Borders around images (Help Needed)

Hi,
I have a problem with preparing covers (Both affinity designer and illustrator).

While working everything looks fine. After exporting to PDF (pdf for printing) also. However, when I upload the cover to amazon kdp some strange lines, borders etc appear around the images in various places.

Below are examples. What can I do in such a case? This has happened in 3 out of 3 cases. Second example is blurred but you can see white lines near flowers.

Maybe instead of selecting for print I should choose PDF/X-1a:2003?
Sample1
Sample2

Are you referring to the very faint lines that sometimes show up in PDFs around the bounding boxes of placed images? I haven’t worked enough with KDP to have run into this, but it’s a common problem with PDFs. Luckily, though, these lines don’t show up when the job is printed. With KDP, though, I don’t know.

Yes, I’m talking about those borders around the butterflies in the first picture and those weird lines next to the flowers on the second cover.

I don’t have this problem while working or after exporting to PDF, only after uploading to KDP. The problem is that a product that has such flaws is unlikely to be bought by anyone :wink: I’m looking for a way to fix this, maybe I need to do something in the project with images that have a transparent background and a shadow added?

Probably the fault is on me because I don’t see this kind of flaws on other covers.

Theoretically, that should flatten the transparency and eliminate the stitching problem. Have you tried it?

Yes, I’ve exported another cover this way which also contained this kind of errors, I’m waiting for approval in KDP, but on the thumbnail it looks better than before, hard to say how it will look in a larger size :wink:

You might have missed what I was getting at due to the way I worded it. The white lines are stitching artifacts. I can’t be absolutely certain, but I’d be willing to bet that’s what you’re seeing and that they’re the same thing as what sometimes appear on PDFs. If they are the same thing, I’ve never had them show up on the finished product, even though I sometimes see them in the PDFs.

Did you happen to stumble across this:

Do you have a spot color anywhere in the document?
Is it a critical spot color?

Those artifacts are most often (but not always) caused when you use transparency features with a spot color in Illustrator. They don’t even have to be interacting. Just on the same page, or with InDesign in the same document.

Spot/Transparency can also cause image drop out. If something is suddenly missing on the page in a proof PDF, that’s the first thing I suspect.

That would usually happen with PNGs. If possible id flatten the cover down if you’re worried about it being displayed when you print.

Couldn’t you select “high quality print” as an export option?
Unless you must use PDF/X-1a:2003.

The problem is that this is what shows up after the “high quality print” export :wink:

So have you tried printing it to your desktop printer?
Not all stitch lines are created equal. Some do print. Especially the ones in Illustrator’s awful bevel and extrude tool.

I have another question, if I design in a target size such as 8.5x11 inches, wouldn’t it be simpler to rasterize that file, save it to PDF and upload it?

As I understand it, it will not be enlarged in any way, so there should be no quality issues?

If it’s just to display on the cover at the webstore - then it should be fine.
If it’s for printing then for those black lines creating the butterfly you’d need a 1200ppi for output on litho presses.

Are you getting these printed or what’s happening?

The white lines are just screen artifacts - and any 3rd party PDF reader (non-Adobe) will struggle with transparencies.

As such, a general PDF going out into the world for digital consumption should be flattened probably with PDF X1a - which will flatten the entire document for the PDF.

So if it’s digital downloads think mobile phones apple/android, mac/windows, chrome/firefox etc Samsung PDF reader, Mac Preview - all generally are good PDF readers etc but are 3rd party. Adobe Reader is a native PDF reader.

You can’t dictate what people will use.

If you’re rastersing your files for print in litho/digital -then I’d highly recommend for line drawings to use 1200ppi at least.

If it’s digital consumption and print at home type of thing - then 150-300ppi would be sufficient to rasterise to.

I was thinking that if it’s a target size file (8.5x11) and won’t be enlarged anymore then 300 dpi and rasterization should be ok. I’m talking about print on demand.

I got information from a freelancer on upwork that this can be done, but I don’t know anymore.

I was also thinking that after exporting to PDF/X-1a all layers will be merged into 1 layer like after rasterization, but I have a lot of layers with single vectors there.

You can see these flaws only after uploading to KDP, I don’t know if they will be in print or not, but nobody will buy the product if there are such flaws :wink:

That won’t matter for print on demand - you can have a single layer with raster and vector etc.

I don’t know enough about Amazon KDP or how they print on demand. I’m not sure if it’s digital or a gang-run on an offset litho/web press.

They give instructions here and using a PNG instead
https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/cover-templates

Not sure if it’s the same thing or not.

It does say at the end

Flatten all layers, save the file as a press quality PDF, and upload the file via KDP.

https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201113520

As @Smurf2 was saying, line art should be output at a higher resolution than 300 ppi. The 300 ppi thing is to ensure good enough quality for halftones (photos made from 150-lpi halftone dots). Line art (black type, body copy, solid-color lines, etc.) isn’t composed of those dots and should be output at a higher resolution to keep the edges sharp. The typical output resolution of an imagesetter or platesetter is upwards of 3–4000 dots per inch, which is great for line art, but not if it’s already been rasterized to 300ppi. A cheap B&W laser printer output is typically at least 600dpi, so you don’t want to rasterize line art to 300ppi (Yes, dpi, lpi, and ppi are all separate terms that have specific meanings, but that’s a tangent you can look up on your own.)

All that considered, you’re dealing with KDP, which is digital, not offset litho. Their output resolution won’t be anywhere near as high as offset. Another thing to consider is that KDP is the equivalent of a lower-quality gang-run printing. Their whole business model is built around fast and cheap, not quality. If you were dealing with a good offset printer, you’d receive a high-quality (hardcopy, if requested) proof that would enable you to check this stuff with a guarantee of quality. With KDP, under the best circumstances, it’s a crapshoot — you never really know for sure how it’s going to turn out. Considering the relatively low quality, I’m not even sure it matters if you send them a 300ppi, flattened PNG. Honestly, most people won’t even notice the quality difference.

I still think you’re likely worrying about nothing regarding those white stitching artifact lines. They show up quite often on PDFs and lower-resolution proofs, but I’ve never seen them carry over to higher-quality offset output. Then again, as I said, this is KDP, where anything can happen. I suspect that exporting to PDF/X-1a is the best you can do, but I can see why you’re still worried. I’ve only worked with KDP for clients twice, and each time I just sent the clients a PDF/X-1a file. It was like aiming at a target, closing my eyes, firing the gun and hoping it more or less hit the target. I never saw the finished printed books, and I didn’t really want to. At least you’re dealing with KDP instead of IngramSpark, which has some really weird requirements regarding maximum ink densities, but that’s another subject.

Just a thought, but I use Affinity quite a bit and I had multiple PDF problems with Affinity’s default settings for “High Quality Print.”—that is, until I clicked on the “MORE” button at the bottom and discovered that it was a DownSampling problem. Choose “Do Not DownSample” and you may have better results.Best of luck with it.

Yeah, Affinity is good, but getting used to the various quirks and workarounds take some time. I’ve had good luck making PDFs from Affinity Publisher, but there have been a few times when I’ve needed to open the file in Acrobat to make the final adjustments.

That doesn’t sound good… any examples?

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