I've been a Graphic Designer for 19 years and have never had any problems with regards to printing (yes, I'm lucky). However, I'm old school and alway prepare my files so that you get predictable results with offset printing. Since the latest update of CC, there have been multiple problems with regards to transparencies both directly in InDesign and when exporting files to .pdf. For example, in InDesign, layers get moved around every time I close the application or shut off the computer. I then have to go in and manually reset the graphics so that they are layered in the correct order. This problem is simply annoying, as I know I can fix this problem prior to output. However, the other problem has to do with the handling of transparencies during export to .pdf.
Prior to the latest update, all the print materials coming back from the printer looked good. After the last update, we got brochures back that looked like literal garbage. The color was way off and looked very flat and dull. After some investigation into the problem and much discussion with the Heidelberg rep, it was discovered that you have to export as pdf/X-1a:2001 (which seems to take care of the transparency issue). With the help of the Heidelberg rep, I was able to set up Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and Acrobat to the proper pre-press settings for optimal output with the press.
We ran plotters directly from the press and the proofs looked great. We ran a low print run of brochures and although the color was significantly better, the color is still flat and lifeless.
What's really frustrating is that I work with someone who has no clue how to set up a file for print. He's just sends his files to the printer in every different file format and any kind of resolution and mostly in RGB with some CMYK files. His software had not ever been set up for the press yet his work has always printed beautifully...until now. We are both having major problems with CC since the last update. I'd like to know if anyone else has run into the same problem and if there is a work around or some kind of setting in InDesign that we can change (I already found the "Flatten Transparency" preset)...
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
SO NOT IMPRESSED WITH CC!!!
For example, in InDesign, layers get moved around every time I close the application or shut off the computer.
That would not normally happen, so you should try resetting your prefs.
There have been no changes with color management in the recent version, so the problem is with a change in your document's assigned profiles, your monitor profile, export settings, or it's happening at output with the printer.
Adobe actually recommends keeping transparency live and images as RGB (PDF/X-4), which delays the color conversion and transparency handling until output, but for that to work the printer has to correctly handle the output conversions—a big if. Your printer has recommended PDF/X-1a, which is forcing you to make all conversions to CMYK and flatten the transparency at export. So the first thing to check is that the correct CMYK profile is assigned to the document and you have Overprint Preview turned on.
We ran a low print run of brochures and although the color was significantly better, the color is still flat and lifeless.
If you are going to provide final CMYK output values make sure they are not being changed at output. Have you checked the press sheets?