[pdftex] pdflatex, PDF/X and late binding - is there way to specify profile for solid colour?

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Thu May 19 22:13:05 CEST 2011

On Thursday, May 19, 2011 11:11:13 am Andrzej Giniewicz wrote:
> Hi,
> > If you tell us what company on what side of the pond you are using we can
> > be more helpful. I also suggest that since you are laying out the book
> > yourself in some form of TeX that you deal directly with the printer
> > rather than going through a "self publishing company" (AKA subsidy
> > publisher.) Perhaps you are doing that already with e.g., LSI. It is
> > hard for me to guess from the information you provide.
> > 
> > Finally I suggest you work in CMYK as early as possible rather than as
> > late as possible. You will get more predictable results if you do the
> > conversion to CMYK and not the printer.
> > 
> > I have printed via LSI, Createspace, Lulu and 360 Digital Books. Most U.S
> > subsidies use either LSI or Createspace. Infinity has their own presses.
> > 
> > Lulu does color work through I think Colorgraphics. I use 360 Digital
> > Books for color interiors. They have an advanced press that allows them
> > to charge me color rates only for those pages requiring color.
> > 
> > LSI for color interiors requires PDF X/1-a:2001 standard and other
> > vendors (Createspace, 360 Digital Books) will accept it without
> > complaint. I have never found any printer that prefers X/3. In Europe
> > things are different.
> Well, it's Createspace I was talking about. While going trough their
> page I found that they recommend PDF version 1.3 and PDF/X while they
> did not forced any specific version of PDF/X standard. Each time I
> asked their support about colour profile they tell to use AdobeRGB
> images in file because they cannot specify the profile one should pick
> as they have multiple devices. That's how I deduced this must be
> PDF/X-3:2002, because in PDF/X-1a (which I'd actually prefer to use
> over PDF/X-3 as it's more widely used) one cannot use RGB images which
> are recommended at their side. Any newer (even PDF/X-3:2003 wouldn't
> meet their requirements about PDF 1.3, any lower about RGB images).
> This might be of course due to not so skilled email support staff, but
> more people say same stuff about "keeping images in AdobeRGB for best
> results" - seems more people asked and got same answer.
> Anyway, you actually recommend using some more random profile, not
> necessarily correct for specific printer and let them convert using
> Device Link profile (I guess) over the workflow recommended by them?
> Thanks,
> Andrzej.

I have not done color work with them except for covers. I submitted a cover 
prepared in pdf X/1-a:2001 and that worked fine. They did fuss about 
clearances around objects on the spine but I shrunk my logo down and that 
problem went away. I used them for author copies only, for reviewers etc. I 
did not use them for distirbution. For distribution they want 40% of cover but 
LSI will settle for 20% of cover price. 

The profile I use is one built up for me by a guy on the icc list and it is a 
standard profile but with the restriction of 240%  ink coverage as required by 
LSI. If you are not using LSI this issue is not critical.

I am more comfortable submitting work already converted to CMYK. I don't trust 
what I see on the screen but rather check the numeric values of the colors 
against my Galaxy Gauge Color Map Pro, e.g. 85/5/0/0 for sky blue. 

Why they would ask for RGB is a puzzlement. I guess they don't trust their 
customers to do the conversion properly. OTOH I don't trust them. In any case 
getting a proof from them is cheap enough so that any difficulties can be 

The problem with RGB to CMYK conversion is as you know the more limited gamut 
of CMYK. In particular reds greens and blues can be problematic. Your nice 
shade of blue may come out purple. A possible solution is to prepare the file 
in CMYK, and then convert back to sRGB or whatever they think they need. That 
way you should avoid any out of gamut colors.

Createspace in general deals with novices, which you are not. That is why they 
have all those fussy rules on page numbering etc. If I need distribution on 
Amazon etc. I use LSI. They have higher up front fees but rely more on the 
publisher (you) to set things up in final form. Getting questions answered is 
sometimes a problem. Sometimes they just fix the problem and don't bother 
notifying you. 

If by chance you don't need help in distribution 360 Digital Books does a fine 
job of printing to your specs. A minimum run with them is 25 copies. 

John Culleton
Wexford Press
"Death Wore Black"
Police procedural
by retired police chief Bill Redding
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://tug.org/pipermail/pdftex/attachments/20110519/285305a2/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the pdftex mailing list