Colour Output problem Quark 9.5

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Colour Output problem Quark 9.5

Postby MarkyBoy » 09 Dec 2014, 05:52

Hi, I wonder if anyone could help me?

I have sent a catalogue off for print, the catalogue uses some eps images that have a pantone colour in them, then in the catalogue I have blocks of a pantone green colour (the same colour as used in the images). The catalogue is then outputted as composite CMYK as the exact shade of the pantone colour is not so important for my customer.

The catalogues have arrived and there is a lot of incosistency in the shade of the green, so this is comparing page to page (not comparing to an actual pantone colour print). I would imagine that the green colour would bear the pantone name but Quark would convert to cmyk on output along with eps images. I have different shades of green comparing the quark elements to each other and comparing the eps images to each other.

Could this be a conflict in the output to cmyk? If so, how could I solve that? Should I try converting the pantone colour to a cmyk colour BEFORE output, so under the 'edit colours' menu? I am confused because each page looks a slightly different shade even though it is the same colour in qurak.

Any suggestions? Have I just done something that is bad practice in converting at output? I don't believe so as I have done this before when customers decide they do not want the additional cost of printing the pantone ink.

Thanks for any advice?
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Re: Colour Output problem Quark 9.5

Postby max.peter » 09 Dec 2014, 07:04

In order to get high quality prints, there are some rules to apply (BEFORE the prints are ready).
When a printer receives a job, they ahve to make a color proof, and their client signs on it if the job is well done.
After the printing, the client compares the final product with the signed color proof. If he likes, he accept to receive it. If he doesn't like, there is a problem and the printer has to solve it.

All the problems regarding color profiles, using spot colors or certain settings have to be set with the printer, because every printer has its own working rules.

For good results, the job has to be checked by its creator BEFORE submiting to the printer (by using checkflight or preflight utilities).
Every day is a good day to learn something new.
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Re: Colour Output problem Quark 9.5

Postby MarkyBoy » 09 Dec 2014, 08:23

Thanks Max, of course… Problem I am trying to resolve is that my customer did not want to pay extra for a printed colour proof, but signed off on a digital proof which showed no variation in colour.
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Re: Colour Output problem Quark 9.5

Postby max.peter » 09 Dec 2014, 13:37

Well, for a very cheap job he got what he payed.
Althouth if the signed digital proof did not show any variation in color, I suppose the problem belongs to the printer.

In the past I had a lot of problems with various printers in my country and abroad. What I've learned is that before submitting a job, the printer have to sign a contract concerning responsibilities for both sides.
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Re: Colour Output problem Quark 9.5

Postby UtahLlama » 09 Dec 2014, 14:13

Since version 7, Quark has had this annoying behaviour :evil:
Objects coloured up in spot colours called PANTONE xxx C always go into the pdf with alternative colour space defined as Lab from Quark's internal PANTONE Libraries Or if you ask for cmyk Quark uses the Library Lab value as its staring point and colour manages to cmyk based on your CM settings. Objects in EPS files coloured up as PANTONE xxx C will also define the spot colour with an "alternative colour space" so for older files usually a cmyk definition, all of this usually gos direct into the pdf. Quark does not normally colour manage EPS.
So, at best you get in your pdf PANTONE colours defined with at least 2 ambiguous alternate colour space, at worst you get pre converted cmyk from quark and spot from the eps. Ambiguous colour spaces can be fixed fairly easily with Pitstop or RIP (you ignore the different definitions and use a common definition of the PANTONE). Once the conversion has happened there is no way back to harmonising the colours.

The workflow you are following is going wrong because you are assuming you are using the same PANTONE colour in quark that is in your EPS files, when you use that colour from quark's colour palette, after all the colour appeared in the palette after you placed one of your EPS, yes?. Up to version 6 that WAS the way it worked , nice and logical. But someone at quark decided that the current mess would be more logical, more consistent? :roll:

(You are also wrongly assuming that Quark would be able to map (or convert to cmyk) the PANTONEs in an EPS, it won't, but that isn't strictly relevant)

The suggested workaround by quark is to rename the spot colours in all your EPS files to something other than PANTONE xxx C (orU).

I'd suggest asking your printers very nicely to harmonise the PANTONE colour definitions in the PDF before converting to cmyk, I'd also look at the pdf proof they gave you carefully because if it is indeed cmyk you should be able to see the inconsistencies before they print it.
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Re: Colour Output problem Quark 9.5

Postby MarkyBoy » 12 Dec 2014, 09:58

Thanks UtahLlama - great reply.

In this instance, it's not imperitive that the eps pantone (as cmyk) and the quark pantone (as cmyk) match - I recalled that the colour was handled differently and would not match, more the problem is that the colours when you compare eps image to eps image do not match each other (even when on same page) and then the green generated by quark boxes and footers etc also do not match each other
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Re: Colour Output problem Quark 9.5

Postby UtahLlama » 12 Dec 2014, 17:17

Different iterations of Illustrator would by default save the alternate colour space of the same PANTONE differently depending on their own internal PANTONE Libraries or their document colour mode.
Quark has also had a bug regarding its treatment of EPS, sometimes classing them as RGB no matter what they actually are and thus converting incorrectly, certainly reported as happening with early 10.0 to 10.2 on and off, not sure how it was left with v9.5.
If you could post an example page pdf I could examine the alternate spaces in Pitstop.
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