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#1
frax

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I really need to learn more about using colors for print, does anyone have any good suggestions for books and/or links.

Currently I am just using RGB for everything and hope that things look ok in the end... (I am more familiar with the workings of RGB, from doing a lot of web and some photoshop stuff)
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#2
Lui

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I really need to learn more about using colors for print, does anyone have any good suggestions for books and/or links.

Currently I am just using RGB for everything and hope that things look ok in the end... (I am more familiar with the workings of RGB, from doing a lot of web and some photoshop stuff)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hi Frax.

Learning using colors specially color composition and relation is a long and mostly try and error method. If you intend to use CMYK color space for map printing I'd suggest that you use a color calibrated monitor and printed CMYK (Process) color guides like Pantone. For me a calibrated monitor is a necessity but it can't provide a really true color representation. It is far better and helpfull than without calibration but only with match printing a true color preview of map can be observed.
I can describe my own color picking process. First I pick (usually from printed color guides) two or three basic colors (colors that occupy most of the map) and thematic color or two. This basic colors are usually same for same kind of maps. Then I define all other colors in an iterative process in which I vary colors based on color composition and relation. Of course all colors are subject of change.
The other printing process: six-color processing or custom color processing are difficult to preview and match print.
At this moment I'm working on a JOG series that is printed in 10-color process. There is no way to accurately preview colors but luckly I'm not using colors composed from this 10 colors in this map series so colors can be mixed on site in printing house.

Lui

#3
vandalmax

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Frax,

There is a great book out there called "Colour Basics for GIS Users" by Allan Brown and Wim Feringa. It was published by Pearson Education in 2003. I had a couple of color classes in college, but this book was a great refresher and taught me a few things I didn't know. And don't be afraid of the title, this book is for anyone doing print mapping, not just with a GIS. I agree with Lui that a lot of color mapping is trial and error, but this book is a great resource for starting off in the right direction.

#4
mike

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There is the new book by Cynthia Brewer called Designing Better Maps. She goes into some colour theory in the book and provides colour scheme suggestions and colour samples for thematic maps.

My process is usually choosing colours from some colour guides and comparing them to on screen. my calibrated screens are close, but not perfect. then i print them out using our colour laser printer. the colours are very close, i would say 90% there. the rest obviously has to do with the paper stock (vs production quality stock). it's also good to know who your printers are and what kind of print machinary and inks they use.

#5
Dennis McClendon

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The work that Cindy Brewer did on colors for thematic maps is pretty rigorous, and the suggested schemes are pretty helpful. They are available for RGB, CMYK, and other color spaces, and are rated for suitablility for different types of printing or display.

Find them at http://www.colorbrewer.org

There are also books with helpful prechosen color schemes for designers: four volumes called The Designer's Guide to Color and one that I like even better called Mix & Match Designer's Colors that also shows how type will look when overprinted or reversed out.

A particular challenge we find for maps is the need to have a harmonious palette that includes both low-saturation background colors and intense colors for foreground information and type.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#6
EcoGraphic

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There is a great little computer program now available which helps with choosing harmonious colors. You choose the base colour you want to work from, and it automatically generates the complimentary colours, etc..... affordable too......It also allows you to preview colours on a vector image, website, etc. and has a colour picker which alows you to grab a colour from your screen.....

Color Shade
http://www.colorshade.com

I recently downloaded a set of courses on CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) design for the web, and they include an excellent explanation of all the different types of colour, colour on monitors, etc., again very affordable....... I would recommmend all of their courses.......the best place to learn CSS if you are interested

Color and Graphics for the Web Course
by Western Civilization
http://www.westciv.com

Pantone has now included something called a Pantone Color Bridge in their line-up of swatches which is extremely useful. It helps work between web and print, including RGB codes and their equivalent CMYK codes. Just run a search on EBay and you should be able to find one of these at a reasonable price.

One trick I recently learned from an offset printer, is that if you are designing a project that has a lot of green or orange included it, you should think about designing not with CMYK, but rather with Hexachrome colours which means they print using 6 inks instead of 4, and the extra two inks are green and orange. Apparently it is more expensive, however they can guarantee the look of the greens and oranges if this is an integral part of the design.

That being said, I recently learned that our local sign shop actually prints one-off signs in RGB, however, I have since been told that RGB printing is difficult to control, and I have certainly never heard of an offset printer printing in RGB.
Gillian Auld
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#7
Martin Gamache

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That being said, I recently learned that our local sign shop actually prints one-off signs in RGB,


Most of those signs and banners are either printed on plotters or similar machines and AFAIK plotters do give better results with RGB. If you most often print on a plotter the best thing to do is to get a color chart (Pantone has one for free) to print out on your Plotter so you will have a reference for what those colors look like on your printer. This helps enormously for picking colors that will work on your plotter. Make sure you keep it in a drawer though as it will fade. Plotters are also fairly succeptible to inconsistent output as ink levels drops so.....

#8
EcoGraphic

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I really need to learn more about using colors for print, does anyone have any good suggestions for books and/or links.

Currently I am just using RGB for everything and hope that things look ok in the end... (I am more familiar with the workings of RGB, from doing a lot of web and some photoshop stuff)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Check out the International Color Consortium website:

International Color Consortium
http://www.color.org..._profiles2.html

Also check out the seminars in Pre-Press Training Online (Course in ICC Color profiling):

Pre-Press Training Online
http://www.prepresstraining.com

(My apologies for cross-posting)


Gillian
Gillian Auld
EcoGraphic Design
www.EcoGraphic.ca

Design is the intermediary between information and understanding
Richard Grefe




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