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Just got my printed map, need help

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#1
BEAVER

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Well I just got my printed map from one of the well known map printers and I'm disappointed. The map is printed on HopSyn in five colors, the fifth color being the spot color for topo lines. That's where I have a problem. The trapping was used to knock out the other four colors where the fifth color line work should fit in. The 4 main colors CMYK have nearly perfect registration between each other with only tiny misalignment visible only under 20 power microscope, but the fifth color plate is way off. Since the fifth plate is off, you see white lines next to the brown topo lines. In darker areas, you don't even see the topo lines as the white lines (trapping) stand out more. I made clear to the printer that I wanted clean topo lines since this map has the lines very dense in some spots.

We all know how bad can topo lines come out when you try to print brown fine lines using CMYK, that is why I chose PMS 471 spot color to keep them nice and sharp. In this case, I think they would look better printed in CMYK as the registration was perfect between these colors. I'm attaching a link showing the printed map. Note the topo lines left off the Devils Tombstone State Campground label.

http://i2.photobucke...00/IMGP2045.jpg

So far I have done four printing jobs so I don't have a lot of experience. What is acceptable and what isn't when it comes to registration? Should these lines be overprinted? I didn't have those problems with my previous jobs.

Outside the topo lines the map is perfect, well folded for synthetic, good color saturation, etc

#2
Michael Karpovage

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Beaver,

I can see what you mean - even on a JPEG on my screen. Those lines, being slightly off registration, give your eyes that loopy, dizzy, vibrating effect. And that's NOT what you want your map viewing audience to perceive. I would ask you this when you were going through the print production process: Did you go to the printer and conduct a press check? Meaning, did you go in person, receive a printer's proof off the initial set up run of the job before it was printed? And did you notice the lines off then or were they in registration? If you signed off on that printer's proof and the job was in register and your final product was not, then you have recourse to get them to reprint the job at their cost. That printer's proof binds them as to what you, the customer, should expect in quality.

Hope that helps.

Michael

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Michael Karpovage

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#3
BEAVER

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The proof looked great but it was done on a plotter which is standard for most printing companies. I could not be there in person as the printer is located far far away. I chose them as they were recommended buy people on this board. Here is an image what this area looks like in PDF and one more picture that is saved in BMP format so there is no JPEG distortion.

http://www.catskillmap.com/sample5.jpg

http://www.catskillmap.com/sample6.bmp

#4
Michael Karpovage

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Beaver,

I'm a little confused on those last two samples. The PDF actually looks normal, clean, crisp, in registration, the brown contour lines seem fine. But that BMP is just as bad as the JPEG.

That's too bad on not being able to do a press check in person and being able to see an actual printed sheet right off the press where they can make adjustments on the fly. That's really your only last line of control as you are dealing directly with the pressman who controls all color coverage and registration.

Michael

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Michael Karpovage

• Savannah Historic District Illustrated Map
www.karpovagecreative.com/savannah

• Account Manager/Illustrator
Mapformation, LLC - Atlanta, GA office
www.mapformation.com

• Author of Map of Thieves
www.mapofthieves.com


#5
BEAVER

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The nice looking image is from a computer screen, the Bmp file is picture taken with a camera of the printed map.

#6
Michael Karpovage

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Ahhhh, well, I can see how you are displeased. I would somehow try to work out a deal with the printer if you could to reprint it.

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Michael Karpovage

• Savannah Historic District Illustrated Map
www.karpovagecreative.com/savannah

• Account Manager/Illustrator
Mapformation, LLC - Atlanta, GA office
www.mapformation.com

• Author of Map of Thieves
www.mapofthieves.com


#7
BEAVER

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130 views and only Micheal replied.

#8
Gretchen Peterson

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It is probably just because 129 people didn't know the answer. It is a very technical, specific, question that you are asking and it is very likely that many of us have never had this problem before. Good luck and if you do find a solution please post it so when the rest of us need it we can find it. Thanks!

#9
rudy

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It is probably just because 129 people didn't know the answer. It is a very technical, specific, question that you are asking and it is very likely that many of us have never had this problem before. Good luck and if you do find a solution please post it so when the rest of us need it we can find it. Thanks!


I'm on those 129 people without an answer except to say that a press check probably would have been helpful. Keep in mind that you posted on a Friday afternoon and that many people (myself included) don't check the board over the weekend. You may still get more feedback.

It's hard to say if you can go back to the printer and voice your dissatisfaction . . . I assume they were quite aware of the need for precision alignment between the plates . . . . you might be able to convince them to reprint but I doubt if they will do it for free - maybe at a reduced cost . . . . good luck! Not a pleasant task!

#10
Paul H

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I believe the registration is within normal tolerances, especially for a large sheet printed on HopSyn. Was this printed on a four color press with the contours printed on a second pass? In any event, the printer should have anticipated this problem and suggested that you (or they) eliminate the contour trapping, and just printed the fifth color straight over the CMYK.

#11
François Goulet

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Couldn't they sent you a "preview" before final printing?

I never had to do it myself, but for my previous job, our printer who was in Singapore, sent us every time, a complete print of each page so we could check it before final print. Sorry that's not very helpful for the moment, but maybe next time... <_<

#12
MapMedia

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First, beautiful map Beaver! :)

Not sure why you opted for CMYK for the contours - would you use spot color now?
Hopefully you and the press can work out a mutual solution so you can start selling your maps asap!

#13
Matthew Hampton

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I am pretty sure BEAVER used a spot color for topo lines - at least that's what the 2nd sentence in the first post says. The problem is that the printer knocked out the cmyk and the spot color is a little off registration in some places (due to paper stretch, temp, humidity, inconsistencies with ?, etc.). So the solution should focus on working closely with the printer and getting the topo lines on the paper without having to knockout the cmyk.

Some solutions could include overprinting the topo lines, laying the pms 471 plate down before the black plate, or resorting to spreading the topo lines on the black plate at 40-50%. If you lines are less than .5 pt I think it would be a rare press that could get all 5 plates 100% dead-on.

I think if you overprint it should look fine in most areas - if you just knock-out the anno.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#14
BEAVER

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Thanks for the replies. I spoke to the printer and I think next time we will try overprinting.

Yes I did use spot color as a fifth plate to keep the lines sharp.

#15
canvas101

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Thanks for the replies. I spoke to the printer and I think next time we will try overprinting.

Yes I did use spot color as a fifth plate to keep the lines sharp.


Hello Beaver,

What type of screening did you use for your plates? If you are unaware I would ask the printer what type they used. Your plates and the type of screening used have a huge impact on the quality of your finished piece. Different jobs require different screening methods. I personally would require them to reprint because that type of printing is a bad reflection on their capabilities as well as a misrepresentation of your hard work. Not for nothing but you need to ask for a reprint and offer to pay for the paper. Further more if you were not present while this was on press I would highly recommend you make arrangements to be on site while your job is printing and bring a loop and color meter. Let me know what type of screening was used.

Regards




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