7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 29, 2012 2:10 AM by D Fosse

    question about preparing CMYK colours for print

    spaciousmind Level 1

      hey guys, Im preparing some artwork in CMYK to go on a CD cover

       

      on the printers site they say that if you have up to 400% colour (so 100% in C,M,Y, and K) it can get too thick and start cracking and falling off.

      "We recommend that you stick to a total of 230% wherever possible for any colour (i.e. the combined % of C, M, Y, and K add up to less than 230%)."

       

      now I notice in my image the black areas are indeed up to 400% ink, is there a way I can reduce the colours correctly so nothing goes over 230%, without losing my lighter colours or blacks? thankyou

        • 1. Re: question about preparing CMYK colours for print
          Silkrooster Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Why don't you assign the black areas to 0,0,0,100? (cmyk) If you need it a bit darker for some reason then gradually increase the cmy at equal values. But black ink by it self should suffice. If you are not sure ask your printer, they may even send you a sample.

          • 2. Re: question about preparing CMYK colours for print
            c.pfaffenbichler Level 9

            But black ink by it self should suffice.

            Mainly for text and cartain graphic elements, in my opinion, or in completely b&w compositions.

            Additionally it might cause registration issues when black objects overlap colored elements.

             

            Spaciousmind, please provide a screenshot or lores of your layout, so that we can provide relevant advice.

            cameraIconInsertImage.jpg

            And how did you arrive at 400% Total Area Coverage (TAC) in the first place?

             

            Basically I would recommend

            • to edit photographic and painterly images in their original RGB-spaces (which can be contained as Smart Objects in CMYK-files) and

            • create only graphical and text elements in the seprataed CMYK-file.

             

            230% TAC seems very low, as for example newspaper print requires that low a number (and probably some other processes that are not offset-print).

            Please ask your printer to specify their CMYK-space by way of an ICC-profile.

             

            Edit: By the way, even if the printer should provide an ICC-profile simply converting your CMYK-file to that will probably not be the best way to go.

            • 3. Re: question about preparing CMYK colours for print
              spaciousmind Level 1

              colour test RGB.jpg
              Its for a CD cover thats going to be printed on some (white) recycled card stock, i have attached a small portion of the image, as you can see its fairly dark overall and there are lots of little black lines which I don't want to lose. (Note im working in CMYK but I had to save this jpg in RGB because im having problems with colours when i save out from the CMYK in photosop)

               

              The colours quite easily get up to 400% density (by this I mean 100% in each of the four channels, is this the same thing as Total Coverage Area?) in the darker areas, and the majority of the image is probably in the 230-400% range.

               

              The Printer does recommend for 'rich blacks' make 100% in K and 40% in each of C,M and Y...... should I give all my tiny black lines this setting?

              If I fiddle around with  'replace colour' and curves all over the image will I get best results this way?

               

              Thanks!

              • 4. Re: question about preparing CMYK colours for print
                c.pfaffenbichler Level 9

                What is the Layer structure of the painting?

                Is the linework on a Layer separate of the coloring?

                Is it the top Layer or are any other Layers (like »glows«) overlapping it?

                 

                »Total Area Coverage« indeed means the added percentage values of the four channels.

                 

                Note im working in CMYK

                You may want to give that decision some thinking-over in the future – it makes sense with illustrations with black lines and hatching that are to be printed and might benefit from being done in pure black, but basically painting with registration color does usually not.

                Anyway, what CMYK-space do you work in?

                 

                And can the printer provide or recommend an ICC-profile?

                • 5. Re: question about preparing CMYK colours for print
                  D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  It seems that printer is a little behind the times and they don't have a color managed process. As cp says the printer should just have given you a CMYK profile. Total ink limit is specified in the profile, so if you work in RGB and then convert it will not exceed the limit. I agree this would best be done in RGB.

                   

                  If you do work in CMYK throughout you need to watch that limit at all times.

                  • 6. Re: question about preparing CMYK colours for print
                    spaciousmind Level 1

                    yeah, layer structure is like this with 1 being at the top:
                    1. outlines

                    2. glow

                    3. cross hatching lines

                    4. highlights

                    5. linear burn/multiply

                    6. colours


                    I will ask the print shop for an ICC-profile hopefully they can recommend a good one

                    I didn't really know about any of this ink density stuff when I started, so will definately keep that in mind and work in RGB in the future!

                    • 7. Re: question about preparing CMYK colours for print
                      D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      spaciousmind wrote:

                       

                      I will ask the print shop for an ICC-profile hopefully they can recommend a good one

                      Not a good one, but the right one - the one that represents the actual printing conditions.

                       

                      And this is partly why it has become common to submit RGB files. If the conditions change for some reason, change of paper stock etc, repurposing is easy.