Should I choose CMYK or RGB?
Many graphics software programs give you the choice to work with graphic files in CMYK or in RGB. The printing process of K&K Printing uses primarily CMYK. Our presses print “full color” using the primary colors of pigment: Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow and Black. This is the same 4-color (or full color) process that you see in the majority of quality magazines, post cards and national advertisements. RGB uses a combination of just 3 colors: Red, Green and Blue. If your file is in RGB it must be translated into a CMYK file in order for K&K Printing to print it. It is important to use CMYK graphics when you begin designing your work, as the color translation between RGB and CMYK may not always be exact. You will notice this translation shift more so in solid color graphic blocks (like a solid blue background or color text) rather than in photographs. Converting these files is a simple process that will be outlined in your graphics software instructions or help files.
K&K Printing requires all files to be at a final resolution size of 300dpi (dots per inch). If you have a lower resolution size, or you “stretch” a small file into a larger size – your image will print with jagged edges and appear fuzzy or “pixilated.” Resolution and size are different, but proportional. For instance, a 3″ x 3″ size image at 300dpi resolution when stretched to a 6″ x 6″ image size, you will have a new resolution of 150 dpi. Even though the image size is larger, the image will have a lower resolution. Beware that once the resolution of a file is reduced; the “removed” resolution cannot be restored.
How do I start with the right size and resolution of an image?
The most important thing is: KNOW THE SIZE OF FINAL PRINTED IMAGE. If the final image will be 3″ x 3″, make sure your image file is at least 3″ x 3″ and at least 300 dpi. If you are not exactly sure the final size, scan it larger with more resolution. You can always reduce the size and resolution of the file, but it is impossible to make it larger with sufficient resolution.
Can I use my scanner to import images
Scanning an image is the most common way of converting an original photo or image to digital format. Your scanner software will guide you through the process.
Here is a tip to calculate scanning a small photo into a larger one with adequate resolution.
Photo Size = 3″ x 5″
Image Layout Size = 6″ x 8″
CALCULATION OF SIZE: 6 divided by 3 = 2, you will need to enlarge the photo by 2 times or 200%
CALCULATION OF DPI: Multiply the calculation of size by the target DPI 2x300dpi = 600
SCAN THE PHOTO AT 600 dpi AT LEAST and 200% enlargement
Photo Size = 8″ x 10″
Image Layout Size = 17″ x 24″
CALCULATION OF SIZE: 17 divided by 8 = 2.125, you will need to enlarge the photo by 2.125 times or 212.5%
CALCULATION OF DPI: Multiply the calculation of size by the target DPI 2.125x300dpi = 638
SCAN THE PHOTO AT 638 dpi AT LEAST and 212.5% enlargement
Can I use images from the internet?
Images from the Internet or web sites are 72 dpi GIF, JPEG or PNG files and usually do not provide a good quality image for printing. Color and resolution are removed from these images to allow for rapid transfer on the Internet. These images would appear fuzzy and dull if printed by K&K Printing.
How can I best use images from a digital camera?
Images from a digital camera will usually be good for printing, provided the dpi and size is appropriate. If you are good at math, the following calculation will help determine if your camera has the right dpi.
PIXEL HEIGHT divided by 300 = THE SIZE OF THE FINAL IMAGE HEIGHT AT 300 dpi
PIXEL WIDTH divided by 300 = THE SIZE OF THE FIANL IMAGE WIDTH AT 300dpi
As an example:
If your camera has a pixel resolution of 1400 x 1800 (1400 is the height and 1800 is the width), do the math:
1400 divided by 300 = 4.67 inches high
1800 divided by 300 = 6.00 inches wide
Your camera will take a photo with the size of 4.67″ x 6″ at the resolution of 300 dpi. If you need a photo that size or smaller your camera will work. If you need a larger size your camera will not work. If you are not good at math, use your graphic software to open the file and determine the size and dpi of the image.
What size of original photograph should I use for the best quality?
The original photograph should be as large or larger than the final size of the image in the printed document. If you are producing an 11″ x 17″ poster, you will probably not be able to get a photograph that large. In this instance, refer to scanning calculations listed above. Make sure the quality of the original photograph is as good as possible. Not all photographic developers are the same quality.
Which image type should I use? EPS, TIFF, JPG, GIF?
In order to achieve the best color quality and sharpness of image, K&K Printing requires the use of TIFF or EPS images. Other file formats are used for other applications (Like the internet, for example) and tend to remove some of the quality of the original images. Generally, digital cameras use a higher quality JPG format. This type of file would be adequate in quality, but it would need to be converted into a TIFF or EPS format. If your image is a photograph, K&K Printing recommend EPS. Other types of graphics can be either TIFF or EPS.
What about using colored text?
Sometimes the printing process is not as perfect as the world around it. Minute misalignment can cause the 4 separate CMYK inks to not line up perfectly in small text (10pt or smaller), as well as in white text on a colored or black background (drop-out text). This misalignment can make small text look blurry. If you need to do this anyway, it is best to keep the colored text one of the true CMYK colors; black is always an excellent choice. Of course, any text larger than 10 pt. will print sharp and vivid with any color you choose.