      No, but you might want to clarify their 240% limit. The ink limit is enforced by the destination CMYK profile when color is converted to CMYK, so expecting a limit but not providing a profile is a problem. Uncoated sheets typically need more drying time so uncoated profiles usually are less than 300—US Sheetfed Uncoated is 260. You wouldn't want to use an uncoated profile for a coated sheet and none of the CS coated profiles are less than 300. The default US SWOP Coated is 300

                      • 8. Re: Generate PDF without ICC embedded
                        Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                        Oops, I thought I put that in there but obviously I was thinking faster than I typed. Updated my response to show what conversion setting to use as well!  

                         

                                  - Dov

                        • 9. Re: Generate PDF without ICC embedded
                          Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                          Some POD is quality-oriented. Others aren't. Any print service provider that makes believe that color management is unnecessary is obviously not interested in quality.

                           

                                    - Dov

                          • 10. Re: Generate PDF without ICC embedded
                            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Some POD is quality-oriented. Others aren't. Any print service provider that makes believe that color management is unnecessary is obviously not interested in quality.

                             

                            Right, I can get an Apple book with nice enough quality for $29.95, but Ingram is servicing the cut throat publishing industry where half-a-penny in unit cost matters way more than gray balance. I'm sure they are aware of PDF/X RGB color managed workflows, but that means some level of customer service—"Sorry you don't like the color, why did you use a Newsprint profile and output intent and convert to CMYK, didn't you read our instructions? Don't worry we'll fix it for you!"—which adds to the unit cost. Instead it's "we printed your CMYK values, move on". It's not a pretty picture, but then Ingram isn't some half-dead-stuck-in-the-nineties print shop either—they've worked out the business model.