Book Printing

Please help me! Book received and images are very dark and soft, thought I had used the ICC profile correctly, but need help!

Hi, just received my 10×8 book of maily colour photos, and as expected there are tweaks to be made (this is for my final degree project!) but Im now unsure of what to do next.

 

The photos have printed very dark, and uncontrasted. This is odd as I downloaded the printer profile for the HP printer and thought I had used it correctly in Photoshop CS2 to preview and adjust accordingly. When I converted the images to use the HP profile, they had a grey tint over them and appeared less contrasted, so I adjusted the curves and contrast etc. This seems to have no worked however. Please could some very kind person explain to me step by step how I should download the printer profile, and then use it properly in Photoshop CS2??? Sorry to be stupid, everyone else seems to have gotten the hang of it but I just dont know where im going wrong.

 The other issue was that the images, particularly on the dust jacket, were very soft, so I know that I need to sharpen them more. I know this has been talked about, but is there any rule or guidelines as to how much I should sharpen them? I dont want to over compensate and make them look too worked-on and fake.

 Other than these two problems and the fact there was glue on the inside flap of the dust jacket which when opened tore a small part of my text away (I will be contacting blurb about that as it is damaged) every thing else is fine. Expected some problems after reading forum posts, now just need some good advice so that I can get my book finished for my degree show next month…very scared!

Many thanks, Harriet

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Posted by
HarrietSian
Apr 14, 2008 6:57am PDT
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HarrietSian
 

Harriet,

I suspect it was the setting used, rather than anything you did wrong in downloading and installing.

When you did View…..Proof Setup…..Custom  to specify the HP profile I suspect that you had the Simulate Paper Colour box checked? Although one set of instructions posted on this site said you had to do that, the consensus of other users (there have been many posts on this) is that it should NOT BE!

If you uncheck that the grey mist will disappear and the contrast will return!

You should also leave the Simulate Black Ink unchecked.

I used those settings (both unchecked) when I soft-proofed my test book, it came out great with the colours and contrast closely matching my monitor.

By the way, have you calibrated your monitor? Softproofing cannot be 100%successful if your monitor is not correctly calibrated in terms of colour, contrast, etc. I calibrate mine every two weeks, older monotors in particular can ‘drift’ away from the correct settings.

If you haven’t you’ll find some information in this post…

http://forums.blurb.com/forums/2/topics/2469

I’m not the best person to help with sharpening, I have yet to go back trhough my photos and sharpen them for the book. I am purposely leaving that to the last, as I’m finding I’m going back and adjusting many of the photos for other reasons – mainly recropping.

Have a look at this post…  http://forums.blurb.com/forums/5/topics/2371

..........Tony

 

 

Posted by
tfrankland
Apr 15, 2008 12:20am PDT
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tfrankland
 

Hi Tony,

thanks for your help it turned out i was doing it all wrong from the start! I didnt know how to soft proof properly and your were right both those boxes were ticked, I have now re-done all my images and feel a lot more confident about re-ordering!

Many thanks for your help, Harriet

Posted by
HarrietSian
Apr 22, 2008 10:36am PDT
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HarrietSian
 

Tony:

Just wanted to thank you for your post.  I haven’t printed my book yet, but after working on it for a couple of months—and with another few weeks to go—I was very upset when I applied the HP profile and found it made all my pictures milky.  Your post put my mind at ease.  I realize that the prints will probably vary somewhat from my images, but the initial proofs I was seeing before unchecking that box were just unacceptable.

Matthew

Posted by
mashny
Jul 30, 2008 10:26pm PDT
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mashny
 

Hi Matthew!

I hope I’ve helped, the real test of that will be when you get your book back.

Please let us know how it turns out, as I said there is some disagreement on this topic and real feedback when people get their books will (hopefully) help to end that debate.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

.........Tony

Posted by
tfrankland
Jul 31, 2008 12:40am PDT
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tfrankland
 

Tony:

Finally sent my book off to be printed after two months of Photoshopping and laying out about 240 pictures.  I should get the book back by September 12th or so.  I’ll let you know how it looks.

Thanks again.

Matthew

Posted by
mashny
Sep 3, 2008 12:22am PDT
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mashny
 

I had the same thing go down, really really dark pages. Just certain ones… I hope they can brighten them up. I edited everything properly, printed test pages, even the website differs from their print. Eh.

Posted by
feedphillip
Sep 11, 2008 9:11pm PDT
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feedphillip