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When do you have to worry about dot gain?

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  • When do you have to worry about dot gain?

    Basically what the title says, when do i have to worry about dot gain? Or with what types of images, only raster? Or vector as well? I have this design which is going to be printed on uncoated paper, and I wondered if it would be affected by dot gain... it's all vector: http://i.imgur.com/QNDebe1.jpg

    Thanks for any replies.
    Last edited by VLcKo23; 02-20-2017, 06:17 AM.

  • #2
    Uncoated paper will be affected more than coated paper by dot gain. The percentages depend on a lot of variables but if you have anything in CMY or K above about 85% it will fill in solid, and below about 15% it will disappear.

    With other percentages a 50% cyan will go to perhaps 60-65% which will change the colour noticeably, so the green in your vector graphic will be affected.

    In these cases it is best if you can to ask the printer to run a test print on the actual paper. If this is unfeasible, ask them about dot gain and adjust your colours. You should in any case provide the printer with a colour proof for them to match.
    Last edited by StudioMonkey; 02-20-2017, 06:47 AM.
    Time flies like an arrow - fruit flies like a banana

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    • #3
      Dot gain is all about the media you are printing on.
      Like StudioMonkey said, uncoated papers are most affected, but all materials should be suspect until you know them.

      Dot gain affects everything on the page. Images aren't immune to it. Typography is very susceptible to it. If you have tiny type or thin type or type with very fragile serifs, that type may fill in and become illegible. Even a tiny bit of dot gain on knocked out serifed text can lead to unintended consequences.

      Ask the printer.
      Get a proof.

      In some cases, I like dot gain. I do a lot of fabric graphics. While the dot gain isn't much, it's enough that I know I can get away with a lot when it comes to image resolution.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the valuable info!

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