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Old 04-04-2018, 06:53 PM   #1
Ronald
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Default Image Formatting Question

My client designed a product package in Pagemaker, and now I'm re-rendering it with Creative Suite. He gave me all the raster graphics in a 12-page PDF. The images are each about 7" wide and appear to be good quality. They'll all be scaled down greatly in the final print design. Here are my questions:

1) Should I reformat all of the images into 200-ppi TIFFs before importing into my layout?

2) Do I need to scale down the image files to more closely represent the final scales on the package, or is it fine to leave them larger? He proofed them at home and was satisfied. We have an established small package, and later on, plan to design a larger package with the same graphics.

3) Does color mode matter anymore? Anytime I've printed lately (local print shop and newspaper press) I'm told CMYK conversion isn't necessary.

4) Should I lay out in InDesign over Illustrator?

Thanks!
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:32 AM   #2
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ronald: 1) Should I reformat all of the images into 200-ppi TIFFs before importing into my layout?
First...why 200ppi? I've always used 300ppi as a rule of thumb. I always reformatted my images in both Pagemaker and In Design just because I found it a tidier approach but I know others didn't do things that way.


Not sure what to recommend for color because I print my own stuff and don't have any real experience working with a print shop.


In Design is for layout so I'd use that but, I also don't have any experience with Illustrator so take my approach with at least a small grain of salt...'-}}



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Old 04-05-2018, 10:47 PM   #3
Ronald
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Originally Posted by terrie View Post
First...why 200ppi? I've always used 300ppi as a rule of thumb. I always reformatted my images in both Pagemaker and In Design just because I found it a tidier approach but I know others didn't do things that way.
I figure 200ppi is the minimum for good quality. Would elevating it to 300ppi only help and not hurt the quality, given their size (i.e. Could expanding a moderately sized image to 300 stretch its capacity too far)?

I'm not sure what you mean by reformatting in InDesign. Of course you can scale and crop imported images effortlessly in an InDesign layout, but for file type and ppi, don't they have to be individually reformatted in a raster image program like Photoshop?
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Old 04-06-2018, 03:36 AM   #4
Bo Aakerstrom
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It is always a good idea to work on a copy and keeping the original intact - just in case something goes belly up. You want a lossless image format, be it TIFF or PNG so you can edit and re-save if needed. Keeping in mind that not all TIFF versions are lossless.

Just out of interest; why were you sent images as a multi-page PDF, and what resolution/colour space/image format was it saved in? Seems a bit of a roundabout way to go about things.

300 PPI at the actual size is where you want to end up. I sometimes work for output at 600 PPI, and there is a perceptible difference, but it depends on how it is printed. Talk to the printer, find out what their requirements are as regards to colour space and other technical specifications.

If you are choosing between InDesign or Illustrator, use the software you are most familiar with.

<reminiscing>
I've done a fair bit of packaging design and it is both challenging and rewarding. Some years back I did a range of packaging designs for a company which imported products by the container load from China. Raw materials for both product and packaging goes in at one end of the factory, and a quarter of a mile down the road, at the other end, the finished article comes out, packaged on pallets and ready to be shipped.

Of course, there was no-one to talk to about specifications. Colour profiles turned out to be the big thing I would have needed to know about - fortunately, they did send a sample over before starting production so at least I could correct it. Could have ended in tears!
</reminiscing>

   
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:26 AM   #5
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>> You want a lossless image format, be it TIFF or PNG

Image formats are lossless in the sense that saving a file in that format will not throw away data in order to achieve higher compression levels, the way JPG generally will.

But just to be clear, "lossless" doesn't mean that you can scale the images up or down in Photoshop or the like w/o suffering quality loss.

   
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Old 04-06-2018, 11:17 AM   #6
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""lossless" doesn't mean that you can scale the images up or down in Photoshop or the like w/o suffering quality loss"

Would be nice if it did though...

   
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Old 04-08-2018, 04:16 PM   #7
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Exactly my point. JPG gets better compression by throwing away data. PNG doesn't, so that's where the "lossless" comes in. It doesn't lose data (and quality) for the sake of compression.

   
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Old 04-06-2018, 02:30 PM   #8
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bo: Just out of interest; why were you sent images as a multi-page PDF, and what resolution/colour space/image format was it saved in? Seems a bit of a roundabout way to go about things.
Oh good...it's not just me...'-}}

Since I do my work for myself (vs. using a print shop) and most of my work is my own (vs. client although I have done client work), I thought maybe the PDF approach was something done because of using a print shop.



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Old 04-06-2018, 08:24 AM   #9
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>> I figure 200ppi is the minimum for good quality. Would elevating it to 300ppi only help and not hurt the quality, given their size (i.e. Could expanding a moderately sized image to 300 stretch its capacity too far)?

When you're ABOUT to scan a physical photo/document, setting PPI tells the scanner how many samples (dots) to take per inch of the document.

Once you've scanned the document or have an image from another source, PPI isn't a measurement of image size/quality. It changes depending on how large you reproduce the image.

Let's walk through an example:

Suppose you have an 8x10 photo. You set your scanner to 200 dpi/ppi and scan the image and save it as, say, a PNG.

The saved image will be 1600 x 2000 pixels.

Now you insert that image into a graphics or DTP program and size it to 4x5". From the printer's point of view, it's now a 400 dpi image because 2000 pixels/dots/points divided by 5 inches is 400.

Similarly, if you scale it to 20", it's a 100 dpi image.

Note that some image formats (TIFF, for instance) can and generally do preserve dpi info, meaning that if you set the scanner to 200 ppi and scan the same 8x10 image to a TIFF file, then insert it into your graphics/DTP app, the app will generally respect the settings in the TIFF file and automatically scale the image to 8x10. This is merely a convenience; there are, I think, four (eight?) bytes in the TIFF file that preserve dpi and size info. If you modify those, you can change this alleged size/dpi to anything you like *without altering the actual image one whit*.

Other file formats don't even attempt to preserve size/dpi info, so your graphics/DTP program needs to invent something to work with when you import one of these images. Historically, most Mac apps use 72 dpi, Windows apps 96 dpi (though this can vary).

So the Mac app imports your 1600x2000 PNG, knows that there's no DPI/size info in PNG, so divides 1600 and 2000 by 72 each, imports the image at 22.222 x 27.777 inches.

Whereupon you shrink it down to the 4x5" image you need and voila, as before it's a 400dpi image.

When you're looking at image files, DPI = BS.
DPI / PPI tells you nothing about the file size/resolution/quality. It just lets you guess, in some instances, what size it'll come into a dtp/graphics program.

It's the number of pixels in the image divided by the size you scale it to that printers are talking about when they ask you to make the images 300 dpi. Or whatever.

   
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Old 04-06-2018, 02:26 PM   #10
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ronald: Would elevating it to 300ppi only help and not hurt the quality
Yeah...maybe...depends...'-}}

For stuff I scan, I generally scan at 600ppi because that gives me flexibility (sometimes a great deal) when it comes to resizing images (measured size--height x width in inches, centimeters, meters, whatever--and dpi/ppi) so that I don't (or very rarely) have to worry about the image not having enough data for up-sizing which can result in pixelation if taken too far. When I get ready to actually print stuff using my Epson 4000 printer, all images are 300dpi/ppi for the given measured size (height x width in inches, centimeters, meters, whatever).




>>given their size (i.e. Could expanding a moderately sized image to 300 stretch its capacity too far)?

Not quite sure what you are asking but, it may be that I confused the issue given what I wrote in my reply.

When I stated "I always reformatted my images in both Pagemaker and In Design" what I meant to say was that I always reformat my images for Pagemake and ID and I do that in Photoshop before placing image(s) in a Pagemaker or ID document. Each image is sized in Photoshop for the specific document(s) and each image is 300ppi/dpi for the measured size--unless someone else was doing the printing and then I followed their directions. While I size each image for a particular document, there is a bit of tweaking room to rejiggle the image size if necessary in Pagemaker or ID--making the image larger is the more significant tweak and if the rejiggling goes over 50% or so larger, then I usually go back into Photoshop and resize the original image there and then bring it back into Pagemaker or ID.



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Last edited by terrie; 04-06-2018 at 02:48 PM. Reason: fix a typo
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