Book Cover Printing Concern

Hello all,

I've designed a book cover (attached) for a small publishing company and it seems I won't be able to print it as a single spot colour (Pantone 546C), as I'd hoped. So I'll be sending over the final artwork in CMYK instead(C-91 M-15 Y-0 K-83). As well as text for the Title, Authors, Biogs, etc. the cover will include a lino print which I can mask and fill in Photoshop with the same colour value.

My concern are the oft-spoken about registration issues with small text in CMYK. Should I be concerned at all? Or, since the colour is quite dark anyway, should I change the text to K-100 only and leave the lino image in colour. Or is there something I'm missing?

The dry, unhelpful contact at the publishers is as close as I can get to the printer (whom I really should be speaking to) so any advice would be received very gratefully.

And yes, I'm relatively inexperienced with print.


Ethics Cover Layout 3.pdf767.93 KB
Kristians Sics's picture

If the paper is coated and typography uses computer to plate technology and the raster is at least 175 lpi the result should be okay. But the barcode should be changed to black. Otherwise it is dark enough to change it to black and nobody will notice. You can experiment overprinting 100% black over 100% yellow to get your greenish hue and not to distort letter clarity if the typography is so so.

Androlicus's picture

Thanks Kristians, that's helpful.

The paper will be coated, yes, but I'll need to get in touch to with the printer to find out if they use computer to plate. It shouldn't be that difficult, right (?!)

Otherwise, overprinting with yellow's a good idea. Correct me if I'm wrong, but is that in case there's a slight registration error it won't be that noticeable?

oldnick's picture

I suspect the printer doesn't accept spot color files either because a) they do a lot of quick-and-dirty gang printing; or b) they will be using a digital press, neither of which bodes particularly well for using the CMYK build. Strictly black type would eliminate any unpleasant surprises...

Androlicus's picture

Good points Oldnick. You've both backed up my concerns. Tomorrow, I'm going to press the publisher into putting me in contact with the printer.

So, if it is Computer to Plate, would you agree that a CMYK mix is ok?

JamesM's picture

I'm not sure exactly what the point size is of that type, but it doesn't look too small to me to print well if you've got a good printer. But you really need to talk DIRECTLY to the printer to get their input.

If you decide to play it safe and print the text in black and the rest in that dark color, be sure that the color is different enough from the black that it definitely looks different. Otherwise it might look like they were both supposed to be the same color but something went wrong.

And if you end up using 2 colors, you might consider doing the small type in black but the large book title in the color.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

With 100% black + any % yellow or a low % of either cyan or magenta any misregistration will go unnoticed and give your black a little spunk.

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