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Question about flier printing, RGB/CMYK and other issues.

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  • Question about flier printing, RGB/CMYK and other issues.

    Spare a minute for a newbie?

    I'm currently putting together an advertising project for local businesses to advertise on a flier.

    The idea is that businesses submit ads to me, I collate them and pass on the final master file to the printer, to run off 5000 double sided, A5 glossy, 130 gsm fliers. This would happen with new fliers every few months, and to keep costs down I would like for it to be as little work at the design end as possible.

    I'm not a full-time professional graphics dude, although I have had quite a few adverts that I've designed printed professionally, so I know the general processes.

    I have always just submitted a master which is a merged graphic file (Tiff usually), with all the text included as part of the image. Oh, and since I use Paint Shop Pro, it's submitted in RGB, and the printers convert it to CMYK.

    So I'm planning to ask advertisers to provide:

    1 single graphic
    size ___ x____
    300 dpi
    *.tif format only

    But I don't know whether I should be asking for RGB or CMYK.

    Obviously, I suspect that PSP will have trouble reading a CMYK file, but I also don't know if asking for RGB could cause potential problems with reproduction. It's imperative that text is clear when it gets printed, but I'm not too concerned about exact colour reproduction.

    Also, I will no doubt be dealing with the graphic design people of these businesses, and in order to sell the idea to them, I have to be confident in my justification.

    Can anyone advise me on the above plan: flaws, possible difficulties etc?

    Muchos gracias


  • #2

    and to deal with graphic design people you might want to think about getting a real layout program. PSP is small time!
    "Even when I'm not at 100%, I'm still 110% better then anyone else!"

    Check out my indie comic books at and


    • #3
      it's been a while but we had psp installed @ my last job & i think you can switch to cymk. i could be wrong.
      Steeler Born, Steeler Bred And When I Die I'll be Steeler Dead!


      • #4
        Going to a printer? It should be cmyk.


        • #5
          Originally posted by defjoe

          and to deal with graphic design people you might want to think about getting a real layout program. PSP is small time!
          I realise it -should- be CMYK. PSP does not output single CMYK files, but provides 4 separate (greyscale?) files for each reading. What is the difficulty with getting the printer to convert RGB to CMYK?

          I know about PSP being small-time, but what people don't know doesn't hurt them, right? I know it goes against the pro graphic designer's ethos here, but the aim is to cut costs and provide cost-effective advertising.

          Furthermore: is it OK to provide just a TIFF file for the printer? And is it OK to ask people to provide a TIFF file for their ads?

          thanks a lot


          • #6
            Is there black text? Is the text part of the tiff?


            • #7
              Ok, I'm doing some reading I should have done before. Yes, there is likely to be black text, and I understand that black text needs to be printed using the "K" ink otherwise it might come out blurry.

              The text will be part of the merged file, yes.

              Ok, now I think I see the problem. (sorry this is probably something that gets rehashed here, I realise)

              edit: so I should really be looking at an app that deals with CMYK files?
              And if PSP is outputting the CMYK files separately, I take it that won't do if the original file is RGB?
              Last edited by gregster; 11-17-2005, 11:54 AM.


              • #8
                Your text may come out fuzzy even if it's just black because it will be a raster image not vector. You can tell the printer to convert everything to cmyk (including type) as long as you sign off on it and not try to blame the printer after the job is printed because they didn't make it clear to you what problems can accur, they'll print it. If you were to purchase Adobe Suite CS2 which comes with Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign and study, you'll be in like Flynn.


                • #9
                  Ah right, so that's why they use text and not standard graphics. I guess that will end up as an issue for smaller ads, where the text is smaller huh?

                  Oh, and buying that adobe suite would be nice, but I don't think I can justify those costs!


                  • #10
                    I would say it's the cost of doing business. The price is around $900.00. for 3 major graphic programs. An absolute bargain.


                    • #11
                      would you try to screw a philips head screw with a flathead screw driver?
                      "Even when I'm not at 100%, I'm still 110% better then anyone else!"

                      Check out my indie comic books at and


                      • #12
                        yes, but then I'm a bit screwy

                        Thanks for your input folks. I'm probably representative of the "dangerous" customers a lot of printers get, who think that they know what is required for printing, then complain when things go wrong.
                        I appreciate that the adobe applications are valuable, but there's a learning curve there, too, and I just wouldn't have time to learn it.
                        I'm therefore going to do the smart thing and outsource the collation of the graphic material to a third party with the requisite design skills and software, and make him the liaison point with the clients when they have their adverts ready.

                        Thanks for the advice


                        • #13
                          Very smart move.






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