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Thread: What colors are acceptable?

  1. #1

    Default What colors are acceptable?

    I know this is a rather subjective question....
    Artistics pics aside ....but is there a standard or guideline in the industry especially for prints (mags etc..) which states XX is usually the right amount of saturation/constrast for objects and people? I often find some people saying this Blue is too blue while another says its okay.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What colors are acceptable?

    Quote Originally Posted by myloplex View Post
    I know this is a rather subjective question....
    Artistics pics aside ....but is there a standard or guideline in the industry especially for prints (mags etc..) which states XX is usually the right amount of saturation/constrast for objects and people? I often find some people saying this Blue is too blue while another says its okay.
    For industrial printers, there are currently 4 types, Offset, Digital (Laser), Digital (Inkjet) and Press Publishing. Offset printing practise Pantone colour, almost all Digital (Laser) and Press Publishing practise CMYK while Digital (Inkjet) goes either RGB or CMYK. As for the right amount of saturation/contrast I think that very personal isn't it?

  3. #3
    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: What colors are acceptable?

    Quote Originally Posted by jasongcp View Post
    For industrial printers, there are currently 4 types, Offset, Digital (Laser), Digital (Inkjet) and Press Publishing. Offset printing practise Pantone colour, almost all Digital (Laser) and Press Publishing practise CMYK while Digital (Inkjet) goes either RGB or CMYK. As for the right amount of saturation/contrast I think that very personal isn't it?
    Please, if you're not sure, don't post information that is incorrect. There are many different types of printing processes and are not limited to what you have indicated. Offset presses are for the most part 4 colour (CMYK) presses, although there are 1, 2, 6 colour presses too. Pantone inks can be used (as spot colours) on such presses. I suggest you read up the difference between RGB and CMYK and its effect on printing.

    To the TS, to achieve consistent colour management, it is always a good idea to proof colours to the intended press to be used. So if you're using Pantone charts for example, to select a colour, it is necessary to proof out how a particular press will output that particular colour. Very simply, not every Pantone mix is exactly reproducible in CMYK, even allowing software to convert that Pantone colour to a 4C combination.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What colors are acceptable?

    the information is gathered from my work experience. Maybe I left out a few but to say incorrect I think you are not doing justice to me. Anyway my apology if my information mislead anyone here. Thank creampuff for highlighting what he knows too.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What colors are acceptable?

    Dear professionals, the whole colour management thing is a big can of worms and I would like to suggest that we do not end up trying to say who is right and wrong in here. For the less experienced photographer who is looking to get your printed, TALK TO THE PRINTER you intend to use.

    For those who are going to work with the magazines and editorials, talk to the in house graphic designer or image manipulator or whatever they call themselves in your region. They are the best to advise what standard that they accept/use/tolerate.

    It is all complicated, depending on the people they work with and the machines that they have invested.

    Both professionals who shared their experience are right in their guidelines, but the best way, that I have found out, is to ask. Different people/clients/suppliers/contractors have different definitions and the best way is to find out from the people whom you are working with. That is the best way out.

    My humble sharing of my freelance experience. Cheers.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What colors are acceptable?

    Quote Originally Posted by myloplex View Post
    I know this is a rather subjective question....
    Artistics pics aside ....but is there a standard or guideline in the industry especially for prints (mags etc..) which states XX is usually the right amount of saturation/constrast for objects and people? I often find some people saying this Blue is too blue while another says its okay.
    No, no standard guideline. and the others that reply regarding colour management process is not answering to your question. (good info though).

    So in the end different famous photographers / graphic house may have different taste when comes to the amount of 'blue' sky you talk about.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What colors are acceptable?

    Quote Originally Posted by jasongcp View Post
    For industrial printers, there are currently 4 types, Offset, Digital (Laser), Digital (Inkjet) and Press Publishing. Offset printing practise Pantone colour, almost all Digital (Laser) and Press Publishing practise CMYK while Digital (Inkjet) goes either RGB or CMYK. As for the right amount of saturation/contrast I think that very personal isn't it?
    For commercial offset printing is CMYK ( The 4 colour process ), and NOT Pantone.

    Pantone is specified for SPOT colours only, example: in a 5C printing.

    Generally, it is not advisable to spec in Pantone, but in CYMK, to achieved accuracy, and consistency.

    For digital proofing printing machines ( Laser or inkjet ), they are still spec in CMYK.
    . . . .

    On the other hand, if you are just doing it for your on home printers, RGB is OK.
    But the result will unpredictable if converting to CYMK.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What colors are acceptable?

    My humble 2c. Just a disclaimer that I am not professionally involved in the matter of colour management, just my opinion that may be useful to some.

    I don't think there is a standard in acceptable colours.

    To me, acceptable colours means realistic colours. Boosting saturation is ok, but stay within realistic limits. Let me give an example. Look at grass, leaves and all manner of plants. There is a range of "green" colours for these items. To me if your shot is about plants and grasses as long as your colour saturation of your green in your final print (or display) remains realistic even if it is not truthful to the scene is acceptable, and this applies to all other colours.

    Wacky blues, yellow and greens, red, whatever, are fine too if that's the artistic intention.

    Finally it is the application and the photographer that matter, if the application is for commercial purposes, the art director and the client's acceptance of the colour would be ultimate. If it is for wedding, perhaps how the bride and groom see it would be final, but if they do not know or would not care, it is the photographer's vision that matters.

    Go read the book "Photoshop Color Correction" by Michael Kieran (can be found in National Library) and you will see the subtlety of colour management and what constitute acceptable colours, in the realistic sense. The book deals with colour in CMYK and I am not sure if you can simply tranfer them to RGB space. But the principles apply, I would say.

    If you have an artistic expression to make, fine go ahead, but if you are bound by work, then the boss has the last say.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What colors are acceptable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Enchanted View Post
    For commercial offset printing is CMYK ( The 4 colour process ), and NOT Pantone.

    Pantone is specified for SPOT colours only, example: in a 5C printing.

    Generally, it is not advisable to spec in Pantone, but in CYMK, to achieved accuracy, and consistency.

    For digital proofing printing machines ( Laser or inkjet ), they are still spec in CMYK.
    . . . .

    On the other hand, if you are just doing it for your on home printers, RGB is OK.
    But the result will unpredictable if converting to CYMK.

    Thanks for highlighting the Offset pantone issue as my supplier who is an Offset printer always stress out colour input to him via pantone codes hence giving me the impression Offset are guided purely via Pantone standard. However one thing I realised is Red and Orange (CMYK) is never the same on a offset print. Anyone know why is that so if both are using the CMYK?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What colors are acceptable?

    Quote Originally Posted by microcosm View Post
    Dear professionals, the whole colour management thing is a big can of worms and I would like to suggest that we do not end up trying to say who is right and wrong in here. For the less experienced photographer who is looking to get your printed, TALK TO THE PRINTER you intend to use.

    For those who are going to work with the magazines and editorials, talk to the in house graphic designer or image manipulator or whatever they call themselves in your region. They are the best to advise what standard that they accept/use/tolerate.

    It is all complicated, depending on the people they work with and the machines that they have invested.

    Both professionals who shared their experience are right in their guidelines, but the best way, that I have found out, is to ask. Different people/clients/suppliers/contractors have different definitions and the best way is to find out from the people whom you are working with. That is the best way out.

    My humble sharing of my freelance experience. Cheers.
    Hallejulah!

    I always leave these things to the printer. =D

    For me, I work with RGB (cause there are more colors to work with, therefore more flexibility) before CMYK conversion. =D

  11. #11

    Default Re: What colors are acceptable?

    ultimately, colour IS subjective...there is no real standard or guideline to tell you what is the best colour...its all about creating the effect you want...like from what a product manager from a leading digital equipment company said in a seminar once, people in Asia prefer to see slightly tan skintones even on caucasians whereas people from Germany actually prefer skintone that is very slightly blueish...its a true story really

    as for printing, I have come across enough idiots in the printing industry to safely say that you should always take what they tell you with a big bucket of salt...cause some of them know nuts...be that as it may, if you are dealing with commercial printing presses (not commercial photo developers), its good to give them a printed proof of what the colours are supposed to look like...that of course assumes that your own desktop printer print is the colour you want...

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