Online printer converts CMYK > RGB > CMYKBen (121 pencils) | Tue, 2008-01-22 18:21
If the title alone gave you a good laugh then you will most definitely enjoy the following story. A while back I submitted some cards to be printed at overnightprints(dot)com. Keep in mind these cards were simple, all black type and a small color logo. I get them back fairly quickly. After closer review I notice that the black type is screened, therefore "fuzzy" to the average eye.
As you read the next part, keep in mind the file submitted was created using Indesign (CMYK obviously), output as postscript, distilled to a print compliant PDF, and Preflight'd using Pitstop.
I submit the following email:
...my clients have questioned the quality of the prints. They say that the black appears "fuzzy". After looking at the cards I have to agree. It looks as though the entire card was screened, including the type, and the blacks built with CMYK instead of a 100% black plate. Can you confirm whether screening type (black) is is a part of your printing process? or was this run a mistake? According to your website, your image setters are 4800 dpi. I have included a scan of one card. The top is simply a print off the laser printer. The bottom is the print from Overnight Prints. You can clearly see the screened type (black). According to your website, your image setters are 4800 dpi. I would assume that they can rip the black much cleaner than my office printer.
Print off our DocuColor
Print from overnightprints
I get the following response:
Please allow me to apologize for the error on your order. I have requested your files be reviewed. I have been informed that the file you submitted to us are in RGB Out-of-Gamut. Overnight prints prints in CMKY. When the RGB files are converted to CMKY there is a minor color shift. However, with RGB Out-of Gamut files there maybe a drastic color shift. In addition, The text and images are jagged when maybe a result of creating the file in a Publisher or Doc. Program then converting it to a pdf. We would suggest in the future to embed your files, as these files were not embedded...
I must have a different version of "Adobe" than what they are using because I can't for the life of me build a color in the CMYK color picker that gives me an out of gamut warning for RGB. I always thought it worked the other way around. When I go to Document Properties in Acrobat, it says "Application: Adobe InDesign CS3 (5.0.1)" instead of "Application: Publisher". On top of that, I must have forgotten to "embed" the "Publisher or Doc" files as well, and now my text is jagged.
After reading through the FAQ on their site, I think I may have found the problem.
For file submission via upload, we ask the files to be designed in CMYK, then saved as RGB for upload, as our system automatically converts the file back to CMYK for print. This will cause less color shift during print.
What is the world coming to when the printers tell you to save your CMYK file as RGB so that they can convert it back to CMYK to avoid color shift. Not only telling you, but taking your CMYK files and converting them to RGB automatically? Without you knowing?!? Thanks for the printing lesson overnightprints. So just to clarify: to ensure your text isn't jaggy, always remember to embed your Publisher or Doc files & convert your CMYK files to RGB so that they can be automatically converted back to CMYK, and always use a double space after a period when writing response emails to customers.
Just incase someone doesn't get my sarcasm throughout this entire story, I offer the following example. If an object has a fill of [ 0C 0M 0Y 100K ] and it is converted to RGB, then for some reason back to CMYK, the objects fill (based on what color profile you're using) will be approximately [ 70C 67M 64Y 73K ] thus producing a muddy faux black just like in the example photo above.
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