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CMYK 2.0: A Cooperative Workflow for Photographers, Designers, and Printers

Book Description

Twenty years ago, achieving predictable CMYK color on press was a relatively straightforward process. All the partners in the process—photographers, designers, and printers—had clearly defined roles and responsibilities. With the introduction of Adobe Photoshop in 1990, the digital imaging revolution changed all that. Roles suddenly shifted and blurred. Standards disintegrated. The entire process quickly spiraled into a chaotic free-for-all that couldn’t help but leave everyone frustrated as they scratched their heads and wondered, “What’s wrong with my color?”

CMYK 2.0: A Cooperative Workflow for Photographers, Designers, and Printers
has one purpose: to get us all back on the same path to creating predictable color in the RGB-to-CMYK workflow. In a field that often features very strong—and very different—opinions, author Rick McCleary emphasizes the need for cooperation, collaboration, and communication. After first establishing a context for how we all got here, McCleary redefines each partner’s role in the process, demystifies the entire RGB-to-CMYK workflow, and offers a clear, step-by-step guide to achieving predictable color on press. Written with exceptional clarity, CMYK 2.0 presents a highly detailed and thoroughly rigorous approach to CMYK color, and it offers a workflow that all photographers, designers, and printers need—one that works.

The book's companion website provides a collaborative forum of growing resources and information on all things CMYK.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. Introduction
    1. Driver’s manual
    2. “What’s wrong with my color?”
  4. 1. The Mindset
    1. The state of the art
      1. The paradox
      2. Looking for answers in all the wrong places
    2. The digital imaging revolution
      1. A brief history
    3. The fallout
      1. False fluency: the siren’s song of digital technology
      2. It’s all make-believe
      3. The day craft died
      4. So, where does this leave us?
    4. The way forward
      1. A light on the horizon
      2. The more things change, the more they stay the same
      3. Understand your role in the digital age
      4. Be a Guardian of the Color
      5. Understand the reality behind the make-believe
      6. Understand the entire process
      7. Be tolerant of the evolution of digital tools
      8. And finally, respect the revolution
    5. A note about happiness
  5. 2. The Big Picture
    1. Words of wisdom
    2. Trust me, I know what I’m doing
    3. RGB-to-CMYK is a team sport
    4. Rebuilding the foundation
      1. Context
      2. Collaboration
        1. Communication
        2. Common Knowledge
      3. Process control
        1. Paying Attention
    5. Take the first step
  6. 3. The Tools
    1. How close is close enough?
    2. It’s more than just the monitor...
      1. Intelligently integrating the tools
    3. The image viewing environment
      1. Color of light: the common variable
        1. Industry Standard for Simulating the Color of Daylight
    4. The lighting
      1. Working environment
      2. Print viewing area
    5. The monitor
      1. Calibrate the monitor
      2. Profile the monitor
      3. Visually confirm calibration
      4. Maintaining the accuracy of your monitor
      5. Monitor calibration tools
    6. The proof printer
      1. Proofs, pretty pictures, and liability
      2. Four kinds of prints
      3. The proofing system
        1. Choosing a printer
        2. Choosing a proofing paper
        3. Profiling the printer
        4. Driving the printer
        5. Proofing through the printer driver
        6. Proofing through the RIP
        7. Bottom line
    7. The Info panel
    8. Summary
  7. 4. The Color Management Primer
    1. Driver or mechanic?
    2. The executive summary
    3. How color management works
      1. Numbers = words
      2. Color spaces = languages
      3. Profiles = identities
      4. Same RGB triplet, different colors
        1. Isn’t this a Problem?
      5. Universal color space = universal set of ideas
      6. Conversion: the basic mechanics of color management
        1. Basic Move, No Judgment Required
    4. Managing gamut: judgment day
      1. Rendering intents
        1. Which One?
    5. Color spaces: which one?
      1. Reference Space: Lab
      2. RGB Working Spaces
      3. Output Spaces
      4. Monitor Spaces
    6. The Achilles heel of CMS
      1. Be deliberate, be aware
      2. What to do with untagged files
      3. Assign vs. Convert: don’t confuse them
      4. It’s a fragile system
    7. Fifty switches
    8. The mechanics of the CMS
      1. Color Settings: Adobe Creative Suite
        1. Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, and Acrobat
      2. Which color space am I in?
        1. Photoshop
        2. Illustrator
        3. InDesign
        4. Acrobat
      3. How do I convert?
        1. Photoshop
        2. Indesign
        3. Acrobat
      4. What if I receive an untagged file?
        1. Photoshop
    9. Context, collaboration, process control
  8. 5. The CMYK Primer
    1. Different as Night and Day
    2. Not Just Another Printer, It’s a Whole Community
    3. Images on paper in CMYK
      1. It’s just dots
      2. All colors from four colors
      3. Dots and color together
    4. Putting dots on paper: how an offset press works
      1. A virtual field trip to the print shop
    5. The mechanics of RGB-to-CMYK
      1. Under the hood
        1. Dot Gain
        2. Black Plate Generation
        3. Total Ink Limit
      2. Managing gamut
    6. CMYK and color management
    7. Converting to CMYK: Two paths
      1. ICC profile–based conversion
      2. Custom CMYK–based conversion
    8. Is one better than the other?
    9. Why not the best?
      1. Why Do Some Printers Still Use Custom CMYK?
    10. Collaborate in any case
    11. Collaborative responsibilities
    12. The future of CMYK printing
  9. 6. The Steps
    1. Collaborating in a virtual organization
      1. Talk to your partners
      2. Who does what?
      3. Where does the conversion take place?
    2. Pregame warm-up: setting up the tools
      1. Monitor
      2. Inkjet printer
      3. Info panel
      4. Document window
      5. Color Settings
        1. Default Working Spaces
        2. Color Management Policies
        3. The .csf File: All Your Settings in One Nice Little Package
    3. Step 1 Bring the file into the workflow
      1. Guardians of the Color
      2. Receiving files into the workflow
      3. 1.1. Receive as raw
        1. 1.1A. Start Conservatively (So You can End with a Bang!)
        2. 1.1B. Choose the Correct Color Working Space
        3. 1.1C. Eliminate Tonal Clipping
        4. 1.1D. Keep Colors in Gamut
      4. 1.2. Receive as RGB
        1. 1.2A. File has Embedded Profile
        2. 1.2B. File has no Embedded Profile
      5. 1.3. Receive as CMYK
        1. 1.3A. File has Embedded Profile
        2. 1.3B. File has no Embedded Profile
    4. Step 2 Create a “sound RGB” file
      1. 2.1. What is a “sound RGB” file?
      2. 2.2. Neutralize endpoints to purify color
      3. 2.3. Set endpoints for tonal range
      4. 2.4. Be a Guardian of the Color
    5. Step 3 Soft-proof/adjust for CMYK
      1. What is a soft proof?
      2. Virtual reality: a reminder
      3. 3.1. Discovery
        1. 3.1A. Install Printer’s ICC Profile or .csf File
      4. 3.2. Setup
        1. 3.2A. Setting Up the Soft Proof
        2. 3.2B. Soft Proof vs. Gamut Warning
        3. 3.2C. Setting Up the Info Panel
      5. 3.3. Adjust color in soft-proof mode
        1. What Happens to Out-of-Gamut Colors
        2. 3.3A. First, Try a Straight Conversion
        3. 3.3B. If the Hue Shifts in Out-of-Gamut Areas...
        4. 3.3C. If Detail Disappears from Out-of-Gamut Areas...
      6. 3.4. Save the RGB file
    6. Step 4 Convert to CMYK
      1. 4.1. Convert using Edit > Convert to Profile
      2. 4.2. Fine-tune the CMYK file (optional)
        1. 4.2A. Monitor Total Ink Limit
        2. 4.2B. Black Plate Adjustments
        3. 4.2C. Saturation Adjustments
      3. 4.3. Resize and sharpen
      4. 4.4. Be a Guardian of the Color
    7. Step 5 (Option 1) CMYK guide print from printer driver
      1. Proofing paper
      2. 5.1. Create a CMYK guide print using the printer driver
        1. 5.1A. CMYK Guide Print From RGB File
        2. 5.1B. CMYK Guide Print from CMYK File
    8. Step 5 (Option 2) ColorBurst and X-Rite
      1. ColorBurst RIP overview
        1. Interface
      2. Linearizing the printer with ColorBurst
      3. Color management in ColorBurst
        1. Simulation of Press Sheet
      4. Printing with ColorBurst
      5. The CMYK guide print: portable color
    9. Color measurement and profiling
      1. Profiling the printer
    10. Hypothetical case study
      1. Creating an environment of predictability and happiness
        1. Situation
        2. What to Do
        3. Profile Your Printer’s Press
        4. Step by Step
        5. Collaborate
        6. The Future
  10. 7. The Stories
    1. The Designer
    2. The Photographer
    3. The Digital Wizard
    4. The Printer
      1. Marty
      2. Herb
      3. Marty