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  • ink limit

    Hi all

    I hope someone can help me with this.
    I work for a publishing firm that sends work to web, flatbed, and recently, gravure presses.
    We create documents in InDesign and then export press PDFs to send to the printers.
    As part of the PDF export preset we use, Color management (under the Advanced tab) is set to "Leave unchanged" as recommended by the web pre-press people.

    We have always used a Euroscale Coated cmyk colour profile.

    However, recently we have acquired a publication that is sent to gravure press, and the pre-press people there gave us a new colour profile to use when converting images from rgb to cmyk.
    It is called Fuji Color Art 7.2.01. This profile allows the cmy plates of the image to not use UCR in conversion, i.e. the cmy plates are punchy and colour-rich in a way they weren't before.
    How this is going to affect our ink limit settings I don't know.

    As far as I am aware, InDesign defaults to a 300 ink limits setting, regardless of the makeup of the colour images or swatches created in the program.
    Does this mean I needn't worry about there being too much ink on the page?
    If I want to create a new preset with this new profile in mind, and set in as destination profile under the Advanced tab will this cause problems?

    It seems the colour quality will be better and punchier (and blacks richer?) with the Fuji profile and I begin to wonder if I should use it on other publications too.
    Is it possible for me to use the same profile for work being sent to web and sheet-fed presses? Or will this create problems?

    I am feeling confused about the best way to approach this issue.
    please help if you can

  • #2
    Re: ink limit

    In fact the Total Ink Coverage (TAC) differs from system to system and you need different ICC profiles as well for reaching the best result. Rotogravure printing is totally different from web-offset.
    What I would like to recommend to you is saving your file as an RGB PDF (not CMYK) to keep all color information in the file.
    Then you have two options: a) You convert the file again into CMYK with the appropriate ICC profile recommended by your printer or you send the RGB PDF to your printer to do the conversion.
    Today we reduce the TAC in web (Newspaper) printing to 200 and below for improving the drying time and the image will still look the same. In commercial web we reduce to 240 and in sheetfed offset to 280 and below.
    So in general it will be always good to leave the conversion from RGB to CMYK with your printer.


    • #3
      Re: ink limit

      Hi Gerhard
      thanks for this info - exactly the opposite of what my printers tell me!
      leaving rgb is not an option
      I have discovered since posting this that InDesign ink limit I was referring to only shows where ink is over the limit set, and does not limit it directly.
      How would you suggest i adjust the image to limit it?
      With the new cmyk profile, the shadow areas are very dark. (350-390)
      should I just clip a level to counteract this, or is there another, better way to achieve a lower shadow limit?

      p.s. how do I set this message to mail me when there is a response to my thread?


      • #4
        Re: ink limit

        Hi again

        I have now discovered that InDesign doesn't set ink limits, it just shows you where areas of the image are that are above the limit you are viewing at (in the ink limits option under separations).
        So now I see dark red areas where my image is darker, and if I adjust the images by clipping the shadows slightly, the dark red disappears.
        All well and good.

        But I am trying to understand and customise my workflow to accommodate 2 different profiles now, one for web and sheet-fed presses (most of the publications we work on are printed in this way), and one for gravure presses. So at the moment my InDesign settings are set for the web presses.
        (Photoshop too, actually,but it is easy enough to convert to the gravure profile before saving in cmyk.)
        So when I bring an image into InDesign, the document has one profile, and the image another.

        Yes, I could change my InDesign profiles for the gravure documents too, but I am trying to avoid doing this as I know it will cause endless issues with designers and less tech-interested people in my department. So I am trying to find a way to get my images to PDF with the gravure profile, although the document (and InDesign swatches and elements) has a web profile embedded in it. Crazy? Stupid? Counter-productive?
        Or just complicated?

        Today I discovered that if my colour settings in InDesign are set to the following (as shown on attachment 1 as opposed to attachment 2), the gravure colour profile embedded in the images exports to the PDF, but reads as the web profile in the info box.
        This seems to give me the result I want (as the PDF has the correct seps).

        However, I don't know if my ink limit view is accurate with this system.
        What do you think?



        • #5
          Re: ink limit

          My recommednation is to talk to your printer -

          Colour profiles used to convert rgb to CMYK have been developed from print runs with presses set up to print to a certain standard- and for you to get the best result you really should match profile with printing conditions. The profile will also adjust the TAC automatically - Sheetfed presses run to about 330%, good quality web (covers) to 300% and web press about 280% - as far as gravure is concerned these printers may have their own profile.
          Some printers may also have software which will convert your files set up for say sheetfed to print web or gravure.



          • #6
            Re: ink limit


            The complexity you note is why Gerhard suggested an RGB workflow. RGB would allow you work in one color space for everything, and then convert to the appropriate color space for the final output. You can handle the conversion upon export or you can color manage in Acrobat.

            I can't find the attachment to view, but I'll say that your description doesn't sound encouraging.

            Also, the profile you cite sounds like a profile for a proofer. I don't know much (anything) about gravure, but I sure wouldn't want to run like that in sheetfed or web production. The UCR is undesirable and the ink limit is too high. So, no, do not use that profile for your offset production.

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