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Leijoona

TIFF with Pantone color changes to CMYK in PDF

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I have a label design in Affinity Designer with a tiff image. Tiff image is colored with Pantone in AD. When I export to PDF, tiff color changes to CMYK. All vector objects with Pantone color export as expected, only tiff has the problem. Am I doing something wrong?

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Pantone colours are actually best thought of as Inks (physical pigments). A TIFF file is going to be pixels in CMYK (or RGB or Greyscale). The Pantone colour has to be translated into CMYK (or RGB to be accurate) for the computer, the (commercial) printer just uses the Pantone ink instead of the CMYK blend.


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Have you applied any effects on the image where you have PMS assignment. If it is grayscale TIFF there should be no problems.

EDIT: It can be made grayscale also by using the "K only" button on the toolbar (showing when you select your TIFF image).

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@Old Bruce I'm not quite following. In Indesign/Illustrator the same process works without flaw. If tiff with Pantone color gets converted to CMYK, the colors get mixed up with underlying CMYK colors in PDF, which will not work for offset printing. Pantone colors need to be on separate color plates in PDF.

@Lagarto There are no effects on the image. And yes, it's a grayscale TIFF. I've tried checking the PDF export settings, but everything there seems fine too. I think default settings with PDF/X1a:2003 should work.

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18 minutes ago, Leijoona said:

I have a label design in Affinity Designer with a tiff image. Tiff image is colored with Pantone in AD. When I export to PDF, tiff color changes to CMYK. All vector objects with Pantone color export as expected, only tiff has the problem. Am I doing something wrong?

There is no duo-tone support in Affinity applications.

2 minutes ago, Old Bruce said:

Pantone colours are actually best thought of as Inks (physical pigments). A TIFF file is going to be pixels in CMYK (or RGB or Greyscale). The Pantone colour has to be translated into CMYK (or RGB to be accurate) for the computer, the (commercial) printer just uses the Pantone ink instead of the CMYK blend.

Your method will not produce valid results.

1 minute ago, Lagarto said:

...If it is grayscale TIFF there should be no problems.

Only if the duo-tone effect is faked. I know you do not like that word. But without real tone curve control no matter the pdf results, that is what it is. If you do not believe me, that's fine. Have your tri-tone from the other thread printed as-is without the print establishment's intervention.

Serif simply needs to include duo-tone support.

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2 minutes ago, Leijoona said:

There are no effects on the image. And yes, it's a grayscale TIFF. I've tried checking the PDF export settings, but everything there seems fine too. I think default settings with PDF/X1a:2003 should work.

Yes, it should. Do you have anything overlapping the TIFF image? I just briefly tested this with PMS image lowest in z-order and then a vector object overlapping it partly, and a CMYK object overlapping it, as well, and there were no problems either with PDF/X.1a or PDF/X3.

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@Lagarto Ok, now it seems I might have a wrong kind of tiff... I can't add fill color to the tiff that way. I've only been able to add color to tiff with masking a color element inside the tiff, or with color overlay effect. Neither of those seem to work. I've exported the tiff from Photoshop, with default settings. I tried flattened tiff, and transparent background (layered tiff).

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4 minutes ago, Leijoona said:

@MikeW I'm not sure I understood everything you wrote, but the tiff image I'm working with is monotone, no curve needed.

Monotone. Just follow Lagarto's instructions. 

Because of the nature of the type of ink difference, cmyk inks being translucent and spot colors being opaque, I almost always adjust the curves. But you can also do so, if needed in Affinity applications as well. It's just a process that isn't like done with say PS.

 

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6 minutes ago, Leijoona said:

I've only been able to add color to tiff with masking a color element inside the tiff, or with color overlay effect.

No, both masking, and overlaying, will render the image in CMYK. Try to use plain image (and also crop it outside of Designer), that should work. It is best if it is grayscale, but it can be RGB and then use "K only" button on the toolbar.

EDIT: E.g., if you apply PMS by using FX Color Overlay it does not work, it will be rendered in CMYK. I don't understand why vector cropping will do the same, but as you mentioned that you cannot assign directly a fill to the image, it seems that you have rasterized the image (to pixel layer). Place the image again in the Designer document so that it becomes an "Image" layer, then apply it a PMS fill.

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Ok, half way there, maybe... I found that you can't just drag&drop an image to AD, you actually have to Place the tiff, for it to work correctly.

Now I can use the K-Only button, and I can color the image with a spot color. But the color seems like it's in overprint, the cmyk color from below is showing through the spot color. And the spot color is still not exporting in it's own color plate in PDF.

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1 minute ago, Leijoona said:

cmyk color from below

I think that if you have spot and CMYK overlapping and spot color overprinting, it will be rendered in CMYK. I'm not sure if I understand what your goal is. You should be able to knock out underlying CMYK plates. Or did you intend to have the inks mixed somehow.

Please use the attached .afdesign to simulate what you are aiming at (it is probably too simplistic but just to get the idea), and place it back here if you manage to reproduce the problem with this file.

pmstoning.afdesign

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Thanks @Lagarto for the file and for helping out. My goal is a bit different. I have a Pantone background color. On top of that color, I'm trying to put a bitmap logo, that will be done in gold foliage in the print. So the background Pantone should be covering everything, and top of that there should be a spot color logo. I've attached a file for reference. In the file you can see  the logo image has a white background in it.

Test.afdesign

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Sorry, I'm not sure if I follow... I'm failing to see which part is representing the CMYK bitmap, or CMYK objects (if underlying the PMS part)? Is the problem in the transparency of the logo not been applied, and should the logo be knocking out or overprinting (if the logo will be created as foliage, it could perhaps be overprinting, too). Please find the two PDFs created in InDesign, just to help me grasping the idea. The other is overprinting (and naturally looks insane, but just illustrates two spot color plates overlapping), and the other is knocking out. If you want to knock out, I guess the bitmap needs to be monochrome, and this is not supported in Affinity apps, at all, so this may well be too complex to be completed there. 

I am myself just learning to use these apps and struggling a lot as there's much wheel reinventing and workarounds. Some things are also done more cleverly, and at times one's own routines seem to make it difficult to learn something new.

I guess you cannot make the actual job be publically available on the forum?

from_id_overprint.pdf

from_id_knockout.pdf

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I am not sure if the TIFF was actually a standard 8-bit index bitmap (but just with black pixels) rather than a grayscale bitmap. Please see attached a version where the logo part is a grayscale TIFF. When overprinted, it will have only the non-white part applied over the PMS background.

Test_fixed.afdesign

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The knock out example was the one I was going for, so if AD is not supporting that, then that explains it. I went back to Indesign with this project, as the deadline is creeping in. This is a problem that I hope very seldom comes up, as normally I would just save each color plate on it's own PDF file anyway, but it was a bit problematic with this project. Unfotunately I can't upload the actual job online.

I can relate to struggling, reinventing, workarounds, and especially old routines :)

Anyway, I got my answer, and learned something new. Thanks a lot @Lagarto for taking the time to help me out :)

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16 minutes ago, Leijoona said:

Anyway, I got my answer, and learned something new. Thanks a lot @Lagarto for taking the time to help me out :)

You're welcome, I'm here for selfish reasons, to learn to use these things so thanks for posting!

The problem might actually be explained by initially importing a monochrome bitmap. It gets converted I think to RGB bitmap, and to be able to knock out, it has to stay 1-bit. A true grayscale version that I attached above can be used for overprinting with a PMS color. 

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Yeah, I think I'll do some more testing tomorrow with this. I tried a few versions of the image file, but I think I'll go through them more systematically to see how they work.

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Yes, no support for 1-bit images. A 1200 dpi monochrome bitmap (1200 dpi is what it should be) can be technically converted to gray, though. Then it could/should be able to be used.

There should also be discrete layers used for the various parts.

Or, just do what you did do, use ID or just about anything else. It's simpler.

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8 minutes ago, Lagarto said:

It has to be 1-bit to be able to knock out, also in InDesign. It does not help even if you have a clear-cut non-blurred grayscale.

In APub. Created as a 1-bit image. Converted to a gray image in my image editor.

Capture_000312.png.39e29f5acdff312375b94a3a394f052c.png

Capture_000310.png.e4fa72b7c70de85ac49389064641d9e8.png

Capture_000311.png.2b640f8c7e7b766f7c487ec35ed532ed.png

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That's process black knocking out. That may work if you do not have other parts in the job printing in black, or you can use it as a workaround for creating multiple plates and just hide unwanted parts. But here the point was using PMS color assignment and having it knock out the background color (also PMS). 

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33 minutes ago, Lagarto said:

That's process black knocking out. That may work if you do not have other parts in the job printing in black, or you can use it as a workaround for creating multiple plates and just hide unwanted parts. But here the point was using PMS color assignment and having it knock out the background color (also PMS). 

 

Untitled.pdf

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