Client Provided Images & Sending to Press

Images for press:

RASTER images (working in Photoshop):

  1. Ask for original images.
  2. Request .tiff, .raw, or .psd files. Generally avoid .jpg, .png, and .gif. files. Original .jpg straight from the camera usually does fine if it is not compressed too much. A very compressed .jpg results in artifacts. Try to get original image. Never edit and re-save jpg images, every time you do you are adding more artifacts.
  3. Review for quality.
  4. Image Size Rez min: 250dpi + at dimension(s) in inches/cm it will need to print.
  5. Typically used color profiles (check with your printer, some offer custom profiles for their presses):
    • U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 for Magazines
    • ISOnewspaper30v4GCR4 for NYTimes newsprint
    • US Newsprint (SNAP 2007) for Generic newsprint
    • U.S. Sheetfed Coated (SWOP) v2 for packaging and brochures
    • U.S. Sheetfed Uncoated (SWOP) v2 for packaging and brochures
  6. Total ink coverage: Using the Info palette in Photoshop select panel options and Total Ink. Check denser areas of image. Add C+M+Y+K, for Newsprint and if the sum is more than 240, then it may be too much ink. Magazine paper can handle 280-300 or even higher if it is high quality. Usually applying a color profile as a final step will fix these issues. Check with your printer for their press specs.
  7. Do NOT multiply too many layers in PS … this can result in creating colors that are unprintable (see 8). If you do work this way, then as a final step, create a final flattened file and merge the layers, then apply the appropriate color profile.
  8. Change images with 16 bits/channel down to 8 before sending to press.
  9. Adjust colors using Levels or Curves in adjustment Layers.
  10. Avoid using Brightness/Contrast … Levels or Curves are far superior for adjusting contrast. They can also be used to adjust colors channels separately.
  11. The major issues with Newsprint involve the lower end of mid tones … simply making whiter whites and darker darks does not make it better.

VECTOR images (working in Illustrator):

  1. Unless printing SPOT colors, convert them to CMYK.
  2. Convert RGB to CMYK.
  3. Be sure white is NOT set to overprint.
  4. Colors can be set to overprint if you want that effect of transparency. Also edges of shapes can be set to overprint for trapping.
  5. If printing BW, be sure that black is NOT a Rich Black (built of CMYK).
  6. Be sure there are no embedded or raster images.

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