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Need Guidance, please - Adobe Indesign Windows

I have been given some book projects to be laid out for printing. The printshop requested the files be given to them in Quark. I refused. So, I'm now trying to learn InDesign, which was their second (begrudging) choice. It's been many years (close to a decade now) since I've used PageMaker, or Quark...and I've never used InDesign before at all. My book client bought the program for me to use for these (& future) book layouts, now I have to figure it out. (Hey, InDesign can't POSSIBLY be any harder to work with than Quark...I hope.) It has taken ...

  1. #1

    Default Need Guidance, please

    I have been given some book projects to be laid out for printing. The printshop requested the files be given to them in Quark. I refused. So, I'm now trying to learn InDesign, which was their second (begrudging) choice. It's been many years (close to a decade now) since I've used PageMaker, or Quark...and I've never used InDesign before at all. My book client bought the program for me to use for these (& future) book layouts, now I have to figure it out. (Hey, InDesign can't POSSIBLY be any harder to work with than Quark...I hope.)

    It has taken me a few weeks of trial and error, but I've figured most things out that I need. However I've found some areas that I just don't understand, and cannot find answers for. I could probably call the printshop and ask, but they already weren't very happy with my refusal to send them Quark files, or to let them convert my PhotoShop files to Quark, so they aren't very forthcoming with useful info when I call now.

    When the books are printed and bound they are 5.5 x 8.5, with color covers. There are 20 pages of black & white text and illustrations inside.

    My questions are about the color covers.

    1. Should the color covers be laid out as part of the whole book layout file, or should they be given to the printer in a separate "Color Cover" file?

    2. If the color cover can be laid out in the same file as the 20 inside pages, how do I specify that (unlike the other 20 pages) the covers are only to be printed on one side?

    Should I make 3 masters? One for the inside page layouts, one for the color cover, and one "blank" master for the back unprinted side of the cover?

    And last...in my other Adobe programs black always looks black, but in InDesign, all blacks look dull cloudy gray. I'm having a terrible time getting my color settings right in InDesign. The books are for school kids, and the colors on the covers are supposed to be bright. Indesign seems to dull everything down...both on screen and printed from my printer...they are pale neutralized versions of the original color art files (generated in PhotoShop).

    I've been through the color settings time after time. Using example settings from different books about InDesign...I even tried changing my monitor settings...I've only made it worse.

    The inside pages are basically finished, but I now have 14 color covers to finish converting to InDesign. I'm starting to panic.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction? Please, any advice or guidance would be very appreciated. Thank you.
    (P.S. I'm using Win2k, InDesign 2.02...the printshop uses Macs)
    lucy_lastic@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Need Guidance, please

    First of all, if you're in Windows and not using OpenType fonts exclusively, talk to your printer about setting up a PDF workflow (you may need to get the full version of Acrobat so you can Distill PDFs. Or, your printer may be able to handle PDFs exported from InDesign, but get it straight from them BEFORE proceeding, and run test files. Trust me, you don't want to find this out at the end of the process.)

    Personally, I would set up the covers as seperate files. I'm assuming you'll be using a different stock for the covers and text, so some distinction would be handy. That way, you can also tell the printer that the cover files are to be printed 4/0 (four over zero; that's 4 color process on one side, 0 inks on the other) on the cover stock.

    As far as masters, if you've got seperate files for the covers, there's no need to have those masters in your body files.

    Now, to color. You need to have the exact same color management settings in ALL of your Photoshop files AND your InDesign doents.

    The more information you can share with the printer, and vice-versa, the smoother the whole process will be. If they are not forthcoming with information, that adds a whole layer of complexity to your situation. Do your best to keep lines of communication open or there WILL be snafus a-plenty on both sides.
    Greg_Gaspard@adobeforums.com Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need Guidance, please

    Greg, thank you for the advice about fonts & PDFs. I had not thought of that and definitely will get that straight asap.

    And, yes...the color covers are printed on different stock than the inside pages. My instincts were to set the covers up in separate files, but I was given some conflicting information about doing that and started to feel unsure of my judgement.

    I will also go back through all my Adobe color settings and see where I went wrong with them. There's got to be something I've overlooked or set wrong.

    As far as open communication with the printer...well. It's been many years since I've done print work (still used rubber cement, t-squares, and xacto knives on light tables). It used to be fun to work with the various print shops around here. In fact I knew a lot of the folks personally and never had a day's problem asking questions and getting good answers.

    I am older now, and the print shop that my client is using is populated by young men who quite often seem to do whatever they can to frustrate any customers that wish to bring in print-ready files.

    I think they work hard to get people to give up and just hand things over to them to do, thus they are able to charge more for the extra work.

    I could be wrong about their motives, but in this case I don't think so.

    I've asked my clients if they would be opposed to finding another printshop, and they've told me it would be fine if I can find one that is friendlier. I am working on finding one now. I know you are absolutely correct that being able to exchange information with the printer will make everyone's job a whole lot easier.

    I have to admit to being surprised to find them so Quark oriented, but maybe they all took a Quark class at the local CC and that's all they know. My laughing exclamation of "No Way!" when they told me they required Quark files was met with a rather ominous silence. I'm thinking they lack humor as well as good customer service sense.

    Anyway, thank you for posting and helping. It's very appreciated. LL
    lucy_lastic@adobeforums.com Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need Guidance, please

    I also believe it would be better all round if you could find a printer who is happy to work with you in ID. I've found that to be a better solution. Some people who have no background in traditional print seem to think there is only one way to do something and aren't willing to try to find solutions.
    Part of a designer's job is to find solutions.
    Good luck with your project.

    PS Although my printers have Indesign, I usually prepare high quality print ready files distilled to Acrobat. This makes mistakes less likely.

    Also, if you can upgrade to CS1.1 soon and install the Pagemaker extensions - it's an incorrect name. I don't use Pagemaker files, but all the other plugins installed are terrific - including an imposition In Booklet feature and a easily usuable toolbar for all major functions across the top.
    Karen_C@adobeforums.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need Guidance, please

    Either find another supplier or one that will accept PDF files. Where I am it doesn't matter if you're using XPress or InDesign or PagePlus; just send PDF files. Any other reaction from a supplier is not acceptable. YOU are the customer.
    Graham_Jerome@adobeforums.com Guest

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