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Hi all,

I have a question regarding greyscale document setup in Affinity Designer and image greyscale format in Affinity Photo. My normal workflow is to create a Grey/8 Greyscale D50 document in Affinity Designer. I first edit my images in Affinity Photo and convert the images to Grey/8 Greyscale D50. I then import the images into Affinity Designer. 

My question is, what is the best workflow for accurate greyscale images? The other options are Generic Gray Gamma 2.2 Profile or Generic Gray Profile - what is the difference between the three options? Also what settings is recommended for pdf export for printing on press. 

*The setup is for a Year Book where most pages will be printed on a press with black ink only. 

Thank you.

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Hi Luko, 

I'd say you are already using the best process for converting your images to greyscale. As for the differences between he profiles I'm not sure but hopefully someone will come along with more info. These profiles aren't specific to Affinity so Google might help you with answering that. When exporting to PDF for print your printing service will usually tell you the settings they would like.



Please tag me using @ in your reply so I can be sure to respond ASAP.

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Hi Callum and Lagarto, 

Thank you for the reply. The publication is for a school year book. The cover and centrefold will be printed in CMYK on coated paper. All the other pages will be printed in black only on coated paper. I have not purchased Affinity Publisher yet, so i'm setting up all pages in Affinity Designer. Legarto, if you say it is "just ok to use the Grey/8 Greyscale D50 profile..." are you saying importing the Greyscale D50 images into Affinity Designer (also Greyscale D50 profile) is not the best "practice"?

If you possibly have any advice for greyscale image conversion workflow for images with groups of students. I'm struggling to lighten and get good contrast for these group images (the ones where students have all white shirts). The images seem very flat after the conversion. I use a Black and White Adjustment layer before flattening and converting to Greyscale D50. 

Thank you.

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Of course, for this Job Publisher the better program would be. But if the yearbook has only a few pages, it works with Designer as well.

( The technical problems with Publisher are no less. :D )

This article has been written with the kind assistance of DeepL.

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  • 1 year later...

I need to ask your urgent help please. My First Edition book that I have published (550 pages) came back with all the B/W images much too light (photos and shaded graphs). My recent paper proofs for the Second Edition also came back too light, so I converted them as a test in Affinity Photo into CMYK, and these black/white images came back as I had visualised them on my calibrated monitor. So I converted the whole book into CMYK (the working space anyhow of ID). Now the printshop has returned a full pdf proof ahead of printing, and somehow their RIP screwed up all the grey levels so that even white graph squares came out as 25% grey. (Why must AP refer to that at '75%' when every other program calculates from Black towards White? Just another instance where some infuriating desire to differ from Photoshop wastes user hours at every step in researching whether there is an answer hidden on the Internet. )

So the printer has insisted that I turn everything back into Greyscale. Easily done, you would think, except that 16-bit Greyscale  images exported will not open in InDesign. (I have since read here of numerous other 16-bit Grey problems. Whey have these not been fixed by now? This is supposed to be a professional program. I can open them in Preview or even Elements, but I have abandoned PS with full expectations that AP should work. I have no intention, with limited need, resources and especially time, to abandon hard-won experience in ID to risk a new set of insoluble problems in Designer.)

So I have accepted that Greyscale 8 bit will suffice in these limited circumstances. But now I will need to send out new comparative photos for hard proof, for my printer cannot solve the initial discrepancy. Questions: please be so kind as to advise.

1) Does it make any difference to the output (into ID and then into pdf/Acrobat before reaching the printing works) whether I convert back into Greyscale 8-bit under Gamma 2.2 or D50? I have done a comparative test through the first 3 stages, and all pale Greys seem to emerge equal in the pdf / tiff.

2) AP, ID and Acrobat have all been set to identical Profiles: PSO Coated v.3 (for the UK); and all black/white images are being Soft Proofed all under Relative Colorimetric (the internal contrast tweaked somewhat in Curves as necessary). So if the next hard proofs come back paler again than fresh CMYK comparisons (in black/white), the outstanding question can, I think, only be the Dot Gain comparison between the Affinity output and the printer's machine. But although I can and do set PSO v.3  under Colour: Convert Format, Affinity, unlike Photoshop "does not offer Dot Gain". I leave readers to ask why. I have reluctantly resorted to troubling a leading pro photographer at length today, and his final reply was that the best I can do is ask what Dot Gain my printer works to: 20% or 30%. Can somebody please tell me what % Affinity Photo enforces as its Dot Gain output? Then all I could do as necessary would be to darken everything by maybe 10%. How does one even do that uniformly, I wonder? My thanks in advance.

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