Preparing images for Print

15/05/2012  | by: Shaun Cleary

Moving an image from screen to print can often create some surprises. However there are a number of things you can do to ensure that the image you see on your banner printing is exactly the same as the one on your screen.

Where to Start

A well calibrated monitor is apt for good reproduction of images. There are a  number of software's out there that ensure your monitor is showing the colours you believe it actually is.

If you're using Adobe software got to Edit> Settings and select the 'Europe Prepress 3' preset in the CS5 apps. This will ensure your working colour space is apt. Do this in Adobe Bridge if you're using a range of software as it saves time.


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Photoshop tips

If your image is in sRGB, and not Adobe RGB, don't convert to the latter until converting to CMYK. This is of course only if you don't need to increase colour saturation to the Adobe RGB selection, then you may need to change a little earlier.

Use RGB for as long as possible this means it will look its best in the CMYK printing process. When you are ready to print make sure you change to CYMK and then turn it off again when you're finished. It is possible to turn on the Proof mode by going to View > Proof Setup> Custom. This shows the range of contrast on the monitor and makes it easier to add final details before printing. This option ensures your monitor will be a good match for your print.

Finally, save the copy in RGB then you can do whatever your require in CMYK at a later stage if needs be.

 

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Illustrator Tips

If adding logos to the banner work in CMYK from the beginning. Ensure that the combined percentage for the CMYK here is not larger than that for the print process. It is also possible to create design in the Adobe RGB colour space. Use place holders for those elements with CMYK, when it's completed then just convert it to CMYK. You can also proof Illustrator images as above with Photoshop.

 

 

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Indesign Tips

Indesign converts all files into a single document that stimulates RGB colours. This can of course be changed to CMYK if needs be, including when converting to a PDF. Though, it's a good idea to keep all files in RGB until output, some will need to be CMYK - so be aware you may have to do this for some components.

By following these above steps you should be able to create an image that is more than suitable for print and greatly resembles that of the monitor. This will of course lead to an aptly coloured print that looks great on your banner, when completed. 

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