Preparing color images for InDesign or Blurb's PDF Uploader workflows

Once you’ve calibrated your monitor and installed the Blurb ICC profile, you're ready to prepare your images for Adobe InDesign or the PDF Uploader. This workflow requires Adobe Photoshop® to edit and convert your images. 

For Adobe InDesign or Blurb’s PDF Uploader workflow we recommend that your images be in the CMYK color space when you place them into your page layout application.

In addition to your images, all graphics and page layout elements should be in the CMYK color space to ensure the greatest color accuracy of your printed book.

There are two options for working with images within a color-managed workflow:

Option 1: Edit and adjust images in sRGB

Option 2: Working in CMYK – Soft proofing and saving.

Option 1: Edit and adjust images in sRGB

If you prefer to work in RGB you can open and edit your images in RGB, and soft proof the images using the Blurb ICC Profile.

a. Enable soft proof in Photoshop

prep_images_pdf_fig2.png

  • Select View > Proof Setup > Custom
  • Select Blurb ICC Profile as the Device to Simulate.
  • Select Perceptual as the rendering intent in order to preserve subtle gradients.
  • Select Black Point Compensation to preserve shadow details.
  • Leave Simulate Paper Color unchecked (our recommendation). 
      • We recommend checking this option only if your monitor’s brightness is set to a “print friendly” level between 90-120 cd/m2. Otherwise your images may look milky or hazy when soft proofing.
      • The disadvantage of using a print friendly monitor brightness is that your monitor will not be as vivid for other purposes. Leaving it unchecked is the better choice for most users unless you focus primarily on print work.

When Soft Proof is on, your image title bar will indicate “RGB/8/Blurb ICC Profile” You can toggle the soft proof on/off by using View > Proof Colors.

b. Convert to CMYK

Once your RGB images are edited and the soft proof is satisfactory, convert your image  to CMYK using the Blurb ICC Profile:

prep_images_pdf_fig3.png

  • Select Edit > Convert to Profile.
  • Select Blurb ICC Profile as the Destination Space.
  • Select Perceptual as the Intent and Adobe ACE as the Engine to achieve the best possible match between RGB and CMYK without losing subtle gradations and transitions.
  • Select Black Point Compensation to preserve shadow detail.
  • Select dither if you want to add a small amount of digital noise to break up gradients that are banding. You should always use dither if your image contains large areas of subtle gradations.

Save the converted CMYK image as a TIFF or PSD file embedding the Blurb ICC Profile. The image is now ready to place into your Page Layout Application like Adobe InDesign®.

Option 2: Editing and adjusting images in CMYK

a. Convert to CMYK

If you prefer to work in the CMYK color space, open your image and convert it using the Blurb ICC Profile.

prep_images_pdf_fig3.png

  • Select Edit > Convert to Profile.
  • Select Blurb ICC Profile as the Destination Space.
  • Select Perceptual and Adobe ACE to achieve the best possible match between RGB and CMYK without losing subtle gradations and transitions. Select Black Point Compensation to preserve shadow detail. Select dither if you want to add a small amount of digital noise to break up gradients that are banding. You should always use dither if your image contains large areas of subtle gradations.

b. Enable soft proofing in Photoshop

prep_images_pdf_fig2.png

  • Select View > Proof Setup > Custom
  • Select Blurb ICC Profile as the Device to Simulate.
  • Select Perceptual as the rendering intent in order to preserve subtle gradients.
  • Select Black Point Compensation to preserve shadow details.
  • Leave Simulate Paper Color unchecked (our recommendation). 
    • We recommend checking this option only if your monitor’s brightness is set to a “print friendly” level between 90-120 cd/m2. Otherwise your images may look milky or hazy when soft proofing.
    • The disadvantage of using a print friendly monitor brightness is that your monitor will not be as vivid for other purposes. Leaving it unchecked is the better choice for most users unless you focus primarily on print work.

Save the converted CMYK image as a TIFF or PSD file embedding the Blurb ICC Profile. The image is now ready to place into your page layout application like Adobe InDesign®.

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