Book Design and Imaging

image is 300 dpi but looks grainy & blurry on screen!

I created an image for my cover in adobe illustrator in 300dpi. It’s a combination of solid color backgrounds, some text, and a photograph. I saved it as a jpeg and imported it into booksmart, and it looks very grainy and pixelated. Do you know if it will print ok or if it’ll be too pixelated? It is mostly the solid color blocks and text areas, so I think it should be crisper than it is.
Thanks!

/Users/JenRose/Desktop/Picture 3.png

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Posted by
jenrose481
Nov 9, 2008 7:35pm PDT
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jenrose481
 

By the way, I don’t have a gamut warning so the resolution should be ok, it’s only when I view this image within the booksmart software that it seems so pixelated…

Posted by
jenrose481
Nov 9, 2008 7:51pm PDT
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jenrose481
 

When you import an image into BookSMart it creates three copies. The original, a thumbnail for the My Imported Photos display and a low resolution copy fopr use in page layouts when you are editing and previewing your book. It creates the latter to reduce the amount of memory needed when working on your book and hence keeps the response times reasonable.

However when you come to upload your book for publishing it uses the high qiuality original that you imported.

Just to ensure the best quality I’d personally export your cover image from Illustrator in the .PNG format rather than .JPG. JPEG is a "lossy" compression technique that is ideal for photos (hence the name Joint Photographic Expert Group format). Losing some information from a photo is rarely a problem, especially if you use choose a high quality (less compression) setting, but is less good with text and lots of diagonal straight lines where you are more likely to get artifacts.

.PNG uses a "lossless" compression technique where no information is lost in the compression but you end up with bigger file sizes (hence the heavy use of JPEG for web sites). I (and others) have found I get slightly better text in my book, expecially at the smaller text sizes.

Gamut warnings when you are softproofing are warnings that the output device (the HP Indigo 5000 Press in this case) cannot accuratelly print that particular colour and will need to substitute one that is close, they are not related to resolution in terms of dpi/ppi.

http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/glossary/g/outofgamut.htm

.......Tony

Posted by
tfrankland
Nov 10, 2008 1:24am PDT
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tfrankland
 

Do you know if it will print ok or if it’ll be too pixelated?

I have had the same problem, doing a two page spread of one photograph. I use Photoshop every day, have much published work, so am comfortable preparing photos for print, but like you, when I zoom in 100% the photo looks very pixelated and blury.  So much so that I abandoned the idea of using the photo. I have printed the photo, so I know there is nothing wrong with it, but not knowing whether it would print OK in Blurb, I decided not to use it.  It’s too late when you get the book back with a blurry, pixelated two page spread!

Posted by
omeyas
Nov 10, 2008 2:40am PDT
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omeyas
 

My view  is that if you have printed the photo the same size as it will appear in the book and there is no pixilation then the book will print O.K.  I can’t offer any guarantee but have done three books now and my photos have printed fine even when pixelation is obvious in a zoomed book preview and the full-bleed pages with text I created with Photoshop and imported as .PNG were fine as well.

Back in February I did a small test book trying different fonts, different background, photos softproofed versus ones that hadn’t been, JPEG verus PNG and much else. If you still have doubts I’d suggest doing the same. As the 7" x 7" books are now printed on the HP Indigo yas well as the larger formats you can fairly cheaply do a 7" x 7" or a 10" x 8" test book. £7 and £10 respectively plus shipping.

......Tony

 

Posted by
tfrankland
Nov 10, 2008 2:57am PDT
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tfrankland
 

If I might chip-in here; and enforce/confirm what Tony said…

I have experienced these "pixellated" display issues a number of times. I don’t know for sure, but it MUST be some sort of display issue which arises on the creation of the "subsidiary" file copies used for work-in-progress in BookSmart…

As disturbing as it might appear, it does NOT affect the final print, which uses the copy of the ORIGINAL full-sized image on upload… Initially  went to the effort of deleting the "offending" image, re-working it, and re-importing it… Now I don’t bother… As long as I’m confident about the original file quality, I no longer worry about the pixellation issue…

Cheers;

Lee

Posted by
lkb-28
Nov 10, 2008 5:54am PDT
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lkb-28