100% K photoshop PDF prints murky

wonderings

Well-known member
Had a customer email in a PDF business card file this morning. As always I checked out the colours, it is supposed to be one colour black. Of course file is set 100% CMYK. I convert to 1 colour black 100% in acrobat (latest update). When printing I notice the black does not look that great. I run some calibrations and same thing. I then do a test, I make a black box in Indesign 100% black, put that on a sheet with the customers original unchanged PDF with registration black as well as the converted file and a 100% black photoshop file I made to compare. Indesign 100% black looks great, as does the registration black, but the photoshop file looks like the converted pdf. So this leads me to photoshop being the culprit.

Why is solid black files from Photoshop not the same as a solid black from indesign? This is printing on a Versant 2100.
 

keith1

Well-known member
I don't know the answer to your question but I would have left the file as CMYK, 100% black. Zero for the other colours of course.
 

DYP

Well-known member
Does the input profile setting in the RIP match the working space profile of the Photoshop file?
 

wonderings

Well-known member
Does the input profile setting in the RIP match the working space profile of the Photoshop file?
Not sure, it was a supplied PDF from the customer. When I checked the properties it said it was made using Photoshop CS2 Windows. I do not use photoshop a whole lot or play with any profiles. I did try a test and made a file 100% in Photoshop, saved as PSD dropped in Indesign, made PDF and printed it. Same murky look.

We did end up printing it 100% CMYK as the black looked good that way. We did show our customer the file, and how it printed and they OK'd printing in colour as we did. Not even sure why they would have set up this card in photoshop, they are supposedly a design and consulting company. This is something that should have been setup in Indesign or Illustrator.
 

keith1

Well-known member
they are supposedly a design and consulting company.
Isn't this something we've all heard before. Likely someone with a bootleg copy of Photoshop that they're learning at your expense. I've had my share of Photoshop files with 15 or 20 type layers. Each line, or sometimes each word on separate layers. Based on that, who knows how they would have made the PDF. I've received what should have maybe been 500Kb or 1MB PDF files and somehow the customer has managed to make about a 10MB file out of it. I've no idea how they would even do it.
Pitstop is good for reading & correcting colours in PDF files. Glad you got it printed :)
 

PricelineNegotiator

Well-known member
Of course I made the CMYK + 3 spot color 64 page 8.5 x 11" booklet in Photoshop with 1/16" margins. I've saved everything as 300 DPI as is STANDARD across the printing industry and now you're telling me that my files aren't print-ready?
 

Danny Whitehead

Well-known member
Isn't this something we've all heard before. Likely someone with a bootleg copy of Photoshop that they're learning at your expense. I've had my share of Photoshop files with 15 or 20 type layers. Each line, or sometimes each word on separate layers. Based on that, who knows how they would have made the PDF. I've received what should have maybe been 500Kb or 1MB PDF files and somehow the customer has managed to make about a 10MB file out of it. I've no idea how they would even do it.
Pitstop is good for reading & correcting colours in PDF files. Glad you got it printed :)
But how else are they supposed to apply 15 different layer styles to body text, and really drive their message home?
 

Joe

Well-known member
Had a customer email in a PDF business card file this morning. As always I checked out the colours, it is supposed to be one colour black. Of course file is set 100% CMYK. I convert to 1 colour black 100% in acrobat (latest update). When printing I notice the black does not look that great. I run some calibrations and same thing. I then do a test, I make a black box in Indesign 100% black, put that on a sheet with the customers original unchanged PDF with registration black as well as the converted file and a 100% black photoshop file I made to compare. Indesign 100% black looks great, as does the registration black, but the photoshop file looks like the converted pdf. So this leads me to photoshop being the culprit.

Why is solid black files from Photoshop not the same as a solid black from indesign? This is printing on a Versant 2100.
When you say your are printing it...are you printing it as grayscale? Many times that will convert the solid 100% black to something around 86% percent black. It could also be something to do with Photoshop deals in raster images while InDesign type is vector. Text can look vector at output from Photoshop if saved directly as a .psd or .pdf but the text is still image at whatever resolution the photoshop file was created at but the edge of the text outputs smoothly because photoshop adds a test clipping path to it. But if the file is saved as something like a jpeg file it does not use the text clipping path. Then it just becomes an image with anti-aliased edges at the resolution created at.
 

wonderings

Well-known member
When you say your are printing it...are you printing it as grayscale? Many times that will convert the solid 100% black to something around 86% percent black. It could also be something to do with Photoshop deals in raster images while InDesign type is vector. Text can look vector at output from Photoshop if saved directly as a .psd or .pdf but the text is still image at whatever resolution the photoshop file was created at but the edge of the text outputs smoothly because photoshop adds a test clipping path to it. But if the file is saved as something like a jpeg file it does not use the text clipping path. Then it just becomes an image with anti-aliased edges at the resolution created at.
I converted it to grayscale in Acrobat DC before printing. The makeup after converting to grayscale was 100% black. I also did a test and made a 100% black file from Photoshop and it looked the same.
 

Joe

Well-known member
I converted it to grayscale in Acrobat DC before printing. The makeup after converting to grayscale was 100% black. I also did a test and made a 100% black file from Photoshop and it looked the same.
But what kind of color management is being used when printed? On the printed sample, if you look at the 'solid' black with a loupe, do you see dots in it?
 

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