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  • Fuzzy White Text on Maroon Background

    Working on printing (digital) artwork for a customer. The customer designed it. It's a PDF. Thin/small white text on a dark maroon background. Text is vector, background is vector. Printing on a Xerox J75. The print comes out looking fuzzy. Seems like an overprinting issue but output preview isn't reporting it or showing a difference when i toggle "show output preview". My gut tells my light colored small thin text on any shade of red is going to suck. I know nothing about the technical side of it but I've seen enough low resolution red jpgs to know this. I don't necessarily have permission to edit the art but for the sake of my continuing education... any input on this? Thanks.

  • #2
    what size is the text? what's the typeface?

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    • #3
      7.5pt Georgia. Preflighting for CMYK Offset warns that text smaller than 9 that uses more than 1 colorant (whatever that is) should not be used.

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      • #4
        Have you looked at it with a loupe? Sounds like a color-to-color registration issue we get from time to time (different digital presses, but universal problem, I think). If the type is still live, you could try to outline the fonts (which will make them a little thicker) - but they may already be outlined as you described them as vector. I've had luck with that in similar situations (though with much worse typefaces than Georgia).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cec-prepress View Post
          Have you looked at it with a loupe? Sounds like a color-to-color registration issue we get from time to time (different digital presses, but universal problem, I think). If the type is still live, you could try to outline the fonts (which will make them a little thicker) - but they may already be outlined as you described them as vector. I've had luck with that in similar situations (though with much worse typefaces than Georgia).
          Loupe: I took a picture with my phone through the loupe. Not sure exactly what I'm looking at. Is the cyan out of registration?

          Type: It's kind of live. I don't recall exactly the circumstances that usually do this but when opened in Illustrator the text is broken up into a whole bunch of separate segments... Like 5 letters will be a single object, and then 10 letters will be an object. Sometimes a word is broken into a couple different sections. I can't really take the time to fix this one specific job but I definitely want to learn what is going on and what I could do in the future.

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          • #6
            From that picture, I'd say maybe magenta is out of register with the others, but kind of hard to say. Something is definitely not lined up quite right though (looking at diagonals, 'y' and 'o'). I'd certainly check that on press (if possible) and maybe try a different screen rotation/setting if that doesn't work. But with that thin font I would give outlining a shot as well. Depends on the client whether it will be acceptable as it does alter the look a bit, making it slightly thicker. Most people wouldn't balk at the thickness though, if they could read the text much better outlined vs live.

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            • #7
              I’m an idiot. I meant magenta.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cec-prepress View Post
                From that picture, I'd say maybe magenta is out of register with the others, but kind of hard to say. Something is definitely not lined up quite right though (looking at diagonals, 'y' and 'o'). I'd certainly check that on press (if possible) and maybe try a different screen rotation/setting if that doesn't work. But with that thin font I would give outlining a shot as well. Depends on the client whether it will be acceptable as it does alter the look a bit, making it slightly thicker. Most people wouldn't balk at the thickness though, if they could read the text much better outlined vs live.
                Ooooh. You meant outline. I was thinking adding a stroke to increase font weight. I’ll give that a shot.

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                • #9
                  This is on a digital press, so I'd call in the tech and show it to him. It looks like what cec-prepress says: out of register.

                  On the other hand, the problem is also that the creator of the "art" has less than 30 years under his/her belt: thirty years ago NOBODY would have reversed type 9 pt or smaller from a build. It's just ignorant. (Even if it DOES work once in a while, it's gonna fail once in a while.)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by davarino View Post
                    On the other hand, the problem is also that the creator of the "art" has less than 30 years under his/her belt: thirty years ago NOBODY would have reversed type 9 pt or smaller from a build. It's just ignorant. (Even if it DOES work once in a while, it's gonna fail once in a while.)
                    I blame the internet. Seriously. The rules of designing for web vs designing for print are just so different and a lot of designers aren't aware of that.

                    Update: We had already printed the job. 525 sheets. Just flipped through. Some are perfect, some are not. So it's a bounce issue.
                    Last edited by jpfulton248; 12-21-2017, 02:07 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Might sound dumb but what is the grain direction of your sheet? I have had times when small knocked out type would appear to be out of register if the grain direction was wrong for the press

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                      • #12
                        Interesting. It's 18x12. Does that mean grain short? I think it does. I can never remember. We are printing short edge first.

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                        • #13
                          Depends, I am gonna assume it came out of a parent Sheet??

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                          • #14
                            I think that you may be seeing some artifact of what we call "sawtoothing" when the build of either the type or the background is composed of nothing but screens and none are a 100 color you get the dot pattern that interferes with the "smooth" edges of the font . . the size doesn't help either nor the magenta not hitting correctly
                            "If you think you are too small to be effective
                            you have never been in the dark with a mosquito."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Manafaith View Post
                              Depends, I am gonna assume it came out of a parent Sheet??
                              Well A) probably but We bought it at 18x12 and B) I know that the order of the numbers denotes grain. I think the grain runs alone the 2nd number so in this case grain short.

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