» Print, Pre-Press, Color Management, Color Matching, Resolution

Any and all print related articles I find helpful will be posted to this blog post as I come across them. This post may be amended in the future to add new links.

Print Production Fundamentals, intro | lynda.com – You Tube

Print production: What it is, and how it works | lynda.com – YouTube (Part 2)

New Rules for Printing (2016) (via InDesign Secrets magazine; article by Claudia McCue)


Color Matching Systems II: Best Practices for Choosing & Using Color – via Print Mag

112 new Pantone Colours for graphic designers include bolder greens and purples

RGB versus CMYK – via printer national

article also describes halftone dots, spot colors, and more

Spot Colors

Print production tutorial: Creating a simple spot color channel  – You Tube

Convert Images to Spot Colors using Photoshop – You Tube

Separations Preview

Adobe Illustrator. To check for unnecessary spot colors:

Window > Separations Preview > Overprint Preview

Checking color with the Separations Preview – video tutorial

How to Use Indesign Separations Preview


[With the Separation Preview] you can avoid unexpected spot colors, overprints that don’t overprint, overprinting where you didn’t want it or CMYK blacks in text and placed files. Simply put, this will allow you to see how your job is going to separate and how the colors will print on a press.

Create Separations – via Adobe Help

Illustrator CS4: Using the Separations Preview Panel – via You Tube

How to Check Tint Shades Using the Separations Preview Panel

Illustrator CC Separations Preview – on Google Books

How to Create Your Own Color Separations in Adobe Illustrator 

GCR – Gray Component Replacement

GCR Reseparation for ink savings and color stability in offset printing

Gray Component Replacement by Alex Brown

Article about GCR – Gray Component Replacement

Rich Black

What is Rich Black and When to Use It

The Professional Designer’s Guide to using Black (Repost)

InDesign Tips: How Do I Print True Black?

Creating Rich Blacks – via Lynda.com (video tutorial)

Creating a rich black swatch – via Lynda.com (video tutorial)

Rich Black Settings in Photoshop for Large Format Printing – You Tube video


Effective Resolution: Key Factor of Image Scaling

Explaining Digital Image Resolution, Effective Resolution and How They Affect the Appearance and Quality of Digital Images

Understanding actual resolution vs. effective resolution

Actual Resolution vs Effective Resolution 

“Understanding the Difference without Using the Nasty Math”

Scanning 101: Setting the Right Resolution – via Creative Pro

Pick Your Scanning Resolution

with scan calculator at bottom of page


300 ppi (pixels per inch) is sufficient for printing at 133-150 line screen [on coated paper]. Higher PPI may be needed for high line screen (175 lpi or above).

[Uncoated paper: LPI = 133, PPI = 266]

Consult with the PSP (print service provider) to determine proper resolution for your job


Send Large Files: 10 Free Tools

Convert inch fractions to decimal and back

How to Proof Your Adobe InDesign Files in Just 5 Minutes

Information from Assorted Books, Articles (paraphrased)

Native File Formats

Designers no longer have to rely on EPS or TIFFs, but can send in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop files, or send AI or PSD files in page layout software (such as InDesign)


The printer, not designer, should handle all trapping

Digital Printing v. Offset Litho

More print shops today are using digital, or in addition to offset litho.

Paper choices for digital tends to run smaller. Leave spot colors as Pantone – don’t bother converting them to process colors (i.e., CMYK).

Color Space

More printers today are able and willing to accept a RGB workflow vs. a CMYK. Ask your printer if they prefer RGB or CMYK

DCS is no longer being used – or not as much

You don’t need to use DCS for spot color channel capability. Put spot color channel in Photoshop, and put the Photoshop native file in InDesign and export as PDF


Adobe Illustrator and InDesign do not handle Photoshop blending modes well.

Solution: create the drop shadow in whatever app you are using (for example, use AI to create drop shadow in AI)

General Information

Resolution and LPI

Coated paper: most linescreens are 150 LPI, so an image resolution of 300 PPI is sufficient

Uncoated paper: most linescreens are 133 LPI, so an image resolution of 266 is sufficient


Convert pixels to inches (Output to Monitors/Printers)
Formula: Pixels ÷ DPI = Inches

Printing and Scanning Resolution DPI / PPI Calculator 

Proportion wheel and resolution calculator

Print Resolution Calculator

Printing  > Calculators


Print Read PDF/X-1A and PDF/X-4 Files

See Also (this blog):

Large Scale Design – Billboards etc (Tutorial Links)

InDesign Page Layout Tutorials and Resources

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