Monday, November 9, 2015

Postcard Printing Problems

The woes of black and white printing.
      Can you see the difference between the card on the bottom and the card on the top?  When I sent this file to Vistaprint, (shout out to Vistaprint, who reprinted these for free)  it appeared to me to be a solid white background. My monitor did not show this square of grey on the bottom card. (I pumped the contrast for you for this photo)   I thought a black and white promotional mailing would be a bit easier to prepare than color postcards. No calibration of monitors that are off. No RGB to CMYK disappointment.   But, surprise, surprise there is always a way for the simplest things to become complicated.  What shoulda, coulda, woulda to do?

1. Print the card on your own printer before sending off to printing house.  The light from my monitor is enough to obscure this small amount of gray. The print out proof would have shown me an obvious problem.

2. Use the eye dropper tool in Photoshop with the info box open.  This will show exact percentages   of color (even tiny amounts of black)  anywhere in your image. Even if they look pure white on screen.

    What I did wrong:  I took a greyscale image and then added a couple of layers with truly white backgrounds for the text and added width of the card.  That art layer did not have a pure white background.  Once I added the other layers with truly white backgrounds, I should have seen the difference.  But my monitor did allow. If the grey would have covered the entire printed piece,  it would really have looked fine to send out.   Next time I will be sure the background of any greyscale image is pure white using, the lasso to select and delete, bump the levels or using curves.  Lesson learned!

Promotional mailings may be the first time a client sees your work.  We want them to say, "I want to see more!" Not, "I wonder how that happened?"

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