[Scribus] Colour Swatch and more questions

Craig Ringer craig
Mon Apr 16 15:27:34 CEST 2007

Cedric Sagne wrote:
> All
> Three questions, one about supplies for the country where I live and I hope I won't sound N00B with the other two.
> 1) I am looking for a colour swatch and would like to know if anyone knows an online shop where I could find one.
> Use: paper printing only (brochure printing)
> Not sure if they always have CMYK codes, but it should ;o)

I've never really been clear on how CMYK colour codes on swatches are
meant to translate to a reproduced colour in print. Spot colours - where
the printer is calibrated to the right colour and/or uses specicific
inks for it - I can understand. But a "CMYK Spot" (as the designers here
refer to their usage of CMYK values from the swatch book) seems dubious
at best, and so are our results with them.

Now, if we treated the CMYK values as (eg) SWOP Coated, and did an
appropriate CMYK->CMYK conversion to the press profile, that I could
make sense of. We don't however, and the press is very far indeed from
anything like SWOP Coated in its characteristics.

I guess what I'm trying to say in a round-about and somewhat addled way
is that I'm not sure the CMYK values are useful beyond a rough guide.
Anyone have a different view or want to point out how utterly wrong I
really am? ;-)

> 2) I have been reading and reading again all colour management threads and of course the Wiki. I still have an important question... is it strongly recommended to design two documents when one will be designed for the web and the other for the printer, or is it reasonably safe to create the document with CMYK images (converted by photoshop), all used colours defined in the CMYK space including in logos, and then export the web version for "web/screen"?
> I keep a store of all my images converted in CMYK because I am not sure how to manage the design from RGB space pictures if the final output is on paper, and each test is so much of a risk and expense.
> Is there a smarter way or am I just taking the safest and most painful road?

*IF* you have good press and display profiles, I'd suggest trying out
the colour management approach in a low-risk situation. You can also
compare the final PDF output of using your current unmanaged method vs
using Scribus's colour management, and see what you think.

I tend to view hand-converting images to CMYK in Photoshop according to
a particular press profile as somewhat limiting. While you can get
better results through hand-conversion & correction if you're doing more
than blindly following the profile's basic RGB->CMYK conversion, you do
make it harder to reuse your work for other media such as the web.

There's also a nasty trap lurking when mixing old-style hand-corrected
workflows with tools that use ICC colour management. While hand
conversion & correction can still get you the best results when a lot of
tweaking is needed, you REALLY need to ensure the target profile is
properly embedded if you're using colour management elsewhere, or things
will get badly confused when Scribus assumes the untagged CMYK image is
in the default CMYK space and converts it for your press. This is
important - the "embed profile" option in Photoshop seriously matters,
and you need to make sure you specify the correct profile.

> 3) Also I read the other day about leaflet printing but it seems all the tools for that are on Ubuntu / Linux, or is there something for Windows ?
> Does that include the possibility from a single document numbering 1 23 45 67 8 to get a web version published as 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 and ALSO 18 27 36 45 for the printer in a more or less automatic way ?

Scribus has no built-in facilities for leaflet printing, though there's
a SoC project that'll hopefully produce something in that direction.
Some control of page order is possible, but no n-up printing, scaling &
rotation, etc.

Craig Ringer

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