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Color Management: Need help exporting print files!!!

Community Beginner ,
Mar 27, 2023 Mar 27, 2023

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Hello Dear Community

 

I'm a bit at my wits end here, as for years I've been having an issue where my B&W CMYK images – regardless of what computer I'm using, what version of Id, Ps or what printers i'm working with – they mostly tend to come out with a yellowish or greenish tinge.

 

My working process:

I run a music label and design all the covers as well. Usually I scan in found photography and edit it via Ps, then save it as a grayscale or rgb PDF. After that I use an Id design template, (in this case for cassette inlays) and import my image. Here, I then export everything using whatever print profile is requested, such as FOGRA39 or in the newest case, iso coated v2 300%.

 

Now somewhere along the way, something must be going horribly wrong, as this is my intended image, which according to Adobe Acrobat using print production should print as follows (and as intended):

 

Screenshot 2023-03-27 at 15.31.41.png

 

yet instead, this is the type of outcome I usually get from various professional printing places;

 

Screenshot 2023-03-27 at 15.32.55.png

 

Other examples are the next image from a latter project, which came out purplish instead of B&W when printed, while the bottom is the lackluster grayscale print version.

Scan 22.jpg

 

More interestingly. The image looks correct in both image preview and acrobat, as well as in Id itself, yet if I don't choose 'Preserve Numbers' during the export's color conversion option, the image shows up yellowish in the preview– perhaps already indicating that something seems to have gone wrong here:

 

Screenshot 2023-03-27 at 15.48.45.png

EXAMPLE: Exported as PDF without preserved numbers (left), which is how the images also usually print, vs the right (preserved numbers), which is how I would like them to print, but they tend to come out looking like the yellowish/greenish image on the left.

 

 

Now what would the correct path be here, if I wanted to have the image prepared in Ps and then exported in Id as a CMYK printing a black and white image? Do I save it as an RGB in Ps and then first export it as a CMYK via the correct profile in Id? (in this case iso coated v2 300%) And if so, what boxes are the correct ones to tick for the color management settings?

 

Am I doing something completely wrong, or is it just very hard to get B&W images to print (relatively) accurately via a professional setting using CMYK? Why are most of my friends somehow able to do this, are they supplying RGB images and letting the printers handle the colors or what?

 

Infinite gratitude who can help me out of this year-long dilemma, it's really been weighing in on me... All the hard work I put into these projects, just for them to not print as intended in the end... 

 

Looking forward to some potential help here, and glad to supply anyone with whatever they need information wise.

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 27, 2023 Mar 27, 2023

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Short version (just on my way out):

 

InDesign doesn't have grayscale color management support. If you place grayscale, it will output to the K channel as is. There will be no grayscale profile conversion.

 

That means you can't prepare in Photoshop using the default dot gain profile (which frankly isn't useful for anything these days). You need to use this:

black-ink.png

 

Click the working gray rolldown, choose Load Gray, and navigate to ISO Coated 300% ECI. Once you have it as working gray, it becomes available in Convert to Profile.

 

Will look at the rest later.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 27, 2023 Mar 27, 2023

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Thank you for your reply.

Here are my current Ps color settings:

Screenshot 2023-03-27 at 22.18.07.png

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 27, 2023 Mar 27, 2023

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I've now changed the setting to your suggestion.

 

That being said, I've tried exporting the image from Ps as CMYK using the appropriate profile, before inserting it into Id, yet this does not seem to solve the issue.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 27, 2023 Mar 27, 2023

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For such work intended for Fogra39/ISO Coated v2 output conditions, I would recommend a high GCR profile (less CMY, more K):

 

https://www.colormanagement.org/en/isoprofile2009.html#coated_FOGRA39_GCR_bas

 

For those with the same challenges printing to GRACoL 2006:

 

https://www.colormanagement.org/en/gracolprofile.html

 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 29, 2023 Mar 29, 2023

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I will try this and then profile and use ‘Convert to Destination (Preserve Numbers)' to export the file to a printable PDF.

Will let you know how it goes!

 

Screenshot 2023-03-29 at 15.01.49.png

 

Best

 

O.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 06, 2023 Apr 06, 2023

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Okay, finally, here is the update:

 

The new print came out B/W! I do seem to lose quite a bit of contrast with the GCR profile, yet this will be a go-to option in the future. I will try two more prints now and see how they come out.

 

A quick follow-up question; one pressing plant wants me to not include profiles. When doing so, however, the prints come out greenish. Can I just send them these with profiles attached instead?

 

I keep getting this specific message; 

Screenshot 2023-04-06 at 11.19.28.png

Yet, my color setting are akin to that of the destination profile... Could this be a cause for concern, or can it be safely ignored?

 

Best,

 

O.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 06, 2023 Apr 06, 2023

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quote

one pressing plant wants me to not include profiles. When doing so, however, the prints come out greenish.


By @defaultjagl44beu3er

 

There is no need to include the profile as long as the document has been prepared in the profile that characterizes (describes) the destination conditions. You include the profile when the destination is undefined/unknown, to ensure that downstream conversions are carried out correctly.

 

In this case they don't match - in other words, you have been preparing the file in the wrong color space/profile.

 

That can be either because you are simply using the wrong profile - or because they have given you incorrect information. Or a plain error on their part.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 06, 2023 Apr 06, 2023

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quote

Okay, finally, here is the update:

 

The new print came out B/W! I do seem to lose quite a bit of contrast with the GCR profile, yet this will be a go-to option in the future. I will try two more prints now and see how they come out.


By @defaultjagl44beu3er

 

That is great news, thank you for the update!

 

Having a heavier K component than CMY will help retain neutrals, however, how the press operator runs the K ink will have a greater impact. There are always swings and roundabouts...

 

If you find that this is consistently the case, then you would need to add extra contrast to the RGB file before conversion to the GCR CMYK profile, ignoring the preview as you know from experience that this contrast kick is required to bring things back into line. Although it is possible to add the extra contrast into the CMYK file, there is more room for error as it is easier to mess up the grey balance.

 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 09, 2023 Apr 09, 2023

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@Stephen_A_Marsh "Although it is possible to add the extra contrast into the CMYK file, there is more room for error as it is easier to mess up the grey balance."

yeah - and just a mention - the user should be very careful not to exceed the inklimits 

 


neil barstow, colourmanagement net - adobe forum volunteer - co-author: 'getting colour right'
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management

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