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 Color Profile Mismatch....what do you do?

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Sandman

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PostSubject: Color Profile Mismatch....what do you do?   Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:26 pm

Many a time clients supply us files with a color setting that is NOT representative of our printing process.

Let's say the job order indicates we use a normal C2S glossy paper to be printed on a 4-color sheetfed press. Unfortunately, the original files are either one of the following:

Client 1 sends an Illustrator file with US Webcoated profile;
Client 2 sends an InDesign file with Japan 2001 Coated profile;
Client 3 sends a PhotoShop file Untagged....without any profile embedded;
Client 4 sends a PDF/X-3 file with mix-RGB and CMYK.

I'm just curious how everybody in this forum handle these given scenarios.

Guys, let's get real.

Do you apply a color transformation?
If so, how do you do it? What software do you use?
Or....do you simply print that job as it is?

Hope you could share your thoughts.

=============
Ooops! It's 8:30am. I'm leaving for work now after a 12-hour shift. It's too foggy outside my visibility is limited to a few meters. Hope the weather's better now back home.
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PostSubject: Re: Color Profile Mismatch....what do you do?   Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:31 pm

I was asked by my dear friend Larry to participate in this topic and to "GET REAL". Well IMO, whether to convert or not is up to the graphic artist and prepress operator. It's only a "miniminimynimo" thing here in the Philippines (don't laugh....it's true). Specifying a printing condition is not a practice here. Almost all of the transactions here are BLIND EXCHANGE. Meaning, the print buyer does not specify a print condition, the printer is not calibrated to a certain printing condition or worst doesnt know what a printing condition is. The Philippine standard of printing is a flexible one. You gave us Japan, European, American standard we can do all that (kaya ba nila yon).
Sad to say, our standard is really a substandard. So let's go back to the question "whether to convert or not", IMO, if you have a color managed workflow, pls. do the necessary things you need to do, to fit a certain printing condition in your condition (problem is if the client really specify a printing condition which is not your printing condition". But, if you work in a uncolor managed workflow my advise is honor the profile specified by the client and save yourself from accidentally changing the cmyk numbers on your file. CHEERS
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Sandman

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Location : Middle East
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PostSubject: Re: Color Profile Mismatch....what do you do?   Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:54 pm

Shutter wrote:
So let's go back to the question "whether to convert or not", IMO, if you have a color managed workflow, pls. do the necessary things you need to do, to fit a certain printing condition in your condition (problem is if the client really specify a printing condition which is not your printing condition". But, if you work in a uncolor managed workflow my advise is honor the profile specified by the client and save yourself from accidentally changing the cmyk numbers on your file. CHEERS

To be honest that was our workflow not so long before. As printer of 5 daily newspapers, I can say that more than 75% of print ads we received are UNTAGGED CMYK. And most, if not all, of these untagged are actually U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 icc profile.

This profile has a TAC of about 300% (ink limit), it has a different GCR curve, and also a color gamut a lot, lot bigger compared to that of a newspaper.

As you know a typical recycled newsprint can only handle up to 240% TAC. So, where does the excess ink go? You got it right.....it becomes a setoff....and it's now smearing another advertisement in the opposite page! The next morning we get complaints and the ad agency refuses to pay up.

In this working environment, we know that by not doing anything the complaints will just keep on coming.

Quite contrary to "accidental changes" we are actually "intentionally changing" the cmyk values on the clients' files. And for several years we have been doing this manually, even without the aid of a color management system. We simply rely on PhotoShop's Info Palette until we get the desired values. That's why we need to have the technical know-how of repurposing such files so we know what to do if the need arise.

My thoughts lang po.

Maybe a good EB next time would be on Digital Delivery, Digital File Handling and Troubleshooting. Medyo malawak kasi itong topic na ito especially when the clients' color profiles are questionable.

What do you think, guys?
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CIECAM

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PostSubject: Re: Color Profile Mismatch....what do you do?   Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:37 pm

Probably, some graphic artist does not know what is tagging or embedding or converting colors. And it boils down to color management system. One good example is looking at the color settings inside the photoshop, it is set to default which is north america gen purpose, and that is swop. The importance knowing which cmyk is very important. My personal point of view, when there is an EB, it is a good topic to include for discussion.
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Sandman

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PostSubject: Re: Color Profile Mismatch....what do you do?   Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:19 pm

You're right CIECAM. PhotoShop's default is indeed SWOP.

SOME PROBLEMS WITH SWOP IF USED ON C2S/SHEETFED.
For the uninitiated, US Web Coated (SWOP) v2 is intended for WEB OFFSET and not sheetfed printing condition. If my memory serves me right SWOP files should be separated using 133lpi. This is a bit low for sheetfed production where 150 or 175 lpi is common.

COLOR SHIFT:
If my job is NOT critical then US Web Coated (SWOP) v2 icc profile should be okay when printed on a sheetfed press on a normal C2S paper. Well, as long as the press uses inks based on ISO 2846 and prints on ISO 12647-2 norms (CMYK Delta E 1-5)....then I guess it's not going to give major problems.

But if my job IS CRITICAL then I'd have second thoughts using SWOP because chances are I'd experience some hue error.....especially on the blues. Better to use US Sheetfed Coated or ISO coated (eci) than SWOP.

COMPARATIVE COLOR ANALYSIS:
I compared the color gamut (*a*b) of 3 color profiles. You will see the smallest color gamut on white border is US Web Coated (SWOP) v2. This profile was created using LWC paper....I think.

Next is US Sheetfed Coated seen with a yellow border. It's bigger than US Web Coated but still a lot smaller than ISO 12647-2 shown on red border.

http://www.friendster.com/photos/36969309/1/887076342

The next link compares further ISOcoated_V2_eci.icc (Red border) to a much bigger gamut of PSO_Coated_NPscreen_(ISO12647) eci. This is the icc profile from a stochastic process (gray border).

http://www.friendster.com/photos/36969309/1/524139959

LOW TOTAL AREA COVERAGE:
Using US Web Coated (SWOP) v2 profile on Paper Type 1 (C2S).....shadows will be a bit lighter as SWOP's total area coverage (ink limit) is only 300% while ISO coated (eci) is between 330% - 340% TAC.

NEEDED CORRECTIVE ACTION IN PRESS:
So, if our shadows are not that deep.....the operators would naturally overink the black by increasing the ink density.

ADDED COST:
Just a thought. Not so long before I requested 3 printing consultants to do a calculation on ink film weight. After comparing their calculations, I learned that if we increase our ink density by a meager .25 (Example K 1.70 + .25 = 1.95) we don't realize that we are using 50% - 55% more ink!!!!!

Sanamagan!

PROOF MISMATCH:
We won't have a good match when proofs are compared with the press OK sheet. 'Tis why we need to change the numbers in the supplied file (via device link) for the proof and press to match.
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