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Process Printing

Photoshop is the most commonly used tool for preparing photographic images for print. Whether reproduced in a newspaper, in a magazine, on a billboard, or on the side of a bus, photos most likely passed through Photoshop. (In contrast, nonphotographic, vector-based illustrations are typically produced using Illustrator or a similar program.) Properly preparing images in Photoshop for process printing—printing on a commercial printing press using the process inks CMYK—requires some knowledge of resolution and color and a general understanding of the printing process. (If, on the other hand, you print only to the color printer on your desk, see the sidebar “Photoshop and Inkjet Printers,” later in this chapter.)

Caution

This chapter deals primarily with techniques and procedures for commercial process and spot color printing. Process printing uses CMYK inks applied by huge mechanical printing presses.

The guidelines and background material in this chapter do not pertain to most inkjet printers. Most inkjets also use CMYK inks, but they use software to convert from RGB colors to the CMYK gamut (with the exception of high-end proofers and fine art printers). Generally, you should not prepare CMYK output for inkjet printers; rather, you should send only RGB data.



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