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#1
Kevin McManigal

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Hi Folks,

Any tips on getting small colored text to print clean and sharp in Illi CS3? We have 7 pt type labeling rivers, for example, over greenish shaded relief. The proof that came back from the 4 color press looks sharp down to about 10 pt type, but anything below that is bloated and puffy.

I was comparing it to our Freehand originals, under a loupe, and the labels are one color with crisp edges. But coming out of Illi, the type is made up of multiple color pixels. The color swatches came over directly form Freehand, and the font is the same, so there must be some setting that I am missing.

Take a look at the pictures to see what I mean.

Any suggestions?

Kevin

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#2
natcase

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Hi Folks,

Any tips on getting small colored text to print clean and sharp in Illi CS3? We have 7 pt type labeling rivers, for example, over greenish shaded relief. The proof that came back from the 4 color press looks sharp down to about 10 pt type, but anything below that is bloated and puffy.

I was comparing it to our Freehand originals, under a loupe, and the labels are one color with crisp edges. But coming out of Illi, the type is made up of multiple color pixels. The color swatches came over directly form Freehand, and the font is the same, so there must be some setting that I am missing.

Take a look at the pictures to see what I mean.

Any suggestions?

Kevin


I see graduated halftone tints behind the text. Is there some sort of raster effect that might be covering that area? In some renderings out of AI, the rasterization can cover a much larger area than the actual object doing the effect. Not sure if you can fix the problem by being sure any raster effects are on a lower layer.

We recently had problems with this with an AI PDF including raster effects we sent to a large-format sign printer. The raster-effects areas showed a color shift. All was fixed by their running the whole thing through Photoshop. Which will not help you here.

Nat Case
INCase, LLC

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maphead.blogspot.com



#3
Unit Seven

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Hi Kevin—forgive me if I'm going over things you already know or hve checked. What are you sending to the press? Illy files or pdfs? Could be dot gain is it the same press and paper?

The green text seems to be different to the cyan in that it has a dot all through it but the cyan still seems to be clean but possibly some trapping applied hence the overlapping dots at the edge.

Check that once the text is in Illy it is still 100% cyan and a cmyk–cmyk conversion hasn't shifted the colour. Also make sure the printers aren't taking it from one profile to another and to keep the text as sharp as possible that the text is saying as text right up to the rip—text rips at the device's native resolution (around 2400dpi) where as other elements including text to outlines has to be screened at your usual 150 or so.

As Nat said check for any raster or transparency effects—these include blending modes etc—to avoid these make sure your text is on the top layer above everything where ever possible.

Could you post a small section of the problem text for us to have a quick look at?
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#4
Kevin McManigal

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Thanks for the answers guys.

Yes, in the Illustrator files there is a raster shaded relief in the back ground. But all the text is on layers above it. And the document has been in CMYK from the start. I haven't trapped anything on purpose.

As far as what is going to press, the printer is receiving a packaged InDesing file (multiple maps, and text blocks on a large poster). The maps are individual Illi files linked into ID. The printer is using the same press, paper and ink as the previous maps that were in Freehand. I am not sure where I am going wrong. <_<

(Sam, do you want to see something beside the pictures that I posted? Not sure what you mean)

Kevin
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#5
Unit Seven

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Does the printer have any idea what the difference is? Even if it's cmyk from the start if its going to another cmyk profile most software has to do the conversion via lab which is similar to rgb in that the makeups change. This could happen if you hav ethe Illy file setup in one cmyk colour space and your InDesign colour settings in another. Or it could happen if yourr printer takes the InDesign file to their own prifile but I imagine a printer know this and it doesn't really explain the 'blotting/thickening' of the text—that looks more like somewhere the text is being converted to curves before the rip. Or possibly somewhere a colour profile is being used that has a lower dot gain to what was in freehand so it's putting more ink on the paper. Possibly check you have all colour management turned off in Creative Suite if you are keeping in cmyjk and aren't used to the profiles. That way your printer ends up with the 'numbers' you set.

This isn't really my area but they could be things to look at?
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#6
Dale Sanderson

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Any tips on getting small colored text to print clean and sharp in Illi CS3? We have 7 pt type labeling rivers, for example, over greenish shaded relief. The proof that came back from the 4 color press looks sharp down to about 10 pt type, but anything below that is bloated and puffy.

The fact that your 10-pt. type is coming out fine leads me to think it might not have anything to do with you or the settings on your end. I'd check with your printer and see if they're running your files through some sort of pre-flight software that does its own trapping.
Dale Sanderson
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personally: cartophile and road-geek (my website)

#7
Kevin McManigal

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Thanks guys,

I am talking to the printer today and will see what he says. All the color profiles are consistent on my side, but the printer seems to be avoiding profiles like the plague. When I asked him what color space he uses, he said "CMYK." First red flag, that's a color mode not a space. I will keep you posted. Keep the ideas coming; they are very helpful in tracking down the problem.

Kevin
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#8
BEAVER

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I see 3pt text all the time from 4 color presses and it looks sharp. 7pt is a huge text for maps in my field (topo maps). Just make sure that the text is 100% of only single color. (100% black or 100% yellow). If you need some other color, have it printed on 5 color press with that color being spot color.

#9
Rick Dey

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From your images it looks as though a trapping stroke has been added to the letters. Most likely it was applied by an overzealous pre-press operator. We've found that simply setting all type to overprint regardless of the underlying color and telling the printers not to mess with it gives the best results. Although there will be some color changes in your type they are mostly not perceived by the viewer.
Rick Dey

#10
Kevin McManigal

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OK, here's the follow up on this thread. After many proofs and a field trip to the printer (an all day drive), we have a solution. The problem was with the trapping settings in the pre-press process as our files were being separated for the plates. I finally asked them to turn it completely off, and "BINGO", sharp, colored fine text. But then overprinting became an issue. All the line work that was overlaid by text showed through and was very distracting to the eye. The butt ends of all the line work that was cased with the map border showed through as well. So by asking them to completely turn off all the overprinting (they were very leery about this), we got the results we were looking for. Because they use a very nice Heidelberg press, we didn't get any halo effects from misregistration, however they have warned us that during a run, the paper can shrink or expand, causing the problems that trapping and overprint solve. So I guess we are taking our chances, but the results are nice so far.

Thanks for all the help
Kevin McManigal
Orange Peel Cartographic
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#11
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When I input text, as long as the word is not compleeted the letters are not displayed in the size as selected / defined in the templates. They are displayed very small and change into the right size after the next space.

Regards Gerhard




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