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Author Topic: Help in Preparing File for a Magazine Publisher  (Read 619 times)

BradSmith

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Help in Preparing File for a Magazine Publisher
« on: May 18, 2018, 09:04:40 PM »

I photograph and occasionally make portfolio prints of a friend's watercolor artwork for her records.  She recently submitted one to a contest and she won.  The award is a full page ad in a "fine art" magazine.   The RAW file was adjusted in Lightroom in ProPhoto RGB color space.  I have a calibrated NEC monitor and the prints on an Epson P800 match it well.  But I don't know how to do what they want in terms of a digital file.    Here are the instructions to her from the magazine about what they need to publish it:

"A high-res image at least 300DPI JPEG and a 1.5+ MB file size, preferably in CMYK if you can." AND 
"IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING IMAGE REPRODUCTION: To ensure the most accurate reproduction of your image(s), within the limitations of the four color (CYMK) printing process, we ask that you provide a Match Proof/Color Target of the digital file supplied of your artwork image. This can assist our printer in matching your image. A match proof is a SWOP Certified* proof that is a direct output from the file you provided us and is required for color guidance on press."

I certainly understand how to produce a 300 dpi jpg from the file and can make another "good" print of the file, but I've never done anything related to producing a CMYK file or know if a hard copy print meets their criteria for  "a Match Proof/Color Target of the digital file", or how a SWOP Certified proof is produced.  I could use some help/instructions on what to do in LR and/or Photoshop.
Thanks
Brad
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ColourPhil

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Re: Help in Preparing File for a Magazine Publisher
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2018, 04:21:38 AM »

Hi Brad,
This is a whole can of worms!
I doubt that the publisher has any idea what they're talking about!
SWOP is a standard for Web Offset Printing, i.e. high speed, usually long run publications, usually on fairly thin paper with high dot gain.
'Fine Art' publications are normally printed sheet fed on thicker coated paper with a lower 'dot gain'. In the USA they normally use the 'GRACOL' standard for this.
But whatever they use, the publisher should be able to convert RGB images to it!
For proofing you'll need a RIP and spectrophotometer etc., and a fair amount of expertise.

I know a bit about this, after many years in the Printing Industry, and am on an ISO tech group.
In general, if you don't understand printing presses and CMYK use RGB!

The Publisher should be able to convert to CMYK.

Cheers,
Phil

Simon J.A. Simpson

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Re: Help in Preparing File for a Magazine Publisher
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2018, 05:14:12 AM »


…trying to decode what the publisher is saying.

Clearly ‘ColourPhil’ knows more about this than I do but, from my limited experience with preparing artwork for printing what they seem to be saying is that they want a high resolution file, preferably in a CMYK colour space, and that they want a reference print of some kind to match the colour to ?

My suggestion would be to send the file to them in RGB and let them do the conversion and then ask them if they really want a reference print or not.  I would be inclined to leave as much as possible to them.

Aside from that I agree with Phil that it sounds like a lot of BS.
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arobinson7547

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Re: Help in Preparing File for a Magazine Publisher
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2018, 06:41:58 AM »

"I" would convert that image to CMYK within Photoshop. If in the US, the default SWOP Profile with BPC, if in Europe, use ISOCoatedv2.

There are many 'stupid' things that someone 'can' still do to mess up a Perfectly Good RGB file; like strip or change your Source Profile or use a Bad rendering intent. It probably won't happen; but like I said, stupid things 'do' happen.

The default  CMYK is pretty safe and the less of the two evils, so to say. A SWOP separated image printed to the G7 standard still yields a very good image on Press. I G7 image printed to SWOP would most likely crush your shadows (no devicelink)

In truth, the only REAL right answer is ask/find out the Printer that Prints the Publication, and ask THEM. Else, it's just speculation.

It is 'most' likely that a Magazine Publication Printer would print to 'some' industry' standard (at least we would think/hope). The question is which one THEY use.

IF you do go the RGB route, go sRGB (that AbobeRGB, or such,
 may not be honored (stripped out and the default sRGB/eciRGB assigned)

Still, if it's important to you, I'd ask the Printer, if you could. And if you 'do' send a Proof, send  a CMYK Proof (convert your image to CMYK in Photoshop and Print that image to YOUR printer (assuming your workflow will be converting from the converted CMYK profile to your custom Printer Profile.)

If your paper if overly bright try Absolute Colormetric Rendering
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Help in Preparing File for a Magazine Publisher
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2018, 09:53:30 AM »

My understanding of what the publisher is asking for is that you provide a Control Wedge (for example The Idealliance ISO 12647-7 Control Wedge 2013) with known reference values printed using exactly the same settings used for making your proof print. When you send them the printed Control Wedge along with your proof print they can then match the colours scientifically to their press conditions.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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BradSmith

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Re: Help in Preparing File for a Magazine Publisher
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2018, 01:25:26 PM »

Thanks everyone.  I think I'll contact the magazine publisher's contact person for "production" and see if I can get some clarity.  But based on what you've said, if I had to do it today, I think I'd send two digital files - one in sRGB and another converted to CMYK in PS, along with a print from the CMYK file and with the same settings, and a CMYK print of the Idealliance Control Wedge that Mark referenced.  From all of that, I think they should be able to do an acceptable match.
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fredjeang2

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Re: Help in Preparing File for a Magazine Publisher
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2018, 01:09:15 PM »

Thanks everyone.  I think I'll contact the magazine publisher's contact person for "production" and see if I can get some clarity.  But based on what you've said, if I had to do it today, I think I'd send two digital files - one in sRGB and another converted to CMYK in PS, along with a print from the CMYK file and with the same settings, and a CMYK print of the Idealliance Control Wedge that Mark referenced.  From all of that, I think they should be able to do an acceptable match.
I would not recommend to send multiple versions.

Normaly, pro printers do not like color managed files. As simple as that. This has been also confirmed by a big fish of this forum for the US market.
This is very different from the color management we, as for our personal work, may do. The printers in the real world want to avoid like the plague people with lack of expertise to color manage on their own because they screw it often. ”don't color manage, we take care of that" is their mantra and an established practice.

Ps: avoid to contact people by phone when you are "seeking" info. They are busy and you expose yourself to look unsecure. Stick to the simple pdf generaly provided on line. No hassles nor weired experiments. You're not the printer.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 01:23:18 PM by fredjeang2 »
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BradSmith

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Re: Help in Preparing File for a Magazine Publisher
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2018, 01:29:14 PM »

Fred,
I don't understand the point you are making regarding my specific situation.  What pdf are you talking about?  I never mentioned any such thing.  What are you specifically recommending I do to provide what they have said they want?  And I don't care if someone I'll never meet or deal with again thinks I am "unsecure". 
Brad
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fredjeang2

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Re: Help in Preparing File for a Magazine Publisher
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2018, 04:55:04 PM »

Fred,
I don't understand the point you are making regarding my specific situation.  What pdf are you talking about?  I never mentioned any such thing.  What are you specifically recommending I do to provide what they have said they want?  And I don't care if someone I'll never meet or deal with again thinks I am "unsecure". 
Brad
Brad, keep in mind that I'm not writing in my native language
And sometimes I may choose uncorrect expressions. I used unsecured instead
Of unsure (about their requirements). Not unsecure as a person or phychological character.
Those kind of mistakes are typical. Not even talking about
The prepositions post verbs in english. Very complicated for us.

As for pdf, the norm here is that printers provide all necessary info on PDFs for their clients.
About everything they'd need to know (included the fact not to colour managed)
Because they are busy and the techs answer the phone on
Cases when it is absolutly required, not for general purposes pre-delivery. In my experience they
Are very knowledgeable and helpfull then.
But I'm talking about capital cities, large facilities. Small printers, no idea.
Well, in fact yes I remember now that the rare time we had worked with smaller
Facilities, it was a chaos and nobody provided anything and
Comunication was required, which was a pita.(mails and mails)
(A bit the same way, like the BBC. They have sheet specs were they explain their requirements for deliverables.
No one calls the BBC to ask nor send 2 versions of the same doc, see what they like best. The tech would go crazy, they have hundreds of files to deal with everyday). It's one file.
Then if there is a real issue they call to fix it. And no shame on anyone. Error can occur at any levels.
And those people are there to help. If it's a printer's error, they will hardly
Admit it.  ;D just like a cineast of this forum told that if there is a theater's mistake,
They will point to the colorist or DCP creator first...it's not us!
Print proof is mandatory for big projects but has a cost.

So, me personaly, I would send one doc, not colour managed.
And if you do cmyk, the default. The less you touch, the better.
Oh yeah, important: if you convert to cmyk, do not compensate
Anything to try to match on a monitor the rgb version if there is a shift. Just
Convert. Because the shift might not be on print. Only the fine tuning can be done from the real
Proof print. Not previously from a display.
Because the paper itself will influence a lot etc etc...

In the past, when I was sending hundreds of rgb photos converted
To cmyk, we didn't had Adobe yet but Quark and Co and on screen it was scaring.
Almost pop art. (Adobe bought Macromedia and solved with Illustrator and Indesign)
Then on print they matched perfectly. When you prepare for cmyk
You have a simulation in PS so you have an idea of the printable
Information and you do eventually slight corrections to the rgb but pre conversion, not
Post. (Corrections are done before the conversion to cmyk on the rgb itself).

So my bottom line is, according to you thread title, there
Is really nothing bizarre to prepare. Just keep things simple
Is the best bet/way.
If you do that a lot, then you might learn tricks, how to prepare
Best, but on the doubt, do nothing special, unless they tell you explicitly,
And keep the mails as proof.




« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 06:10:06 PM by fredjeang2 »
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BradSmith

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Re: Help in Preparing File for a Magazine Publisher
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2018, 07:56:47 PM »

Fred,
I'm sorry that I didn't understand that English wasn't your native language.  I understand. 
I appreciate the time you've spent preparing such a detailed response based on your extensive experience.

thank you,
Brad Smith
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fredjeang2

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Re: Help in Preparing File for a Magazine Publisher
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2018, 05:54:55 AM »

Fred,
I'm sorry that I didn't understand that English wasn't your native language.  I understand. 
I appreciate the time you've spent preparing such a detailed response based on your extensive experience.

thank you,
Brad Smith
My pleasure Brad. English is much more complicated than many foreiners think. There are many variables whose meaning change drastically. It's a sophisticated and reffined language that requires  a lot of practice to be used correctly.
In french, chalenges are of different nature. As a result I have screwed here more than once, using an expression that
Resulted being offensive without me knowing it, or expressed the exact opposite
Idea I wanted to share. And one of my attempt to be funny resulted to be sort of inapropriate so the Lula censure dept jumped at me...lol.
What I'm doing in the forum is that I write without corrector so my posts are packed with errors.
Then I try to detect my mistakes and correct on the fly. An efficient way to improve although I often have to edit the posts
Several time until they look decent. I found that doing this task in a notepad previously to posting is not as efficient
Because it lacks the live factor.

Ps: if your printer is a small facility and people are more accessible, there is no problem in asking for
Datas in order for you to be confident on their requirements.( See? This is a typical sentence where it's complicated: Confident about/in? ) anyway,
it's better to mail instead of calling if possible.
Because mail is always a proof. A call is lost in the ether.
For example, I'm working with an AD (woman), she always call first to draw the big lines, then
She writes a mail of the very same conversation but more detailled. There was a new girl they contracted who
Was overwhelmed by the job, too stressed, and she wanted to do everything by phone.I was going crazy with her
Procedures.
It was really unproductive and finaly I learned that they fired her.
Choose mails as much as possible, and phone calls only on important affairs.
Typical example of the phone use is: 50 photos have been attached in CMYK. The printer
Detects that one pic has been forgotten and is still in RGB. They won't convert. They would call you to resend
The corrected doc entirely. Not just the pic. Because for them it is manipulation and time. They would charge for it.
In this case they call. If the client/you changed the final arts on the last minute, it happens a lot..., Then you'd have to call
Them: don't put that to print yet. We send an updated version. And make sure the file nane matches with the addition
Of the correction info in the file name itself. The idea is that they don't have to ask. It has to be clear for them.
The more they see that you make life easy for them, they will also make it more easy for you.
That way you gain a good reputation and they will be willing to be helpfull.
Example of possible file names:
You sent: oh-my-godness.pdf
Updated version could be: oh-my-godness-update1-20-may-2018-resized-21x21.pdf
-Same file name
-Numero of update and date
-Reason of update
Avoid unclear jargon like "latest update" or "version3” and if you really want to
Send 2 versions like 1rgb plus 1cmyk, separate then in different folders named accordingly.
Some magazines want edge to edge others will specify the numbers (in general 3 or 5mm) for marks and bleeds so your doc becomes
6mm or 10mm bigger in both axis. No blank like a frame, the image has to cover the extra size entirely.
But this info is given by the magazine itself, not the printer.


It's just an idea, you are not stucked with one model.

« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 10:08:39 AM by fredjeang2 »
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