August 24, 2018 : Print Problems – Ink Saturation Levels

I don’t often work in the print realm, but I enjoy challenges – which is why I was happy to illustrate a Children’s Book for a client last year. Overall, the project was a fun exercise in illustration. However, it did come with some challenges… specifically, Ink Saturation Levels (the sum of the CMYK Percentage Components).

The printing company my client used has a limit of 240%, a threshold that can vary dependent on the type of project and equipment. While a limit as high as 280% is not uncommon, this was something not on my radar while designing the characters in the book. So when the printing company came back detailing issues with the submitted files, I had to do plenty of research on the topic of Ink Saturation Levels.

It turns out Adobe Acrobat has the ability to highlight colors above a pre-determined limit. Below shows an example of the output:

The next step was determining a course of action to remedy the situation. The more thorough (and tedious) solution would have been going back into Illustrator and change each offending color. However with deadlines and workloads as they are, I ended up importing the pages (in PDF form) into Photoshop. From there I was able to reduce the ink density and re-export the PDF’s. These were than recompiled to form a revised Master PDF file.

Overall, it was an adventure into the Print Realm, and the lessons learned were invaluable for future projects. As for this project, the hope is that the book will begin printing in a few weeks, and I am looking forward to seeing the final product.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:27 pm

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