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Input/Output/Workflow Scanning, printing, color management, and discussing best practices for control and repeatability

Need help understanding ad requirements

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  #1  
Old 05-05-2003, 11:18 PM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Need help understanding ad requirements

It's finally gotten to the point where I have to make an image ready for an outside printer. Luckily, it's a grayscale image, so no color is involved! Here are the requirements:
Quote:
Ad Requirements
It is very important that you follow instructions for your ad size, screens, half tones and borders. Your ad is being copied with a Xerox 5390.

Screens - are acceptable and can be very appealing in your ad. If you are planning a screen please print out at a maximum 600dpi @ 100 lines screen frequency.
Halftones - work best with a 100 line screen frequency.
Would someone be so kind as to tell me what a "screen" is? Are screens and halftones mutually exclusive or are they different parts of the process? Last but not least, how do I create screens and halftones in Photoshop?

Thanks,
Jeanie
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Old 05-06-2003, 03:48 AM
Stephen M Stephen M is offline
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Hi Jeanie, sounds like a newspaper or similar conditions - but they are using a photocopier to 'scan' in art for reproduction. <g>

What can I say? Just as well the press is fast and the paper is uncoated and has quite a lot of gain.

So just what are these guys saying?

You must supply final, camera ready art - something that is not done much these days but was all the rage about fifteen years ago. You have to supply press ready halftone dots, which they will Photocopy and then go to press in some way (I presume).

In Photoshop, you will need to make a duped file, but first perhaps just add a levels adjsutment or curves in the layered mater PSD file for archival.

You will want a max tone of around 80% for the shadows if detail is required. Solid panels should be solid, as should text and lineart. A minimum tone of around 5% if detail is required in highlights.

You would want to separate with at least 30% dotgain when converting from the RGB to the grayscale file. Newsprint has a lot of dot gain in the midtones.

Don't worry that the image will look a bit flat - those 80% solids will print near 100% and the midtones will muddy up.

Then you will need to decide on how to produce halftone dots for output for these guys.

Best option is usually to use a very sharp hi res laser printer and Quark or PageMaker, and place the contone grayscale image and to use the layout softwares printing features to produce the screen (try 85 lpi and 100 lpi and see which dots you like best).

You can convert from gray in Photoshop to bitmap using a halftone screen (round dot, 45 degree angle, 85 or 100 lpi) - but I have never been impressed with this method compared to producing the dots at the printer/film or plate setter.

I presume that they mean 'halftones' for the dots which will vary in size for the contone image content, while 'screen' is a flat tint or stipple of all the same size dots or %. I think they mean they can print dots and are not restricted to solids, but it is my guess that they do not print dots all that well and I would be inclined to go with more text/lineart than halftones if I was in doubt.


Regards,

Stephen Marsh.
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Old 05-06-2003, 08:38 AM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Thanks for the reply Stephen. I can see that in my ignorance about this subject, I didn't give you quite enough info.

The ad is for a convention "program" which is being produced by photocopying. So, the photocopier is the final output device. (OK, so perhaps this isn't really considered an "outside printer", but the terminology is still foreign to me. )

I can mail "a hard copy in black and white" or send the artwork digitally in PSD, TIF, Publisher or Word format. I was thinking of sending it in digital format, but I'd be interested in what your recommendation is!

Thanks, Jeanie
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Old 05-06-2003, 09:46 AM
Stephen M Stephen M is offline
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Hi Jeanie, just a bit of confusion. <g>

So forget most of what I wrote.

What app are you using to put the ad together, pics and text etc?

Does this cause problems for digital supply, does it meet their specs - or can it be converted to fit their system somehow?

More questions than answers...

Stephen Marsh.
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Old 05-06-2003, 09:58 AM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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I was hoping just to use Photoshop, since that's what I'm most familiar with and they say they accept PSD files (though I'd probably save the final artwork as TIF.)

Jeanie
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Old 05-07-2003, 06:12 AM
Stephen M Stephen M is offline
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Jeanie - just to be clear, when you save to TIFF the text will be rendered at the document resolution.

These copiers would probably print at either 300-600 ppi lineart/text resolution.

So if small fine text is critical or the edge detail, then there are two options -

i) work at 300 ppi or higher at final size in grayscale in PSD.
ii) Give them live text layers and the PSD and do not flatten.

Simply saving as a TIFF at 300 ppi or higher at the final print size is the safest option, the text is rasterized by you and you do not suffer the possibility of text reflow or font substitution.

If using live text layers then I would talk to them about supply of fonts or what fonts they have to substitute for your fonts if you don't supply them. It is my guess that they will still have to flatten and rasterize the text at some point (unless they use PDF, PSD or EPS in their internal workflow where they can keep the text as either live editable or as vector outline paths). So they still may flatten to a lower resolution than is ideal if that is what the document resolution is as given to them. So all things considered, as you say simply giving them a grayscale TIFF is best. It is probably safe to presume 20% grayscale dotgain as the general brightness description, as most copiers are set to a SWOP press type simulation.

Does this help?

Stephen Marsh.
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Old 05-12-2003, 12:02 PM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Hi Stephen,

Sorry for the delayed response. I got distracted by other projects. Hope to get back to this one tonight. I'll let you know then if I have any more questions. You've given me some good info, so I'm hoping it will be fairly straightforward once I sit down to work on it.

Thanks, Jeanie
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