Preparing images for press

If you are one of the millions of people that think converting to CMYK simply means going to Image / Mode / CMYK and viola you have a CMYK image ready for press, you may want to think again. The reality is that there are numerous flavours of CMYK, from Web to Sheetfed and coated to uncoated. Simply choosing the default may not be your best choice. The goal is to target your image using the correct flavour of CMYK. But what are the specific printing conditions or flavours? Lets break them down.

Four steps to colour standardization in print

We all know the Holy Grail for every printer is to print jobs quickly and efficiently, to match the proof, to use as little ink as possible and to have a minimal amount of wastage, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case. Proofs don’t always match, jobs get pulled off press and clients are asked to wait and are given more bad coffee.

The story of a single pixel

An idea is born and the journey of a pixel begins. A single pixel will take on many forms until it finds its final resting place. Lets follow this pixel throughout its journey and watch the colour transformations it takes along the way.

Our pixel emerges from a dream as light is captured onto the camera’s sensor: R6, G84, B244 is born. For those of you who don’t speak RGB, it’s a beautiful, out-of-this-gamut blue. It’s one of those colours designers dream of and printers long for. This little pixel life has just begun, but it still has a long way to go.

Practical GRACoL

The holy grail of printing is a visual match from proof-to-press. In a perfect world, the content creator should be able to produce an internal proof that is within 5% of the final print run. This all sounds like a goal only our grandchildren will achieve, but the reality is that with the introduction of … Read more →

Optical brighteners and proofing

The goal of the proof is to represent the final destination. But what can you do if your proof keeps changing colour when it is viewed under various light sources? Not everyone has a 5000K viewing booth to evaluate the colour of their inkjet proofs, so they end up examining their proofs under daylight, fluorescent, … Read more →

GRACoL for offset consistency

What is GRACoL? Most simply, it stands for “General Requirements for Applications in Commercial Offset Lithography”. To elaborate a bit more, it deals with the ability to have consistency in offset Lithography. This consistency is the result of being able to establish some common ground amongst a somewhat volatile printing arena. The goal is to … Read more →

Colour your world

Adobe’s CS3 has hit the streets and it has enough new features to keep users talking for some time. In the interest of focus and practicality, I will focus in this article on how best to use the new Refine Edge tool when making a selection. As you use Photoshop more, you learn that making … Read more →

Advancements and concerns in digital printing

Digital proofing has reached a new level of acceptance and maturity, and service providers and customers now view an inkjet proof as the new standard. There are a number of reasons for this shift in proofing methods. The first is simply time—it takes a while for a new technology to be adopted and accepted. Secondly, … Read more →

Adobe Photoshop CS3 preview

Photoshop CS3 will be available soon, but before its release, you can download a relatively stable beta version from I have been test–driving the new release and have seen some very exciting changes. I do not recommend using this release for production work, but it is a great way to test some of the … Read more →

The power of grey

When trying to evaluate colour and achieve some form of process control, we often neglect grey and its power. Grey is more than just a neutral, achromatic colour midway between white and black. Instead, think of grey as the foundation of colour. It is the first element you should look at when evaluating colour, and … Read more →

Calibrating with Eye-One

Eye–One Share and the Eye–One measurement device contain a treasure trove of options for any designer or prepress professional who is working with colour. Using this application, you can transfer colour measurements from or to any source with ease. For example, a client may give you a paint swatch and ask you to match its … Read more →