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Subject: Advice needed: dot gain and total ink limit... rss

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James Bentley
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I'm hoping someone here can help me out. I need to give some background info first...please forgive my "wordiness."

For almost 14 years, I've built ads for some advertising agencies. These ads are sent on to many various publishers afterwards.

Now, when I started doing this work, I was trained on Quark Express on a Mac computer. Over the years I got pretty proficient in it.

Years later, the company I worked for went bankrupt, thanks to the owner allowing his very inept sons to come in and run the place...and they ran it right into the ground. Started in 1967, once the sons entered the scene, the company lasted about 3 years... shake

So, I got laid off along with everyone else. A few months later, a couple that had also worked at the company approached me. (They had seen which way the wind was blowing and baled out soon after the sons showed up.) They had started their own advertising company (doing the same type business) and are very successful. They were outsourcing their graphics work and they approached me and asked if I was interested in contracting out to them for their graphics. They offered to set me up to work out of my home and provide the computer I would need to do the work....but they much preferred PC to Mac. I accepted. They also provided the software, and since I used Quark, they decided to provide me with the latest version of QuarkXpress, along with Photoshop CS4 and Illustrator CS4. As far as Illustrator goes, I know very little about it because I was kept on Quark all the time at work. My supervisor did all the work requiring Illustrator.

Things have been going great.

Okay, we're pretty much up-to-date. But now here's where I need help...

One of the publishers (we do a large volume of business with them) recently announced changes in their artwork submission requirements concerning allowable total ink limits.

As much as I'm embarrassed to admit this, in all the time I worked for the other company, I was not trained concerning total ink limits. Honestly, I had never even heard of it until this publisher's announcement about their changed requirements. However, I must say that for the 10 years I built ads at the first company, not a single ad came back to me for anything involving total ink limits.

Needless to say, I'm reading up (via Google) on total ink limits, and to be honest, it's a bit confusing.

The pub did send me a pdf file listing application color settings for ads, which has helped. And I thought I was getting an understanding on it, but just today, I've hit a big snag.

One of the ads I'm working on has an eps graphic in it. I've learned how to use Photoshop to check ink limits in jpegs, but I have no idea how to do this with an eps file.

I can open a jpeg in PS and follow the pub's settings for color jpegs, and when I check the ink limits, it seems to have worked.

But I have no idea how to do this for bw images and especially for eps files. I can't find this anywhere in Illustrator.

I even opened the eps file in PS and went through the same steps, but the results were not good. I saved the resulting file in different formats (jpg, tiff and photoshop eps) but when I placed the image in the ad (in Quark) it did not look good.

Anyway, that's one looooooooooooooooong cry for help!

If anyone has any ideas, I'd sure like to hear them... (And changing to a Mac is out of the question. Also, I'm really familiar with Quark and don't want to switch to building ads in Illustrator or InDesign...)

If someone can help, I'm aware this really isn't the place for a long teaching session, so please feel free to geekmail me and we can setup a time to speak on the phone about this...

Needless to say, I'm very grateful for any and all help.

Thanks,
jrbentley
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The neutral evil villain known as
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Is the eps an illustrator file? Meaning is it vector-based line art? I would bet it is.

I don't believe you have to check a b/w file for ink limits as the highest you can have is 100 percent black and ink limits are in the high 200s. Ink limits (I believe) are set because if you get over a certain percentage of cyan, magenta, yellow and black, all the ink together will be too heavy and not dry fast enough on the press causing the papers to stick together.
At least that was my understanding back in the day. With digital presses and PDF files being submitted, things have not been so critical these days. Maybe they are using an older printhouse? I haven't had to watch that in years either.

try a search for "ink limits illustrator cs4".
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John Holder
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If you can't figure it out in time (I don't know, I've use Illustrator at work, but I only make online gfx and not print), export the Illustrator eps as a .png (non-vector, non-lossy format) with whatever your size and DPI requirements are and open it in photoshop and use that as your source art, since you know how to check there -- at least until you figure out how to do it in Illustrator.
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