Image quality and RGB to CMYK translations don’t always go as planned, cover those trouble spots with these tips.
January 12, 2014
Effective Tips on Maximizing Resolution and Color
While this article deals with basics of resolution and color models in postcard printing and other marketing materials, let us now discuss how to make them work to their fullest potential.
We know that the higher the resolution, the better the image quality and that RGB to CMYK translations don’t always go as planned. So what can we do to make sure we've got these resolution and color trouble spots covered? Read on.
5 Resolution and Color Value Tips
Let’s get right down to resolution and color value tips then.
Resolution optimization tips:
- Know how to compute for document size. You need not manually compute every time but knowing would give you a general idea of how many pixels per square inch would render a brilliant X by X inch image during conceptualization. The professional standard stands at 300 ppi (pixels per inch). Therefore, just divide a particular X by X pixel ratio by 300 and you’d get the ideal X by X inch size that particular ratio can churn out. For example, a 4288 x 2848 pixel image divided by 300 would render a brilliant 10 x 14 inch picture – not approximate, since the actual inch values are closer to 10.5 and 16.something, but you get the point.
- Too much image enhancements can damage pixel values, among other important numeric data. They’re great on screen, but may not translate so well in print due to their damage to the original easily translatable values. Besides, always remember that you’re working on an RGB environment on screen. Enhancements that are great for RGB values may not have CMYK value counterparts.
- Beware data compression. Some data compression technology directly impacts pixel count on images. Worse, some may directly alter the pixel data of certain images.
- If you plan to take your own picture of something you wish to include in your design, don’t settle for anything less than maximum output from your digital device. If it’s a 5 megapixel camera, use its full 5 megapixel setting without regard for memory or anything else.
- When working on your design, settings should be at 300 dpi (dots per inch). Again, the professional standard is 300. Actually, around 240 would suffice, but always leave some room for improvement.
Color value tips:
- Work on your design using a CMYK color model from the start instead of just converting to it during the printing process.
- Always check CMYK percent values if they can still be workably transferred from on screen to printer. Again, some RGB values don’t have CMYK counterparts.
- Convert files from one color model to the other yourself. Don’t wait for your printer to do it for you. You know what you’re after.
- If possible, use monitors that are calibrated to properly display CMYK values instead of the typical RGB. This helps ease the process out.
- Talk to your preferred partner printer company about the process. They should know better about the colors and resolution settings that you need.
These tips should help lessen the complication of the postcard printing process as well as in other promotional materials and maximize both the resolution and color values of your print design.
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