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Have problem with Newspaper taking Color PDF x-1a and RIPs into B&W plate?

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  • Have problem with Newspaper taking Color PDF x-1a and RIPs into B&W plate?

    Sorry for the confusing subject line. I'm actually not sure what the problem is and the newspaper doesn't seem to know or care to fix whatever is causing this problem. What is happening is that I am giving them a PDF x-1a of ads for them to run. They are RIPing the file into film and all 4 sheets of film (CMYK) look exactly alike. So my ads have been running as B&W mud. They don't seem to understand what could be causing the problem. But yesterday we tried a couple different versions of PDFs. The only one that seemed to RIP okay was a High Quality PDF RIP'd from Distiller.

    Any ideas what could cause this? They are using Adobe Acrobat 5. All the other newspaper vendors can accept my PDF x-1a's.

    Thanks in advance.

    Michael

  • #2
    Re: Have problem with Newspaper taking Color PDF x-1a and RIPs into B&W pla

    What RIP are they using? It's definitely a problem on their end. I suspect some type of color management problem or IO error (inept operator).
    Joe
    OS: Mac OS X 10.10.2 - RIP: Prinergy Connect 6.1 - CTP: Luscher XPose! 160 (2)

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    • #3
      Re: Have problem with Newspaper taking Color PDF x-1a and RIPs into B&W pla

      Welcome aboard! Dealing with newspaper people can be quite frustrating as I experienced over the last year. A lot of newspapers decided to take the full prepress - preflight automation path. What that means is instead of dealing with a skilled prepress operator that decides if your PDFX1a file passes the preflight stage, it goes through an automated preflight system (such as OneVision Asura) that is as good as the guy who configured it. Then you discover that once printed, your black overprints are gone (what's wrong with black overprint if it does not exceed 180% which is way less than newspaper ink limit standards?), your black-only text box with reverse white type is now overprinting on top of the colored background (do I really have to tell you what's happening to the white type then). Then you place a call to get to talk to the guy in charge of the system. If you're lucky enough, you'll get some explanations such as "well, our system is configured to fix 95% of the crap files being supplied to us, we're sorry but you're file fell into the other 5% category so our system tried to fix what wasn't broken. We will treat the file manually the next time." If you're less lucky, you'll get this "Don't think we'll be able to change the Asura settings, it's an Editorial choice". I used to think that you build your file to certain standards, make a PDFX1a, and it will come out just like in your PS rip (I have 2 rips here, 1 Agfa and one Harlequin). Was I ever wrong! I don't have anything against automated workflows (beside the fact that they cut skilled people jobs, but that's another story) but if you implement such systems, test them properly and have some quality control procedures to check the result, don't blindly rely on them. Enough ranting now... Michael, what was the total ink limit in your PDF? That's another thing that may have happened, if it's over a certain limit (like over 240% for newsprint) some systems will "fix" your images. Try to talk to the technical guy whose in charge and get as much info as you can on their preflight procedures. Good luck.

      Edited by: Colorblind on Mar 27, 2008 3:11 PM
      Better train people and risk they leave - than do nothing and risk they stay.

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      • #4
        Re: Have problem with Newspaper taking Color PDF x-1a and RIPs into B&W plate?

        Hi Michael,

        I hope your newspaper has since resolved your problem. I'm a field engineer for OneVision, so I see first hand what goes on at Newspapers. As Colorblind mentioned, the number of prepress savvy users has really gone down. A lot has to do with budget cuts. We're seeing a lot of newspapers now looking to outsource their ad departments overseas to ease labor costs. It's a really tough time for this side of the industry. Readership and ad revenue are on the decline.

        Regards,
        Greg

        Systems Engineer
        OneVision, Inc.
        Premedia Software Inc.

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        • #5
          Re: Have problem with Newspaper taking Color PDF x-1a and RIPs into B&W pla

          Technically it may not be their problem to solve.
          According to SNAP - the specifications for newspaper - it is the creator's and materials supplier's responsibility to ensure that files are created appropriately. The printer/newspaper's responsibility to only inform, in a timely manner, the file supplier if submitted materials do not conform. SNAP does not suggest that it is the newspaper's responsibility to trouble shoot or correct submitted art. They do suggest that the ad supplier should test their files prior to submitting live ad material to an untried newspaper. That way the creator or ad supplier have time to correct any issues in their files.

          best gordo

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          • #6
            Re: Have problem with Newspaper taking Color PDF x-1a and RIPs into B&W pla

            This is pure speculation, but:

            PDF/X-1a specifies that the PDF must have an output intent. I suspect that their RIP is reacting to the output intent and performing a color transform.

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            • #7
              Re: Have problem with Newspaper taking Color PDF x-1a and RIPs into B&W pla

              The only really meaningful differences between PDF/X-1a:200x and "high quality print" settings is that Adobe's *version* of PDF/X-1a is everything is converted to CMYK and then has an output intent embedded. Where as "high quality print" simply leaves colors as they are defined in the document and does not embed an output intent.

              So it could be that the output intent is screwing something up in the RIP or more likely there's a funny conversion happening in InDesign.

              I wish Adobe would not force PDF/X-1a into CMYK, it's such a pain in the ass. Just convert RGB to CMYK and leave the spots alone. And while I'm at it, change the preference from "Display/output blacks as rich black" to "accurately". ugh......
              Matt Beals
              The views expressed here are my own personal views and are not those of my employer.

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              • #8
                Re: Have problem with Newspaper taking Color PDF x-1a and RIPs into B&W pla

                InDesign's PDF/X-1a conversion does not automatically convert spot colors into CMYK. If any spot colors are being converted to CMYK, it is because of settings for the document in the ink manager. But all other colors by definition must be converted to the output color space (normally some form of CMYK) by definition of PDF/X-1a. That's one of the reasons we want to move towards PDF/X-4.

                - Dov

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                • #9
                  Re: Have problem with Newspaper taking Color PDF x-1a and RIPs into B&W pla

                  .
                  Matt Beals
                  The views expressed here are my own personal views and are not those of my employer.

                  Comment

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