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Did not color proof lel
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Hello, guys. I need help, please read.

A job simply fell onto my lap from the sky. It's a well-paid one, too, and not a single person has even asked about my competence or capabilities. Which is good.

The job is to make a bunch of vector illustrations for a book about nature and stuff for higher education. The previous book from this author sold very well. It's the biggest book publishing company in my country. That's all I'll say about that.

So now I've made all of the ones they requested in Illustrator, and they turned out pretty neat. But, this being the first time I ever even used Illustrator or made anything to be printed, I did not know about View -> Proof Colors. I thought all I had to do was use CMYK and it'd be close enough.

Some of the color proofing setups look almost identical, but others just look like poop. I have one day left to finish all of this, so what do I do? Do I just assume that whatever they use to print color in books like that is capable of a huge range of color? Are the printers/presses likely to be worse or better than high end desktop printers when it comes to this? I mean, it's going to be mass-produced, so...

I literally have no idea.

I probably have like 50 bucks for anyone with experience who can help me out in a significant way.

Pic related, an almost finished WIP, with and without "Proof Colors" enabled.
just put on color proof, and go through everything re-picking colors til it looks right. save this as a separate copy. ask your employer about what printing process they are using. if it's basic cmyk, then you already fixed it best you can on short notice. if it can handle more varied color you may be able to use original/

You may have to pull an all nighter. Put on your favorite youtube series, get some coffee, remember to ask about printing next time and get to work.
>You may have to pull an all nighter. Put on your favorite youtube series, get some coffee, remember to ask about printing next time and get to work.

What he meant to say was, think of the paycheck if it's as big of a gig as you say it is.
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Well, it's about 4000 dollars, that's a lot to me.

But considering photos printed in books are pretty accurate, is Illustrator lying to me? Here's a picture comparing what I want some lumps of coal to look like in print after adjusting colors for the most appropriate color proofing settings. When color proofing is turned off, it's ridiculous. I can't imagine the difference will be that big. Will it?

Also, does the sharp, bright edge between dark and light colors mean I need to trap? Or can I just lazily add some common color?
what does color proofing do? i never used illustrator b4
Well, turning on "color proofing" is apparently a preview to give you an idea of what your project will look like when printed, because there are factors like paper color, limitations in printing technology, and the fact that your screen uses additive color mixing as opposed to printing.

I didn't even think it really mattered until I clicked that button and it all turned into a nasty shade of shit brown.
okay which is which in the OP? left is on and right is off? i'm colour blind so this is all strange to me.
Left is off, as I originally made it (except somehow paint fucked up the color of everything below the ground when I screencapped it, probably just my computer trying to "compensate"), and then I turned the preview on, which showed me the more depressing version on the right, where the black oil is now a nauseating yellow, the black coal is now a bunch of grey rocks, and everything is foggy and desaturated.

Left: before.
Right: after.

Then, using the new shit-mode I found, I adjusted the colors so that they look acceptable (and that is supposedly what it'll look like when printed), but when I turn off shit-mode again, the oil look twice as black as my monitor is capable of, the coal as well, and it just looks weird. I suspect something's not right, and it'll probably turn out shitty regardless when printed.
do you use fl.ux?
But I just downloaded it, it's cozy. Thanks for the tip. Just as long as I remember to turn it off before working on illustrations, heh.

Turns out I have another week because the proofreading of the book and such takes a while. Thanks, >>250033
so... the $50? can i give you my paypal?
No. You have not remedied my situation. I still have to color proof. I was already doing this.

Maybe next time. :^)
Dont worry about colorproofing yet. Your monitor isn't calibrated. The colorproofing option is just useful if you got the ISO profile settings of the printing process and the papervalues. (SNP = Standart news paper. greyish paper with just 45 g/m2 - normal used paper has 80 g/m2)

Do not bother proofreading yet.

source: digital media designer
Soft proofing may not be accurate because there are many old profiles that Adobe ships its products with that don't really reflect the advances in printing. For example they may not cover the gamut an actual printer may have.

Nevertheless, I suggest to investigate your color process. What color model and color profile are you using in your document? What color model and color profile the original image is using? How are you sampling colors from it? What proofing profile and rendering intent are you using?
>open Illustrator
>select CMYK
>start drawing shapes
>make shapes fancy looking

This is what I did. The rest I know nothing about. There is no original image.

I've asked them for info, and if that's no help, they'll just have to deal with dull colors. They probably have their methods.
I found the main problem. I lowered my screen's brightness drastically long ago, but because I did it through CCC, it was, of course, non-linear. So now that I reset it, the previously pitch black coal is now as it should be, and everything else is terrible. Jesus Christ. I'll have to use this week efficiently.
It should still be a good time to learn about color management.

In your answer you missed a few things so I'll explain them.

Under Edit->Assign Profile you set the color profile the document uses. This profile controls the total gamut that you have available and is directly related to the number color values. Working profiles are the default ones that get assigned upon color conversion or when creating documents. You can configure them under Color Settings.

It's best to set the profile right from the beginning. You can use one that's defined as Working or any other. If you set the Don't Color Manage This Document option it will use the default working profile.

Soft proofing is print previewing in software environment. It's used to see which colors are available in the gamut of a specific profile. With a calibrated monitor and profiled printers it can be used to check what colors might actually turn out like. Hard proofing deals with printing images to check out the colors as they will come out.

Proofing profile is set up under View->Proof Setup->Customize...
Rendering Intent defines how colors are mapped from the document color profile to the printer color profile. You can read about them here:
You should try memorizing what each of them does.

Other options there deal with color simulation.
I already found out about all that earlier today.

My only problem now is that Acrobat tells me I've exceeded the ink coverage limit I specified, when the sum of the CMYK in Illustrator is just below the limit. Trying to figure it out.
f.lux is amazing, but its feature that lets you automatically disable it for specific programs is a God send. Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, off. Everything else, stays on.
I can't find this feature.
One last question, guys. I got the profile from the publisher, and it's working out pretty well.

Now, I just have to worry about trapping and overprint. Their instructions said to "set black to overprint stroke and fill." This seems like a gross over-simplification to me. I have various shades of black, some of them rich.

Do I need to trap EVERYTHING that contains anything besides K, or overprint it? Illustrator's overprint preview shows barely any difference when overprinting brown onto a blue background, for example. Can I trust this? Can I trust that the print will treat overprinting and such the same way as Illustrator does? If I have a large shape of rich black, should I cut out a slightly smaller piece of the background to prevent excessive ink?

Could they possibly want to no trapping?
Just realized overprint does nothing when all four colors are used on both objects.
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