Preparing as a first-year student in graphic design...a few Indesign questions

the student's picture

Hi everybody,

In september i'm starting as a first year student in graphic design at the KABK, The Hague. I've been taking these two months of vacation to prepare and read as much as possible on Graphic design but more in particular about typography witch is where my interests really are.

I do have a few question concerning about making a ready for print .pdf file and was hoping i could get some explaining, here i go:

- for example i have just finished a 10 page booklet (as exercise to better understand Indesign) I would like to print this booklet but not quite sure on how to deal with the colors i'm using...i have placed some text in a Pantone color, is this ok or should i convert all pantone colors to either RGB or CMYK for print.
- How can i check in Indesign if i'm either using RGB or CMYK color and for example if there is a color swatch in RGB how do i convert this color to CMYK?

Type related question:

- I have been making some type specimens with a typeface i bought a few weeks ago, its kind of the classic type specimen compared to this (Link)
http://www.fontbureau.com/fonts/miller/
I have some trouble with getting the leading just right, i use different type sizes for each text line and every line is set in either italic, caps...etc. Is there like some kind of trick or useful tip/ calculation on how to make the leading just sit right when using different sizes.

Hope i'm not asking for to much here and that someone finds the time to help out a bit.

Regards,
Patrick

Joshua Langman's picture

"For example i have just finished a 10 page booklet (as exercise to better understand Indesign) I would like to print this booklet but not quite sure on how to deal with the colors i'm using...i have placed some text in a Pantone color, is this ok or should i convert all pantone colors to either RGB or CMYK for print."

For print, you should either make everything CMYK swatches (conventional four-color printing uses only Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK inks), or — if you're using only a couple of colors, you can use Pantone swatches, which represent flat spot colors that will be mixed specifically for the job. For instance, if your whole brochure is only in black and red, you could use a Pantone red, which would then mean your printer only needs two passes to print it instead of four.

"How can i check in Indesign if i'm either using RGB or CMYK color and for example if there is a color swatch in RGB how do i convert this color to CMYK?"

Double-click on the swatch in the swatches panel. A dialog window pops up with a menu for what mode the swatch is. Switching it to a different mode will automatically give you the closest equivalent.

"Is there like some kind of trick or useful tip/ calculation on how to make the leading just sit right when using different sizes."

No. Trust your eye. InDesign uses a default leading of 120% of the type size (you can change this default), but this isn't necessarily the best for every font at every size.

the student's picture

Hi Joshua, thank you very much for replying and helping out.

On converting the pantone swatch to CMYK, i tryed but not quite there yet, i must be forgetting something
I double click on the pantone swatch (Pantone 1788C, color type is set to spot) and the color mode is set to LAB (L=54, A=74, B=47). For some reason i cant change the LAB mode to CMYK, could you please tell me how to do it. Tryed looking it up but can't really find a straight answer (or maybe i'm reading over it).

JamesM's picture

> should i convert all pantone colors to
> either RGB or CMYK for print.

As Joshua said, if there are just a few colors, you'll get best results with spot colors. If the job just has 2 colors, for example, the printer uses 2 printing plates, each printing in 1 color.

For jobs with numerous colors, it is usually too expensive to use a separate printing plate for each color, so instead the printer uses 4-color process. Colors are converted to screen tints of 4 colors (CMYK -- cyan, magenta, yellow and black) and the job is printed using 4 printing plates. Look at color photos in a magazine through a magnifying glass and you'll see how CMYK simulates different colors.

If you set up your file wrong (like using spot colors instead of CMYK), a good-quality print shop should catch the error and fix it, but a shop that specializes in doing things quick and cheap might not notice. It's always safer to make the file correct before you release it.

To change a color, change LAB to CMYK, then change SPOT to PROCESS. If you're having trouble changing a color, it's possible that the color belongs to a graphic you've imported. In that case, open the graphic using the appropriate program (Photoshop, Illustrator, or whatever) and change it to CMYK. Then save it and update the link.

Joshua Langman's picture

Just tried this.

In the "Color Mode" menu, you should be able to change it from Pantone to CMYK. Then you can change "Color Type" from Spot to Process.

Not sure how you ended up in Lab mode. I've never used this mode and I'm not sure what you would use it for. But you should still be able to switch it to CMYK from this menu.

Edit — James beat me to it. His instructions should work fine for you.

JamesM's picture

I think there's also a way to change all the colors at once using Ink Manager (found in the flyout menu on the Swatches palette), which would be useful if you had a huge list of colors to changes.

the student's picture

Thank you very much guys, I managed to convert the color, the color i couldn't convert indeed belonged to a graphic i've imported from illustrator.

No idea how i ended up in LAB, i must have deed something wrong i guess, only i don't know what...:-D

I appreciate all the help and time you guys took to help me out! Hope to return the favor in the future.

Have a good one,
Patrick

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