Tagged: CMYK

How to switch from a CMYK to RGB workflow

RGB Color Workflow

The days of having to convert color images to CMYK are gone, yet most designers still cling to the idea that you MUST convert your images to CMYK to avoid all manner of disaster when printing a project.

The reality is that you really don’t have to deal with the CMYK color space any more, and haven’t for years.

David Blatner has a fantastic RGB Workflow walk-through about the subject over at CreativePro. It covers everything from the initial Photoshop file work, to importing into InDesign for layout, all the way to the end when you export the final PDF to send to the printer.

What’s the difference between CMYK and RGB?

Color GamutSince the dawn of desktop publishing, it’s been unquestioned that Thou Shalt Convert to CMYK. Those who submitted RGB files were considered uninformed, even uncivilized.

So what’s the difference between CMYK and RGB? CMYK vs. RGB at CreativePro has the quick answer.

For what it’s worth, I haven’t converted a file to CMYK in a long time. Since virtually everything I design ends up leaving my computer as a PDF/X-1a, I have InDesign convert to CMYK in the PDF-making process. You should note that this only works if you have a fully color managed workflow.

Quickly find the CMYK equivalent of a Pantone color in Photoshop or Illustrator

Many times you are asked to find the CMYK equivalent of a particular Pantone color. If you don’t have a ridiculously overpriced Pantone to Process conversion guide available, you can use Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.

There are a lot of theories out there as to how you can get the most accurate CMYK values (some area quite complex, such as first converting to LAB color before converting to process colors, etc.). But if you’re a pro you already realize that no Pantone color is going to match 100% in process printing anyway and the Pantone Color Bridge guide is the best and most accurate conversion method.

The Pantone Color Bridge Guide is expensive, so these are the fastest ways that I’ve come across that give the best results. (more…)

The Graphic Mac Link Box #2

The Graphic Mac Link BoxA collection of interesting or otherwise helpful links I’ve come across recently that you may not have seen:

Steve Ballmer’s days are numbered

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, has apparently done more to reduce the value of Microsoft than any other product, service or company. That bit of news comes to us from an in-depth opinion article by Ben Brooks.

Your next logo design: RGB vs. CMYK

MycroBurst attempts to answer the question of what color standard you should use when designing your next logo. It isn’t a particularly in-depth article, but I felt like it was a great lead-in for a list of 9 rules for logo design I wrote a long time ago!

25 Weird interview questions from large companies

I can’t say I’ve ever been asked any of these in a job interview, but I have been asked some odd questions that were clearly intended to set me off pace for the purpose of gauging my reaction.

Text Wrap and Fit Content Options in Adobe InDesign

New users of Adobe InDesign may find this article quite helpful. It covers the ins and outs of InDesign’s Text Wrap and Fit Content Options most excellently!

How to Create Eroded Metal Text with Photoshop

Creating eroded, grungy, nasty, weathered metal text in Photoshop is probably something you do 50 times a day, right? Ok, probably not. But if you did need to, this tutorial will make it easy for you!

Apple to introduce us to Lion: Maybe you’ve heard?

Ok, so that was a smartass question. If you’ve been on Twitter, Facebook or the web in general, you’ve probably heard that Apple has a lot to announce Monday at their annual WWDC conference. Expected in the announcement are details about Apple’s MobileMe replacement, iCloud. Also expected are announcements concerning the next release of iOS 5 which will reportedly include Twitter integration and much more. As for me, I’m prepping my hard drive for a rather large (and price discounted) download of Lion from the Mac App Store!

Preparing your files for commercial printing

A guide to preparing your files for commercial printing

A guide to preparing your files for commercial printing

A guide to examine ways to prepare files for print, covering applications in the Adobe Creative Suite. The examples used are for InDesign, but can apply to Photoshop and Illustrator.

This is a basic guide aimed to help people just starting out in the print design business or are looking to learn more about preparing files better to send to press.

In my experience, designers with a background (or at least a deep understanding of what it takes to output files commercially) are better at their job because the results of their design more closely match their expectations.

Working with color in Adobe InDesign

Working with color in Adobe InDesign

Working with color in Adobe InDesign

Callum Chapman has posted a great article on working with color in Adobe InDesign over at spyrestudios. This article is great for designers just getting started or still in school, and covers topics such as:

  • Printing Requirements
  • Color Models: RGB vs CMYK
  • Adding Colors to the Swatches Panel
  • Applying Colors to Objects
  • Creating Strokes
  • Creating and Applying Gradients to Objects
  • Creating a Spot Color

Definitely worth a read. And be sure to check out the rest of the site, because it has some great stuff covering a variety of topics!

Work in RGB, view in CMYK

One thing I believe helps me get the results I see on screen when a job is printed is to work in the CMYK color space to begin with when starting a design job that includes images. Before I start adding or changing color or adding elements, I’ll switch to CMYK Preview mode in Photoshop. This gives me the added bonus of being able to use all of Photoshop’s editing and filter features that are only available in RGB mode. By doing this, I know what my image is going to look like when it’s converted to CMYK before printing. If you forget to switch to CMYK, or at least use the CMYK Preview mode, you run the risk of falling in love with the beautiful vivid color in your image, only to see it washed out and flat when printed.

Save your sanity, use CMYK Preview in Photoshop

ps_cmyk_previewI’m always amazed to see some print designers working in the RGB color space. It’s like a mechanic working on a car in the dark, you just don’t know what you’ll get when he’s done. Many filters and some color correction features only work in the RGB color space, but that doesn’t mean you have to “fly blind.” Try hitting Command + Y or select View>Proof Colors from the menu bar to see what your image will look like when converted to CMYK using your particular color settings. Many times, it will drastically alter your expectations and the results of your color edits. It will also allow you to continue using those filters and edits for color – and still know what you’ll get when you’re all done.