Workflow: Using Quark V9.3, Illustrator CS6 and new Pantone

Discuss QuarkXPress color management functionality including DeviceN workflows

Workflow: Using Quark V9.3, Illustrator CS6 and new Pantone

Postby peregrine101 » 16 Sep 2012, 10:41

Okay, let's be honest here...I'm the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer around my parts...and the local Go To guy for things graphics. That doesn't make me an expert and I wish at times, I had someone I could turn to.
So I use Press Quality, because that's what I was told to use a million years ago and no one's told me different since! As I said, I'm willing to learn new things and better ways. And if there's a better workflow for Illustrator using Pantone Plus and Quark, I'm all for it!
My head hurts!
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Workflow: Using Quark V9.3, Illustrator CS6 and new Pantone

Postby eyoungren » 16 Sep 2012, 10:49

LOL!
It's the same at my job. A PC breaks so the first person everyone asks questions of is me. What do I know? I've had my head swimming a few years back when I was trying to figure out Exchange Server and VPNs. Never did. And color management is on the same level for me.
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Workflow: Using Quark V9.3, Illustrator CS6 and new Pantone

Postby max.peter » 16 Sep 2012, 19:00

This is what is happening all over the world I guess... [:D] Almost all I know I had to learn by myself!
The answers for your questions, Robert:
1. Yes, that is why I recommended not to embed the icc file.
2. XPress v. 8 and higher uses allways a color management. There is not a ON and OFF for this, there are only default settings which include color management. I guess there is not any difference between manual converting of the spot colors in the color palette and converting them during the export of the pdf file. You can chech this by comparing the colors in twu pdf files (read the percentages of certain element in Acrobat).
3. Finally, I guess there are no rules. The final pdf file is what metters, its quality.
4. Your printer can tell you what type or to what standard has to conform the pdf file.
The best way to see how thing are working is to try by yourself each setting, to make several pdf files and to compare them, one by one, to check the colors.
Regards.
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Workflow: Using Quark V9.3, Illustrator CS6 and new Pantone

Postby peregrine101 » 17 Sep 2012, 01:57

Yup, the school of hard knocks! One of the services we provide our clients is website design and social media. For some reason, since that also includes making sure they have emails, I become their resident and GoTo IT guy. Folks, I'm on a MAC! Unfortunately, I've learned more about the PC than I ever wanted to...AUGH![:P]
I will try your suggestions. I am still waiting to hear back from Quark and I'll update here when I do.
Thanks again!
Robert
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Workflow: Using Quark V9.3, Illustrator CS6 and new Pantone

Postby peregrine101 » 17 Sep 2012, 04:19

Okay, I ran some tests:
[olist][*]Created CS6 native AI file with 3 Pantone Plus colors in simple graphics: square, triangle, circle and 6 small boxes, each having Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow [*]Saved 3 Native AI files: (1) with ICC Embed, (2) without ICC Embed, (3) EPS
[*]Created 2 raster images from photo: (1) RGB tif, (2) CMYK tif[*]Opened new Quark file and placed both AI files and Raster images[/olist]#1) As before, the AI Native file with ICC embedded shows up as B&W in Quark. The one without ICC and the EPS look fine.
#2) Created two different PDFs: Press Quality with 'Composite CMYK' chosen

[olist][*]First Press Quality PDF was with the spot colors from the AI files still intact as spots[*]Second, I converted the spot colors in Quark by editing>changing from Pantone + to CMYK then unchecked the SPOT box, then created a Press Quality PDF[*]Opened both in Acrobat X[/olist]#3) The first PDF (with the spot colors intact) shows no spot colors.
#4) The second PDF (where I converted the spot colors to CMYK) shows the CMYK plates AND THE SPOT color plates! Why is this? If I converted the spots to CMYK in Quark before making the PDF, why would the PDF show the spot plates? They don't show up in the first PDF where I left the spot plates intact! That really confuses me. Leave spot colors alone and the PDF doesn't show them...convert the spots first and the PDF shows they exist!!!
I did venture back to previous PDFs I made months ago and sent to the printer. When I look at the plates in Acrobat X, they too show the spot plates even though I converted them to 'process' (via right-clicking the color in the color palette) first.
So I'm still trying to figure out a new workflow. I guess I'll have to create a layout with lots of variables and send it to my printer to see what actually prints. It's a cost that may be worth it now, then to find out on a real job.[:(]
Robert
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Workflow: Using Quark V9.3, Illustrator CS6 and new Pantone

Postby peregrine101 » 17 Sep 2012, 11:29

Hi all:
I just got off the phone with Adobe. I realized something else while continuing to try to resolve the issues above.
Create an AI file with Pantone Plus (LAB) colors and save it with and without embedding the ICC profiles:
[olist][*]With embed ICC profiles, the icon on the Mac desktop shows the colors as they should be[ulist][*]But place that file in Quark and it shows B&W
[/ulist][*]Without embed ICC profiles, the icon on the Mac desktop shows as B&W[ulist][*]But place that file in Quark and it shows up in the right colors[/ulist][/olist]Now go back to the same AI file and change the Pantone Plus (LAB) colors to CMYK and save both with and without ICC profiles
[olist][*]Now it doesn't matter, both icons on the Mac desktop show colors[*]Place either one in Quark and they both show colors[/olist]Adobe tech support tried the same thing (saving the files, not bringing them into Quark) and they had the same issue. You can't tell me I'm the first person to have noticed that.
Quark left a message on my voicemail, hope they call back soon. I've got a couple jobs coming up for print!

Robert
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Workflow: Using Quark V9.3, Illustrator CS6 and new Pantone

Postby UtahLlama » 18 Sep 2012, 03:52

Hi Peregrine
can't help you with specifics (I have intel mac but no quark9), but can give you some general advice.

1. When you place a .ai file quark uses the pdf compatible part of the data and ignores the ai part of the data. Its likely that quark internally converts this pdf data for postscript output via JAWS.

2. When you click on the embed ICC profile (when saving the .ai) where is it saving? I've no idea where this ICC data resides but its possible it gets attached to the preview, its unlikely to be attached to the pdf part of the data since pdfs support multiple ICCs. Quark can generate its own preview at stage 1 above.

3. Placing a PDF or EPS into quark to generate a new colour in quark's palette stopped working predictably a long time ago. Specifically with colours named PANTONE xxx C quark always uses its own internal L*a*b breakdown when exporting/printing/converting.

4. Quark native objects coloured with PANTONE xxx C get handled at stage 3. Placed objects containing spot colours tend to get handled differently, indeed EPS and PDF tend to be not handled at all and their spot colours (with alternative definitions) make their way into an Exported PDF.

5. With spot colours inside EPS, it does not make any difference what you ask for when you check convert to process a colour swatch in quark, quark will not attempt to change the data, even sending Separations quark would usually bundle the whole EPS into the postscript and expect the RIP to deal with it.
Also re Max's advice to choose to convert to cmyk when you export to PDF, I don't think this works with placed EPS.

6. Other people on the Adobe Illustrator Forums have noted the B/W behaviour with Ai CS6 in Preview, only advice I could see was the somewhat unhelpful ONLY use Adobe Acrobat for viewing PDFs.

7. I'd suggest not using Pantone colours in Illustrator if your final destination is cmyk print.

8. I wasn't aware that PDF/X-4 was an option from quark? AFAIK quark can't pass an ICC through to PDF
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Workflow: Using Quark V9.3, Illustrator CS6 and new Pantone

Postby max.peter » 18 Sep 2012, 06:39

Hi UtahLlama,
You are right about EPS files, if they have spot colors they'll not convert to process during export from QuarkXPress to PDF.
When I have files like this, I usually make a PS file (by printing to a virtual PostScript printer), then I distill it with Distiller, having set in its .joboptions preferences to convert all colors to process.
There is another way to manage conveting of colors, directly in the final PDF, using Acrobat X Pro. In the "Ink Manager" dialog box (Tools > Print Production > Ink Manager) spot colors can be converted to process by checking the appropiate checkbox.
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Workflow: Using Quark V9.3, Illustrator CS6 and new Pantone

Postby peregrine101 » 18 Sep 2012, 06:49

Hi UtahLlama and Max:
Interesting, but as I mentioned before, if I leave the spot colors as is in Quark, export to PDF using Composite CMYK in the 'colors' section, opening the PDF in Acrobat X shows all colors have been converted to CMYK! If I first change all spots to CMYK/Process in the color pallete, then create the PDF, opening that in Acrobat X shows the CMYK [b]AND the Spot colors from the EPS -- but they were converted to process!
I will look over the comments from Max as well...
Thanks to you both!
Robert
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Workflow: Using Quark V9.3, Illustrator CS6 and new Pantone

Postby max.peter » 18 Sep 2012, 07:22

I think placing in XPress EPS files containing spot colors can produce unpredictable results, as Dan Logan (from Quark) states here:
http://forums.quark.com/p/28756/115474.aspx#115474
Three months ago I worked with some test EPS files and I saw that Dan Logan was right.
Unfortunately, I have not acces to my CS6 suite right now to make further tests.
I usually do not get my PDF files by exporting from XPress, but by distilling the PS file. Because of this, I can't tell if a exported PDF file can be managed in optimal conditions by certain RIP software (because here is the big problem with PDF files for print, they are good or they are not good for the RIP software). That is why I told you in my previous answer to talk to your ptinter. Give him a PDF file and ask him to tell you if it is good for his RIP or not.
I hope this can help you. If not, please let me know.
Regards
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