Color management is an attempt to put into play .icc color profiles. This starts in your application's color settings. But, working with your print vendor is the best policy in preparing your files and getting what you want consistently. The Epson R1900 is a photographic printer. It is not an inkjet proofing device like an Epson Stylus Pro 3880 with a Colorburst RIP. I sense that, because the R1900 is not backed up with a RIP, you'd benefit from "Let InDesign determine color". However, the print driver is responsible for interpreting the information supplied from the application in an attempt to convert that info to an actual print. The challenge for you and your applications, along with your hardware limitations, is to give you a reasonable "red" that you are looking for. In short, you would benefit from assigning a Pantone Spot color for the specific Red you are looking for. The only problem is getting that Red to print on your R1900. And, the only way to get that to happen is using CMYK equivalents which you have been wrestling with. In a RIP ( Raster Image Processor ) scenario, you would use the printer's profile in the Print setup dialogs. Let's assume they are using "SWOP Coated v2 Sheetfed". You would assign that profile in your application's Color Settings under CMYK Workspace. Then, in your "Print" dialog, you'd set the same profile in the CMYK print space. But, in a RIP scenario, you'd let the RIP determine color rather than the application. That's the value of a RIP over a photographic printer where color matching is not a priority. It sounds like you'd benefit using a Pantone Spot. If you decided to use a Pantone Spot Red in your document, you would need the RIP and Proffer to produce an accurate color matched conversion in the Print process. With your current setup you will get mixed results from your print vendor. In any case, at a minimum, you should get a contract proof before you approve the project for press. This will give you an opportunity to adjust the CMYK equivalents or finalize a decision to go Pantone Spot before the job is ultimately printed. Now, again, a Postscipt Level 3 RIP matched up to a professional printer/proofer will convert your file's assigned Pantone "Red" Spot color and, in the case of the Epson Stylus Pro 3880, the printer will use it's 8 internal ink sets to produce a relatively close match to your Spot color.
"I've done everything possible to get a certainly red color I want in my ID manuscript, from setting color profiles, snyching across applications, monitor calibration, soft-proofing etc.etc etc. What I see on my monitor with the publishers profiles is NOT what I'm getting on my printer (R1900). I guess that's to be expected."
Yes. Get a hardcopy proof instead of relying on the R1900.
"The publisher has it's own CMYK profile for their printer so i can't use theirs. There are so many different ways to configure printer management from letting ID manage color, using various Epson settings....all this stuff. Even if I get the color right on my printer, that doesn't mean it'll match the publishers, so why even try to get it right on my printer?"
It would help, if you continue to do this type of work, to get a desktop proofer like the one I've mentioned in my post. You want to "try" to get color matched output so that you are communicating what it is you want before getting to the printer, especially if you have an internal approval process you have to go through.
"Actually, my document may even print fine with the publishers. Not being able to have more reassurance of the publishers outcome leaves me queasy! But I guess I have to play my hand."
Not necessarily. Get the proof. You do not want 200,000 copies of your manuscript floating around out there with a rose pink instead of a flaming red.
"So is the only way to know is wait for the hard copy? what about using Pantone? I don't know anything about that, but aren't they for spot colors, or at least I could find something closer that way. If there is a color I like, use those numbers rather than the ones I am."
Yes. A Pantone Spot color is actually a very smart decision. And your InDesign document must be setup using that Spot color, not CMYK. For instance, let's say you settle on Pantone 206C for the cover and Pantone 206U for the uncoated text pages ( if any ). It's a simple 2-color job. Black + Pantone 206. If you want to print the file on your R1900, then you will convert a swatch using 0%C, 100%M, 30%Y, 3%K in a COPY of your Spot Color file. Send the Pantone Spot Color file to the publisher and keep the COPY in your folder for reference if need be.
This is my recommendation and I know it will work for you. Should the publisher insist on using a CMYK color mix, let them do it and supply you with a hardcopy proof before it goes to press. This is avery important no matter what you decide. The proof is very important part of the entire process.
Thanks for your input.
I know it's probably pretty obvious to those with experience to start with Pantone colors. Unfortunately, I came at this in a round-about, unknowledgeable way.Fortunately though I wouldn't have 200,000 copies floating around. This is a very important personal project I'm having printed with Blurb publishing that I've been researching, writing and designing for several years now, so I'd like to get as close as is humanly possible with the limited knowledge I have, and then will probably get an initial test book printed, and make nec. changes from there. But I would rather be tweaking than have to make huge changes. Though only initially one book, to me it's a huge expense not to spend the time now.And no, I'm not too caring how it prints on my printer, I was just trying to get an idea, to see how the monitor and soft-proofing profiles worked with the output. (Not too well unfortunately after all I've gone through!).Fortunately, I've waded unconsciously into the deep end. I certainly wouldn't have gone there intentionally seeing how infinitely deep prepress is!Good comments, thanks so much.
Another word of caution. Not all Pantone Spot colors can be produced via CMYK, even in a RIP environment. The RIP gives you the ability to come close and. even dead-on on some Pantone Spot colors. And, furthermore, some colors on your monitor cannot be reproduced in a reflective color space ( or printing ). So, it pays to know this information going-in. Fortunately, most "Reds" are reproduceable. I understand your level of work put into this project and it has been intense. All the more reason to invest in a little caution and get some proofs up front. I jokingly put out 200,000 copies and it might as well be because of the personal nature of your project and its importance to you.
That's true it is important. I've been piecing together records of my
father's time in WWII and the route of his regiment and subsequent
time as a german POW. This history has to be pieced together from the
unit morning reports and many other bits of into I can find. I've been
on this for 2-3 years now. Mu father is very sick and I wanted to get
this finished already. etc..about 80% of Army records were burned
down in the 1973 Missouri fire.
Thanks for all your help.