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Photoshop CMYK to Spot!!!!!!

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HAWLEYJ
Photoshop CMYK to Spot!!!!!!
on Jul 26, 2006 at 1:15:47 pm

Hello,

I was creating a business card in Photoshop for a client, and had set it up for CMYK printing, even though it truly only had black, white, and a varying shades of red. (Due to confusion with my printer, I thought the price was low as a 2 color run on a smaller press). Just found out about the price difference, and need to change it in a hurry. I had converted all text to shapes for vector font printing from the photoshop file (yes, I know, you "true" print guys will think I'm nuts, but it has worked for me a ton in the past) but I also have the original fonts as layers as well.

How do I go about converting this to a black/white 1 spot? Can I simply import the entire file somehow into Illustrator (I'm downloading the trial of the newest Illustrator and Pagemaker as we speak)? Can I import the text shapes I made and set them as Pantones?

Please advise, and know that while I am very adept at Photoshop, I am a novice at Illustrator and Pagemaker.

Thank you!!!


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Kim Mackenzie
Re: Photoshop CMYK to Spot!!!!!!
on Jul 26, 2006 at 1:37:29 pm


The easiest thing to do at this point would be to set your job up in Photoshop in CMYK, but only use black and magenta channels - anywhere you'd use a "varying shade of red," use a varying shade of magenta. Make sure the yellow and cyan channels are empty. Then when you send the files to the printer, tell them to use, e.g., PMS 185 for magenta and not to image the cyan and yellow plates.

All you really need are two separations, two channels. What those channels are called is irrelevent - it's up to the press operator to put the right ink in the press. So as long as you communicate with your printer, all should be well. I've used this method for up to 4-color spot jobs in situations where the job was set up incorrectly as CMYK to begin with.

Your current black items are probably set up as a rich black - a mix of cyan, magenta, yellow and black, which is Photoshop's default black when you're in CMYK mode. So you'll want to redefine those items as 100% black instead.

And by the way, there's nothing wrong with converting your text to shapes.

Good luck!


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HAWLEYJ
Re: Photoshop CMYK to Spot!!!!!!
on Jul 26, 2006 at 2:44:56 pm

Awesome post. Thank you!

I notice my red actually shows up in both the Magenta and Yellow channels. Should I still just do the Magenta thing and tell them about it?
Also, how do I "redefine those items as 100% black instead."??

Once again, thanks a TON and great feedback!!
Justin.


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Kim Mackenzie
Re: Photoshop CMYK to Spot!!!!!!
on Jul 26, 2006 at 3:25:00 pm


[HAWLEYJ] "I notice my red actually shows up in both the Magenta and Yellow channels. Should I still just do the Magenta thing and tell them about it?

Red = magenta plus yellow, which is why you're seeing the stuff on both channels. If your red was set up as 100% magenta plus 100% yellow (and shades thereof), then just deleting the data in the yellow channel (or telling the printer not to image that channel) will do you fine - anything that was 100% of your red will now be 100% magenta, etc. But it'd probably be better to actually make the objects the magenta - if, say, you had a shape that you expected to be 50% of the red, then set it to be 50% magenta instead. For raster or photographic layers, see below.

[HAWLEYJ]Also, how do I "redefine those items as 100% black instead."??"

Bring up your color picker and manually type in 0% for Cyan, Magenta and Yellow and 100% for black. For vector or type layers, all you have to do is hit alt or option delete, and it will fill the shapes/text with 100% black.

For non vector layers, it'll a little tricker - here's a quick and dirty way (make a backup of your file first). Hide any of your red layers so you don't mess them up, and hide the black vector or type layers. Merge the remaining layers together, so you have one layer with all your greyscale photographic stuff. Select all and copy merged.

Then make the Cyan channel active (either in the channels palette, or by hitting control-1 or command-1). Clear the channel by selecting all and deleting. Do the same thing on the Magenta and Yellow channels (Cntrl/Cmd 2 and Cntrl/Cmd 3). Switch to the black channel (Cntrl/Cmd 4). You'll see your image, but it's lost all the midtones, because those were being taken care of by the CMY channels which you deleted. Select all and paste - you just pasted the composite CMYK image into just the black channel. Go back to your composite view (Cntrl/Cmd tilda) and adjust the levels a bit to get it looking how you want it (usually you'll want to boost the darks). Now your greyscale stuff is only in the black channel.

You can do the same thing with your red photographic layers - with only red layers showing (agan, hide the black layers, and hide any red vector or type layers - you can take care of those manually). Select all and copy merged. Then delete everything from the Cyan, Yellow, and Black channels. Switch to the magenta channel and paste.

Let me know if something doesn't make sense. It's a lot all at once....


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HAWLEYJ
Re: Photoshop CMYK to Spot!!!!!!
on Jul 26, 2006 at 4:09:36 pm

Awesome post. I talked to the printer and we found a shortcut for a few things as well. In this particular image it was easier for me to take the background gray images (non-vector) and adjust the hue (with colorize checked) to 0%. That made them black. Then I just went to any vector that was black, clicked on the color picker, clicked "custom", and viola! Photoshop found the Pantone Process Black immediately and I just clicked OK. Thanks for the explanation on why I could just send the magenta to the printer. That makes sense now.

I am sending it to the printer with just a note saying not to print the cyan and yellow, and telling them to print the magenta as a certain Pantone color.

Thanks a TON for the help, Kim!!! You rock!!!

Sincerely,
Justin Hawley.
Hawley Productions.


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