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Setting the Color Settings is not that difficult, but well worth the effort. Let me take a stab at your questions:
1.) Color profiles really do not come into play until you output. However, your application's color settings establish a pseudo profile in that they will convert color and then be reinterpreted via the final output's RIP, according to your choices.
2.) If you manage color ( i.e., same settings in each app ) color should be consistent, whereas if you do not manage color, your colors will not match. Your scenario is more common than you think and if the Photoshop .tif uses a different "profile" than Illustrator, then there will be a shift. Maybe not much, but you'll need dead-on accuracy if the CMYK out of PS is to match Illustrator and then ID and then, finally Acrobat's PDF.
It's difficult to verify a color by looking at it on the monitor. You should confirm choices in a swatchbook reference and/or an accurate hard copy proof.
Thanks for the reply, John. So, maybe I can summarize what I might do, then and see if it makes sense? (I'm adding in a step I just learned about for pantone books as well):
1. Install, load in the Color Pantone Bridge pallets into my Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign programs. Use these swatches when filling my text or graphical objects. -
The swatche(s) that I chose from my Pantone Bridge printed swatch book.
2. When done designing and saving the tif, eps and InDesign docs, go to each of the programs' / files' Color settings dialogs and enter the same profile for each of them. Then I open up InDesign with the latest updated links, save the file, and then export a PDF also entering the same exact color profile settings.
>> Is this correct?
Then it's WHICH color settings: If the online printer I'm going to prints with GRACoL then I want to make sure I have this profile set. IF they use U.S. Sheetfed, then I want
to make sure I have this profile set. And same with if they use web SWOP or FOGRA27, 28, or 29 (ISO 12647).
>> Is this correct?
>> And would you konw, is the Pantone book an accurate enough reference for all those profiles: GRACoL, U.S. Sheetfed, FOGRA, SWOP?
Thanks so much for your valuable feedback!!!
1.) The Pantone "Bridge" swatches are or can be used in addition to existing Pantone libraries already installed with the application(s). This can be done whenever it's convenient.
2.) Your color settings actually should be setup before you start designing, preferably when you've completed the installs. The concern is your RGB settings when you created the .tif in Photoshop. A workaround would be to open the file and "Assign Profile", hypothetically this would update the file and be updated in InDesign as well. The export to PDF is correct as long as the same color settings are applied.
3.) Your color settings are a personal preference, however I'd choose: RGB space = Adobe RGB, CMYK space = SWOP coated or US sheetfed coated v2, select: Use Blackpoint Compensation, and 20% dot gain ( default ).
Always consult the online printer and see what they accept and ask them if they have a profile. If they do, you should be able to "Assign Profile" in InDesign.
The Pantone reference books are based on US Prepress workspaces and are the defacto standard in the industry, so you can trust them.
Remember, it would be prudent for you to get an accurate proof before sending the job online. This gives you the opportunity to "catch" whatever mismatches ( if any ) occur before it ( the job ) goes to press.