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Site Graphics and Multimedia Design Forum

Color Mode
Best choice?

 7:01 pm on Jun 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I created a new and updated ad to be distributed to a series of newsletters. Fairly low end print work in these publications; virtually all BW printing, with the occasional color photo. (They are professionally printed though. Real printers:)). As our ads are BW, I've just always set the mode to 'RGB, 8 bit'. The ad is sent to editors as both a .tiff and as a .jpg. For those that will make use of it, the ad is also provided sized, optimized, and with a variety of layers colorized, for web use.

When making the web version (the last item), I discovered that I had inadvertently created the original .psd in grayscale, and that I couldn't color my text layers. I copied the .psd, changed the mode from grayscale to RGB, and chose 'Don't Flatten', which allowed me to continue and finish up.

Question 1: Since the ad is almost entirely BW text layers, is it correct to assume that having used the grayscale mode, though unintended, was perfectly okay?

Question 2: I've always created these in RGB, and not worried about CMYK because these are just BW, and even the occasional one that uses color is only colored text layers; no photos, graphics. Is that okay? Best practice?

Question 3: Was there any harm in making a copy and changing from grayscale to RGB? It felt like I was hacking, but the work was 95% done, and wasn't especially anxious to scrap anything without getting input from those more knowledgeable than myself. I won't pretend to have any mastery of Photoshop. I enjoy learning as I go, but graphic stuff is not exactly my strongest skill set:))



 8:13 am on Jun 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Nothing you've done will affect the print result. You can switch colour modes like this if you are working without colour.

It is infact quite likely that the designer/mac man at you print shop will check the file and even convert it to another format before it is printed. They may have a set of standards for each publication - to be honest you best bet is giving your contact at the office a call - print people tend to be very helpful, and you are the client...


 8:11 pm on Jun 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

print people tend to be very helpful, and you are the client...

In this case, the file will be sent to indidual state newsletter editors, who will then work with their individual printers; so at I'm least one, perhaps two layers from the actual printers. Still, I gather from your answer that I'm probably okay.

One reason that I'm looking to be extra sure that we're safe, is that this is a completely new file - one that I'm planning to use as a 'master' and to tweak/reuse for a while. So, if I had slipped up seriously, it would be important to fix.


 5:56 pm on Jun 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

In the examples you pointed out, they should be OK and someone will sort it out at the printers. The bottom line is: always use CMYK or greyscale for print jobs, and only use RGB for web. At the print shop, someone will groan when they get an RGB document that is going to press, even if the content is black & white.

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