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Getting a image ready for print

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  • Getting a image ready for print

    I am still new to understanding how to send proper files for printing on vinyl. In the past I would send my artwork as a .png file in CMYK and as RGB but would still have colors that are slightly off. Example I sent a Camouflage design to two different print companies and both would have a slight whiteish overcast on the entire image and the browns would have a very slight purple tint to them. What could cause this or what would be the best way to make sure the colors I am using will come out closer to what is on screen?

    I know every monitor is different and could make it seem that my colors are correct when they actually arenít. But Iíve pulled it up on several different monitors 4K TVs,iMac, MacBook, and Samsung curved monitors, and they all look the same.

  • #2
    For vinyl I'd recommend working in spot colours - buy a pantone book to get an idea of what the finished colour will be.
    The print department will also have a pantone book and will match to that colour.

    "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott


    • #3
      Contact your print vendor.
      We can only guess here at the issue you might be having.
      Ask what profile you should be sending the files. While most will readily take a CMYK file, there are wrong CMYK profiles you can inadvertantly use. For the stuff we do, we like original creation RGB, but if the file is CMYK already, Converting to US Web coated SWOP V2 is what we use here (USA) As for RGB, if the file was ever CMYK, this is a useless endeavor. You've already lost your color gamut. But if it is an original RGB gamut file, from creation to handoff, tell your printer that, and have them apply their custom media profile to the art to get the best possible conversion.
      If the printer says, ''profile?'' run away.

      Since I do this day in, day out, a couple of notes
      .png is not a handoff format for images.
      .psd or .tif is more usual. .jpg can be used, but watch the compression.

      If you know you are having issues with how stuff looks, send a printout from your desktop printer to the print vendor as a guide. While it is pretty much impossible to ''match the hard copy'' exactly, it at least gives the printer a guide for what the output should look like.

      if you are dealing with online vendors, you get what you pay for.

      printing on vinyl is never an exact science. Some colors chroma-shift on press. Without any means to tell if that has happened, your purple browns would be considered normal on the output. I'm surprised you aren't having trouble with your grays going pink or cyan as well. Gray sucks to control in 4-color printing.

      Not sure what would be causing a white cast. Is your png in layers? Are there hidden layers that the tech may be activating by mistake? Like a watermark or security layer? There are also PDF creation errors that would do that, but I've not had it happen with images. Only InD or Illy files having some kind of bad transparency interaction. And we know about it and fix it.

      Last edited by PrintDriver; 11-16-2017, 09:51 AM.


      • #4
        This guy is doing photo realistic camo a la Realtree in a raster format.
        While it could possibly be converted into vector spot colors, the result wouldn't be the same.
        And there would be so many spot colors, it would be run on profile anyway. Unless he wants to pay for color matching on a couple dozen Pantone colors. Exact color matches to swatch deck colors do have a per-each fee attached.
        BTW, Adobe programs have a 28 spot limit on output. I get to test that theory far too often.
        Last edited by PrintDriver; 11-16-2017, 01:03 PM.


        • #5
          Are you using the pantone color palette? The reason the colors may be off could be that you are not choosing pantone colors before exporting the images. I made this mistake at Picken's Technical College in Colorado and my teacher helped me fix it and he said it was because a couple of my colors I used where not pantone colors when they should have been. I really hope this helps.


          • #6
            Guys, this is the .png (RASTER) image he is printing

            I'm gonna doubt there are any Pantones in there at all.


            • #7
              Guys, this is the .png (RASTER) image he is printing


              • #8
                Oh well then - lol

                Fifty shades of brown! I had that this morning...

                Supply it has a hi-res tiff I suppose.

                PrintDriver is the resident expert - but you should really contact your print provider.

                "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott


                • PrintDriver
                  PrintDriver commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Fifty shades of brown! I had that this morning...
                  Way too much sharing there, hank.......

              • #9
                Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
                Guys, this is the .png (RASTER) image he is printing
                So I tried doing Pantone colors but obviously they just couldnít match close enough. The image I posted is actually a vector format I created a raster format then converted to vector in illustrator. I cant remember exactly the amount of colors I was able to reduce it by but I believe I went from about 10,000 colors to about 500 without loosing to much quality but it still just didnít look right. I did however fix the background issue I was having with the Browns looking purple by converting the background to Pantone colors. But still having issues with other colors. Iím going to try Fast Signs again and talk with them. They are the only local print shop here in Spring Texas that seem to be reasonable on their prices and are actually willing to help on small print scales.






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