Getting logos print-ready?

Subject: Getting logos print-ready?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 12:45:39 -0500

Linda Michaels has been <<... getting conflicting advice about this, but
what's the best way to get a logo print-ready (e.g., for use on business
cards, letterheads, etc.)? It's in color--what format should it be in?>>

There's only one correct answer to that question, with a small caveat: the
best format is the format that your printer wants you to use. Every printer
has their own preferences (some want the original application's file, others
want a PDF, others want .EPS), and you can safely assume that they're going
to ask you for a format that they've used successfully in the past. That's
important for your peace of mind and theirs.

What's the caveat? If you're working in color, make absolutely sure you're
working with a CMYK color model, not RGB, if you want output from a printing
press. Although it's possible to print RGB files in color (usually via an
inkjet printer), you can't color-separate them as easily as CMYK files,
which are the industry standard for color printing. In fact, the only way to
separate RGB files that I'm familiar with (and I may be out of date on this)
is to convert them to CMYK in software such as PhotoShop. Even if color
separation were possible, it's important to note that the color gamuts
(range of available colors) for RGB and CMYK don't overlap completely, so
you can bet that the color fidelity won't be reliably excellent. That being
the case, start working in CMYK and don't muck about with RGB at all if
you're going to offset printing.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"User's advocate" online monthly at

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yellow spot into the sun."- -Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)


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