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  1. You know, I also create designs for CD covers. When I started sending off to print shops for samples of their print work, I got back from various places colours and shades that weren't even close to what I had sent. With perseverance, I finally found a printer in Poland (I'm in Ireland), that faithfully sent me back in print what I had sent them as a PDF. Same files, no adjustment. What I've found consistently is that print shops don't offer any specific details at all to customers so that the PDFs supplied will print properly. You have to prize the information out of them. I only wonder how a print shop can stay in business at all that way.
  2. Hi Damien, Yes, the cromalin proof prints are very close to my soft-proofing, but the digital proof prints are brighter - same source PDF from me. The print shop says digital presses always print brighter than litho. I've heard another print shop say that too. I would have thought the presses would be calibrated to give a 'very similar' result, but I guess not?
  3. I was in touch with a print company recently re. a job to be printed short run on a digital press, and, later, long run on a litho press. The company said to send in the same PDF files as their software would closely match the two presses. On receiving the digital printed proofs and the cromalin printed proofs (processed through GMG colorserver software), the digital is 'bright', whereas the litho is 'rich' (darker, warmer). Both are very nice. The print shop said some adjustment can be done to the litho during print, but it would be hard to make the digital print look like the litho. I've seen in passing on some forums the question 'is it for digital or litho'? So I guess there's a difference in the preparation of files for both print mediums. Assuming everything is done correctly (CMYK profile, soft-proofing, etc.) for the litho, what needs to be done for the digital to make the outcome as close as possible? Thanks in advance, Seamus
  4. I got the GMG Proofs (cromalins) in the post this morning. They look great! A shade darker than the digital, but richer in colour and sharper. Very nice! The print shop guarantees the book will litho print the same. Thanks for supporting me in an area that's completely new to me! I can move ahead confidently with this print shop now.
  5. Sorry, my strange way of trying to understand the inner workings of printers! 🤥
  6. Hi Damien. Yes, it seems some digital presses are capable of producing wide gamut prints. Here’s a quote "Digital printers look a lot like giant versions of the printer you have in your house." from this article... https://www.printingforless.com/blog/printing/guide-to-using-color-and-ink-in-commercial-printing/ Another quote from the same article... "Because they’re not just working from four plates, digital presses support the wider and more vibrant color gamut of RGB images – finally ending the RGB vs CMYK debate." Quite the statement, and I’m sure some digital presses are better at it than others. I’ll contact my new-found 'good printer' and see what they have to say about it.
  7. I informed the 'bad print' company that I had gotten my book digitally print-proofed by another company and it turned out beautiful and bright. The 'bad print' company, after a day or two, responded to say that they digitally print-proofed my book and indeed it turned out brighter, but litho printing and digital printing are completely different, so their litho printing of my PDF file faithfully reproduced the data on the file. The 'good print' company said there would be very little difference between their digital and litho prints. They are sending me cromalins to proof their eventual litho print. (Can't wait to see them!) If the original 'bad print' company had sent me digital prints to proof the litho print, I would have signed off on them, but they would in no way represent the eventual litho print. I only re-contacted the 'bad print' company to inform them there might be something amiss in their workflow, or, if not, to tell me where I went wrong with my file, or how I could have a good workflow with them, but I'm not really getting anywhere technically with them. Maybe they have 'old' machinery?? Printing seems to be a bit of a 'mysterious' business! 🤥
  8. Hi Damien. Thanks for those in depth answers. I've found a print shop that uses GMG Colorserver (the same place that printed the 'Kevin - My Memories' book nice and bright (remember, the book that was printed really dark by another printer?). In questioning their process for further print jobs they suggested that their GMG RGB to CMYK conversion would probably do a better job than my own conversion. And reading up on GMG Colorserver, for proofing and printing digital and litho, it seems to be very clever and moving away in some sense from ICC profiles. Like it can 'see' the colour/brightness the original file intends and recreate it very accurately in CMYK. Almost like a home desktop printer can do. What I'll do is make up a series of tests and send on to them for proofing, as you suggest. I get books from people compiled in Word and OpenOffice, essentially in RGB, and the writers have no notion about CMYK (or RGB for that matter), but their monitors are decently graded. They want an eBook and a printed version. So, I'm looking for a simple, but high quality, solution. No, I plan to stick with the GMG people. However, your answers will certainly help me in case I have to deal with a print shop with less forgiving printing software.
  9. So a CMYK document is set up in InDesign according to a print shop profile; the RGB images are graded in Photoshop by being soft-proofed using the print shop's CMYK profile; then the images are placed in InDesign but remain RGB; while exporting to PDF, the images are converted to the CMYK profile of the print shop. That's the print version of the book taken care of. Because the images are in RGB in InDesign, the book may also be exported as an RGB PDF file. That's the eBook for the internet or any electronic device. I'm just wondering... 1. Since the RGB images are 'tailored' for the CMYK profile, are they not perhaps too 'bright' or even 'off balance' for the eBook? Will they not have to be regraded back to their original 'look', ie pre soft-proofing, to look right? 2. Again, since the RGB images are soft-proofed for a specific print shop's CMYK profile, if later the book is to be printed by another print shop with another CMYK profile, won't the RGB images need to be soft-proofed again, essentially changed? 3. Perhaps the workaround is to keep the pre soft-proofed versions of the RGB images intact (these would also be the eBook versions). And have soft-proofed versions for every print shop profile? 4. Is it possible, given that we have excellent RGB to CMYK print shop conversion software, such as GMG Colorserver, that we can work exclusively with RGB images, taking care not to have colours that are very out of gamut with CMYK (using 'conservative' soft-proofing)? So we don't need to keep soft-proofing for different print shops? The same RGB images then work for the eBook and the printed version. This would save a lot of work! ?
  10. Well, I got the digital proof prints and they look great! Not a dark image in sight. What a relief! I'll ask this new print company what their workflow was for printing my PDF, and I'll set up a solid, as-reliable-as-possible workflow with them for future work. I'll get a tech analysis for the bad and good prints and let you know.
  11. Yes, and there are other images which are quite bright in the PDF that appear 'smoked over' in the printed book. I made the terrible mistake of not requesting a printed proof in advance. After the print shop said the PDF was great, and sent me an eProof PDF, which was the same, I presumed they would print it that way and signed off on it. So, I don't see that I have any comeback. I'm working with another print company now and they're delivering me a whole set of printed proofs today. I'll let you know what they look like! Thanks again. Quite stressful really, the whole thing, so great to get a supportive opinion!
  12. The print was lithographic. They said the press profile used was FOGRA39 Coated v2 (ECI).
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