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How to make a color proof (cromalin, approval or Iris)?

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  • How to make a color proof (cromalin, approval or Iris)?

    I'm designing an advertisement for a client on Photoshop and they have asked me to send them a color proof (cromalin, approval or Iris) via email.

    I'm not very experienced when it comes to print design so I don't know what that is. Looking online I can see that it's related to prepress proofing, which I don't have any experience with. I'm pretty confused.

    Can anybody help me with how I can make one? I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks a lot!

  • #2
    Designing an ad in Photoshop???????

    How is it being published?

    Your client is asking for a chromalin or iris sent via email??? Those two things are hard copies - physical prints - and the terminology has sort of gone the way of the dinosaur.
    The approval, on the other hand could be a digital PDF...

    There used to be places called Service Bureaus all over the place where you could get a color accurate target proof created in either ISO or G7 or some other certified system. I think you still can, but you have to know where to look, and I'm not in that end of the print business.

    You do know you aren't supposed to be doing this design in Photoslop, right????
    That is wrong tool.
    Especially if it is being printed.
    Indesign, QuarkXpress, or even Illustrator are what you should be using, not Photoshop, and you should probably be using a spec sheet that tells you where to get job options to create a proper PDF handoff. Especially if the client has physical match prints in their boilerplate instructions (which, it sounds like, they haven't updated in years.)


    • #3
      Originally posted by greenman77 View Post
      I'm designing an advertisement for a client on Photoshop and they have asked me to send them a color proof (cromalin, approval or Iris) via email.
      Those are physical, printed-out proofs, and physical proofs obviously can't be sent through email. You need to clarify what your client really expects -- a physical proof sent to them or a PDF proof that can be emailed. And for what it's worth, proofs are typically made by the printer, not the designer. The main purpose of a proof is to ensure that the printer's RIP will produce an accurate version of what they were sent to print. I have a feeling that your client might share your inexperience in these things. Just possibly, what they really want is just a PDF of what you're building for them.

      Okay, with that out of the way...


      Yes, I meant to say that loudly. It's not just a matter of preference, Photoshop is an image editor that is totally inappropriate for laying out things like ads.

      First, it doesn't have the right set of tools. I could write 30 paragraph on this alone, but for now, let's just say it has a great set of tools for editing photos and scanned images.

      Secondly, it's a bitmapped image editor that works in fixed resolutions, which is unlike the vector-based layout application (like InDesign or Illustrator) you should be using. Output device RIPs, for commercial platesetters that printers use typically output at several thousand dots per inch to preserve sharpness and fine detail. So unless you plan on building that ad at at several thousand PPI, you're throwing away all that extra resolution and risking fuzzy text, fuzzy lines, blurry edges and substandard everything (except for the photo halftones that might be in your ad).

      Third, since Photoshop is an image editing tool, it's internal defaults are set up in ways appropriate for processing photos. Set a paragraph of black body copy in Photoshop and it'll look black on the screen, but unless you take pains to change the colors to solid 100% K, you'll get a rich black instead, and that nice, clean, 11- or 12-pt type will print out blurry and be composed of halftone dots made up from the press's process colors.

      I could go on for at least a dozen pages listing additional reasons for not using Photoshop as a print layout tool, but I've already taken too much of my Labor Day on this. One of these days, I just might write up that dozen pages, then keep it handy to cut and paste for the two or three times a week this subject seems to come up on this forum. Sorry if I've seemed to chew you out over this, but if you're being paid for this job, your client deserves professional-quality work.






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