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1,442 Views 1 Reply Last post: Feb 2, 2018 7:52 AM by walton RSS
Level 0 1 posts since
Jul 19, 2017
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Feb 1, 2018 11:57 AM

Book cover not printing at full saturation

Hi! First time user of CreateSpace.... longtime user of LuLu, Blurb, and real printers. I received my first copies of my book from Createspace... and the cover (which is 0C 0M 0Y 90K) prints horribly! It is not full saturation. There is a gradient and streaks. I have gone through 3 different proofs/prints and they are all the same. It looks cheap. It looks like the book was printed on an old laser printer.


I have purchased CreateSpace books before with heavy saturation. What am I doing wrong? The cover was created in illustrated in CMYK and uploaded as a flattened PDF. Is 90%K out of the printers' range?




Level 5 19,170 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
1. Feb 2, 2018 7:52 AM in response to: pettydesign
Re: Book cover not printing at full saturation

I have printed tests with a TAC of from 1% to 400%.


Here is a a step wedge of 10% to 100% K only:



90% K only can never be "saturated." In fact, 100% K only, while amazingly silky, can never be "saturated."  You should consider a rich black:



These are all uncorrected scans of CS printed interiors.  Covers will be a tad different, but the idea is the same.


What are you trying to do?


As for gradients (on a solid 90% K area?) and streaks: In an area of solid 90% K only, in fact, in any area of a single color, there can be no gradients or posterization unless the printing is bad.  Streaks are often maintenance issues with the printing equipment. You can find articles about streaking when the TAC is less than 30%, especially with two or more colors (that is some combination of CMYK) under 30%.  I have run dozens of tests trying to create streaking with low TAC, or low resolution panels and I have never been able to create problems.


Given the spam here, come on over to  selfpublishingforum.  It's free.  Many of us who answer questions here are active there.




Bleeds,  free, 91 page guide to bleeds, margins, covers, and annotated CreateSpace guidelines. Prepress Glossary: free, 79 page, fully illustrated prepress glossary with annotations for  CreateSpace users Type & Typography: free, 112 page illustrated guide to designing books, typography, with glossary, and type specimen pages  Free: list of free PDF downloads; selfpublishingforum: spam free forum. Contact  for graphics, design, and typesetting help.




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