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A TIFF file is preferred over a JPEG unless there are transmission constraints. In our experience we have had failures of JPEG files on printers' RIPs but not TIFFs. JPEGs can sometimes be corrupted during the compression stages. Another problem caused by JPEGs is that the allowable Total Area Coverage (TAC) may be limited by the RIP to 300%. When a file with a 300% limit is converted to a JPEG, the process can cause the TAC to rise just a fraction of a per cent - enough to cause the RIP to stall and reject the file.

On-screen proofing
Assuming you have a calibrated monitor (preferably calibrated with a device rather than a software calibration) and assuming that the monitor is NOT a laptop, you can perform quite accurate soft proofing in Photoshop by clicking View>Proof Colors. This sets up your screen to mimic the effect of translating an RGB file into your default CMYK colour space and shows any shifted colours. Further analysis may be performed by clicking the gamut warning when any out-of-gamut colours will be flagged on screen with a grey overlay.

Inkjet proofing
Today, the inkjet is so good that accurate proofing can be guaranteed by the use of the correct software and auditing procedure. The maximum error from a well set up inkjet proofer will be less than 6 ΔE Lab and this compares with values of 10 and more for a real press making real magazines or posters. The proof, therefore acts as an aim target for the press-man to aspire to rather than achieve.

For this reason both compromise and flexibility may be required and close liaison between the design side and printing side of the operation. This might include special profiles for specific jobs, we are not talking about run-of-the-mill pulp fiction here but classy, full-gloss brochures! Such commissions are unlikely to come the way of a photographer without a lot of prior discussion and testing.

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