Photoshop 7 to CMYK?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Cecilia, Sep 10, 2004.

  1. Cecilia

    Cecilia Guest


    I finished my folio and now I have a problem with printing it!

    I sent my folio as adobe rgb 1998 photoshop 7 files to a printing company,
    and they say that it won't print properly unless I put it in the right mode.

    They want the files as cmyk with a pure black in the black layer, but I
    don't know how to do this in photoshop!

    Could you tell me how to do this? How do I convert it and how to save it?


    Cecilia, Sep 10, 2004
    1. Advertisements

  2. Cecilia

    edjh Guest

    These must be drawings, right? You wouldn't want pure black in photos or
    paintings. Do you have your black line on a separate layer? I hope so.

    Convert to CMYK by going to Image>Mode>CMYK. If you have the line art
    on its own layer make 100% black and zero C,M,Y in the color picker.
    Click the Lock Transparency icon on the Layers palette and Alt-Delete
    (Option-Delete on Mac) to fill the line with 100% black. Set the
    Blending mode of that layer to Multiply.

    If you have large black areas or very thick lines you can add a "bump"
    layer under the line to get a smooth black. (if lines are very thin
    skip this part) This will simulate a "rich black". Just black alone will
    look flat. Ctrl-click (Command-click Mac)on the line in the palette to
    make a selection. Select>Modify>Contract by 2 pixels. On a layer beneath
    the line fill with 50% Cyan or 50% Magenta depending on the overall
    color scheme of the drawing. Leave Blend at Normal. This way you'll have
    an even black line but if registration is off by a hair you won't get a

    If the line is flattened into the color it will be more difficult,
    especially if the colors have any black in them. You'll have to isolate
    the line and work in channels. The goal is to fill only line art in the
    Black channel with 100% black.
    edjh, Sep 10, 2004
    1. Advertisements

  3. Cecilia

    Lourens Smak Guest

    Easiest and probably best too, is to ask for the colorsync profile the
    printing company uses as default, and use "convert to profile" to
    convert to the new (CMYK) profile.

    If you just use "mode->cmyk" the images get converted using default
    settings which may (or may not...) give surprising results.

    Lourens Smak, Sep 10, 2004
  4. Cecilia

    Tony Guest

    Tony, Sep 10, 2004
  5. Cecilia

    RSD99 Guest

    "Tony" posted:
    but why not deal with a
    printer that can handle YOUR files instead of trying to make
    your files
    conform to some printer?

    It doesn't work that way ...

    See the posting by 'Tacit' directly above your posting. He
    speaks from experience.
    RSD99, Sep 10, 2004
  6. Cecilia

    Mike Russell Guest

    Ask the printing company if they have a CMYK profile that they prefer you
    use - be prepared for them to say profile schmofile. Second best, ask them
    for their dot gain and total ink limits, and set those up in the custom CMYK
    settings. Third best, use the SWOP coated (magazine) or uncoated
    (newspaper) profiles from Photoshop. Also ask them if they will accept psd
    files, or if they want a separated tiff or dcs or a pdf file.

    The type and like art does need to be converted separately so that it is
    pure black, as opposed to a mixture of all four CMYK inks. This is normally
    done (in Photoshop) by setting the ink color in the type layer to
    CMY(0,0,0,100) before flattening and sending them the file.

    CMYK is a good opportunity to improve the way your images will look when
    printed. If you're going to do much of this, get a copy of Dan Margulis's
    Professional Photoshop book. It will be worth its weight in gold, and it is
    printed on fairly heavy paper stock :).
    Mike Russell, Sep 10, 2004
  7. Cecilia

    Tony Guest

    I have some experience too. In my experience there are plenty of printers
    around who can handle an RGB file. Unless the purpose is to print something
    with spot colours etc, there is no reason to bend over backwards because
    some print shop is unwilling to modernize. For a photograph CMYK is more
    likely to cause problems than solve them.

    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    A sample chapter from "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    Tony, Sep 11, 2004
  8. Cecilia

    Mike Russell Guest

    I disagree. Learning how to control CMYK is one of the best things a
    photographer can do to make sure his or her images look there best at the
    time it matters most, when the client is looking at them in the final
    Mike Russell, Sep 11, 2004
  9. That can only be the case if the printer knows what he's doing. He
    should provide particulars for his printing set-up. CMYK separations
    must be done with a well defined set of parameters+profile concerning
    paperstock, ink and printing press settings. If the printer doesn't
    understand that he needs to provide that pre-press information
    up-front, I doubt the results are going to be good.

    A good service should (be able to) do an RGB to CMYK separation for
    the client. They will charge you for it, but it is then their
    responsibility to do an optimal print job. It is also in their
    interest that the endresult is optimal (if they want repeat
    assignments in the future that is).

    Bart van der Wolf, Sep 11, 2004
  10. Cecilia

    WharfRat Guest

    Your experiences are being misunderstood.
    --- -
    True - the more the artist understand about the color conversions the
    It doesn't matter, so much, who or where the conversions get done.
    It is important that the creator knows what is going to happen to the color
    when the conversion is made.
    I prefer converting the RGB to CMYK in the RIP -
    but one is screwed if the file was not created to convert properly
    into the CMYK space.
    That is why there are preview modes and proofs.
    Many printers "know what they are doing" regarding color reproduction.
    Most graphic artists haven't a clue.
    In the prepress, we can certainly do wonderful conversions of your
    RGB or LAB files to CMYK.
    However, if you supply us with files containing colors
    which absolutely can not be reproduced by lithography -
    we can not convert those colors for you.
    it IS the responsibility of the artist to be aware of the
    differences in the modes of color.

    There are methods of proofing any file destined for offset printing -
    even from the small "piece of crap" inkjet printer at home.

    WharfRat, Sep 11, 2004
  11. SNIP

    I bet most do, but the moment a printer instructs the customer to
    provide CMYK images, without specifying the parameters, they don't.
    There is no such thing as *a* CMYK image, because it will print
    differently on different paper stock with different ink.

    Remember that the OP indicated having limited CMYK knowledge, and was
    left in uncertainty after having been told to produce a CMYK with a
    pure Black layer. There doesn't seem to be too much business sense in
    telling a customer that without being more specific.
    Probably true, all the more reason to prevent disaster.
    Correct, but that is not the same as knowing how to produce color
    separations, especially if the parameters are not known. Basic
    knowledge about gamut differences is very helpful to prevent
    disappointment. Depending on the actual application, maybe a different
    rendering intent can be an acceptable solution.

    Given the correct profile and parameters, the Proofing option will
    give some more guidance as to out-of-gamut colors, which may prompt
    the user to reconsider the workflow (doing the color balancing and
    other adjustments in CMYK may or may not be necessary, there are too
    many unknowns to decide for the OP).

    Bart van der Wolf, Sep 11, 2004
  12. Cecilia

    Tony Guest

    Any printer who simply says "send it CMYK" without a pile of other
    information, is just plain too lazy to do the work right. The chances of
    getting good work are close to zero anyway. Good printers know that the
    workflow is now RGB and they are capable of working RGB. Until you get into
    magazine reproduction, spot colour brochures etc, there is no reason to have
    to deal with the limitations of CMYK - and I suspect that will begin
    changing soon, if it is not all ready doing so.

    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    A sample chapter from "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    Tony, Sep 11, 2004
  13. Cecilia

    Mike Russell Guest

    Not really. "send it CMYK" is normal procedure for many printers that do
    excellent work. The printer may be confident that their press is close
    enough to SWOP that they can wangle a good result out of whatever you send
    them, provided the separation is done reasonably well. Even fewer printers
    can provide a profile, and this is not a problem. Many high quality coffee
    table books have been done, and are done exactly this way.

    In this particular case, the job had line art and or text as well, so is not
    possible to send the job in RGB at all. Think about it - if there is no K
    plate in RGB, where will the type be? And if CMYK is required, the prepress
    and design folks, will know it, if they know their craft.

    I don't have complete information on this job, but it seems to me if anyone
    has the right to call someone "too lazy to do the work right", it's the
    printer. Yet he appears to be acting constructively by giving additional
    information to the person preparing the work. The printer should not have
    to tell the service bureau to put their line art and print on the K plate.
    This is kindergarten stuff. So I say kudos to the printer for bending over
    backwards to be helpful and courteous.

    Finally, even if the printer consisted of The Three Stooges, the choice is
    not generally in the hands of the service or design folks. The customer
    chose both the printer, and you. If there are errors or miscommunications,
    the odds are at least fifty fifty that the finger of blame will point to the
    person preparing the material to be printed. Yes, even if Moe dumped yellow
    ink in the magenta fountain, Larry set up the wrong blanket pressure, and
    Curly was in charge of registration. This is particularly true if the
    designer or prepress preson has no knowledge of the "limitations", or the
    opportunities, of CMYK, and has to be told by the printer that type cannot
    be separated from an RGB image.

    Furthermore, even if the image is a pure photograph, I would reiterate that
    direct control of CMYK is not a limitation, but an opportunity for a
    photographer to make his or her pictures look even better on print. No one
    is in a better position than the photographer, esthetically or technically,
    to make decisions that make pictures look better.

    Yes, RGB may be ripped to CMYK quite well, but PhotoShop gives photographers
    more control over what their CMYK image will look like in print. It's an
    edge. It's the difference between drugstore developing and doing it a
    better yourself. And you don't even have to inhale stop bath in the dark
    for three hours - what a deal! :)
    Mike Russell, Sep 11, 2004
  14. Cecilia

    Tony Guest

    But we are not talking about books. We are talking about photographs. The
    adjustments are going to be different for every shot and they are going to
    need individule adjustment - Without an AD to oversee the project.
    Any printer who says send me CMYK files is either overconfident or
    usually works for people who aren't fussy and just reprints until they give
    up. Sorry I don't see that as being any good at all.

    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    A sample chapter from "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    Tony, Sep 12, 2004
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.