Print Spec Illustration Query


Wardy

Well-Known Member
I'm producing some hand-drawn line illustrations for a children's book, and have been asked to provide them with a transparent background (e.g. Tiff, png)
as it's going to be priced on cream stock. Am I going daft, or could this be necessary, depending on how it's going to be printed?

I normally send them as high res jpegs because generally they tend to be a smaller file size, though png's should be ok in this case.
 

Wardy

Well-Known Member
Yes, but surely they don't need to have a transparent background, just because it's on coloured paper?
 

fisicx

Active Member
It depends on if they just want to see the illustration and have the background the same as the paper.
 

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
Yes, but surely they don't need to have a transparent background, just because it's on coloured paper?
I know what you're saying, a white background won't appear in the print since you typically don't print white.

I suspect it's personal preference on the part of the designer. I like my assets to have transparency but ultimately I don't think it's going to be an issue when you print.
 

Wardy

Well-Known Member
Thanks Paul, that's what I thought. I'm just trying to keep the file size down as there's going to be 40 of them.
Jpegs would be 1-2 MB but Tiffs will be 7MB+ each and more if they need to have transparent background.

Any suggestions? I'm hoping they'll change their mind about the cream background (probably just off-white) anyway.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Probably needs a transparent background if being printed.

Tiff at 7mb+ is nothing really. I'd still go with that.

That's what they asked for.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Yep, TIFF, PNG is a web format really so it's compressed. Not ideal for printing really.
I used to think PNG was not for print either, but apparently, just because it stands for Portbable Network Graphic, it's perfectly fine for use in print as long as the resolution is high enough.

And PNG can hold and retain ICC Profiles for CMYK, even though it's technically a RGB image.

But yes, PNG are fine for print.
 

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
Ah cool, most printers I've used have always preferred PDF anyway. I've had problems with PNG colour profiles in the past though (on-screen) so I'll probably stick with PDF unless specifically requested.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Absolutely, but if you're designing, you can still use PNGs in your layouts, a PDF wouldn't know if it was PNG, JPEG etc - it would only read it's resolution and colour profiles.

So making a PDF print ready would be fine - there's a bit of a thing around using PNG in print and it's been around for a while.

It was actuall Dov Isaacs who pointed it out to me a while ago.
https://forums.adobe.com/message/8898112#8898112
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
To be honest if you're designing in RGB then 8 bit is fine.

If you're colour correcting for printing in CMYK then 16 bit offers a better colour tonal range.

All in all I wouldn't bother with 16 bit or 24 bit images for 99% of print jobs.
 
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