[Scribus] Some ideas, and some clarifications maybe.

Craig Ringer craig
Wed Dec 5 03:28:58 CET 2007

Richard wrote:
>   OK, first of all, i have made some works on PDF files, and PDF X1 or 
> PDF X3 is suppossed to work with embedded color profiles (actually it 
> is), so as i have read is one of the better choices to send your work to 
> press, so "print shop" does not need the same 
> software/version/monitor/printer you are using AND it works even for RGB 
> and/or CMYK printing (it is suppossed to be this the main concept behind 
> PDF X1/X3).

Yes, both PDF/X-3 and PDF/X-1a do require embedded profiles. In both 
cases, though, you still need a good profile for at least your monitor 
to get useful results. Without a display profile the profiled data 
embedded in the PDF is inaccurate since what you saw doesn't match what 
the computer thought you saw. You will have been picking colours, doing 
colour correction, etc based on an inaccurate preview.

Most print shops still reject PDF/X-3 as "containing RGB", and require 
you to send pre-converted CMYK PDF. Or in your case, apparently 
something weirder.

> This is the way i'm working since i started with scribus, why?, because 
> prints shops's preferred options here are only CorelDraw and PageMaker,  
> and if you ask them  how to send them the files they always say... 
> PageMakerX CorelDrawX as if it were the only method in the world.

Wow, that's a stranger one than usual. I thought my printer's refusal to 
consider any sort of colour management to be bad enough, but that's ... 

> I have 
> asked earlier in this forum for options using SVG files for example 
> because of a "print shop" didn?t know them at all and even worse, it 
> doesn't know anything else than CDR 10.0 files....!!!!

The current version of SVG isn't much good for print anyway. It's 8 bit 
RGB only with no facility for colour management. If you're confident 
that both your application and theirs will treat the SVG as having sRGB 
colour (and the sRGB gamut is wide enough for your work) then it might 
be OK. I don't see the attraction myself.

Then again, I've never dealt with a printer who wants CorelDraw files.

> OK, now back on track, about color management, and home color 
> management, off course the best choice is always have color profiles 
> installed for everything you are using. But, in the past when playing 
> around, sometimes i have made "by eye calibration", took a printed work, 
> then adjust "on screen" colors, playing around with monitor adjustments 
> until my screen went as close as the printed version as possible.

That sort of thing can work to a limited extent, but I've never got 
results I've been happy with. I used to have to try to by-eye match six 
monitors of different models, and it was just impossible to get a decent 
result. Monitor controls, even high end ones, do not offer enough 
control, and human vision is really bad at that sort of absolute 
adjustment since your perception changes based on what you are looking 
at. Monitors have different shaped brightness "ramps" and have colour 
casts that vary based on overall intensity, so there's just not enough 
control to correct issues like "dark greys are too light".

Even with an app like Adobe Gamma providing gamma test squares etc for 
profiling, I've always been totally dissatisfied with the results. Maybe 
my brain just isn't up to it.

I'm sure there are circumstances where by-eye calibration can be useful, 
but personally I think that if you're spending any money on printing 
you're nuts not to get a hardware calibration device.

> Even 
> better if there is any software to make proper adjustments, always the 
> best choice is to use a color scale rather than a photo or drawing to be 
> sure every color gets similar.

That I agree with. I have no idea how you managed to adjust the monitor 
for just one colour, though.

> And the last instance, even if you are making everything just fine, you 
> can find what happened to me when a "print shop" prepared colors by 
> eye!!! so, the same printing came out always different.

My print shop used to do that too. It was immensely frustrating, since 
sometimes colour would just be all over the place. They didn't print 
reference swatches in the trim areas or anything like that, they'd just 
look at images and see if they "looked right". Not helpful when the 
judgement is being made under weird lighting by someone who's never seen 
the original.

Craig Ringer

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