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Photoshop troubles


New Member
I have a business card designed in photoshop 7. The card has a black background to it with white lettering and some pretty simple design. My problem is when I print the card on our colour copier the card comes out not looking too crisp...the black sort of looks washed...not really black.

I have flattened the photoshop file and exported it as a tiff, then imported it into corel 11 to put the cards 10 up and sheet for printing (the same thing happens if I print the file directly from photoshop)

The weird thing is a couple of months ago I ran a couple sheets of it before the layout was completely finished and the colours came out just fine. I'm not sure if I did something different then or what but I can't seem to get it to print properly.

I don't think it's an issue with the colour copier because that has been serviced and colour calibrated in the last couple of days...

Anybody have any suggestions as to what the problem could be or if I should be going about this from a different direction?

Thanks alot!

The Vector Doctor

Chief Bezier Manipulator
one possibility is the black you are using. what are the cmyk or rgb values? in printing you can do what is called a rich black c40m30y30k100. Everyone differs on the exact %, but you get the idea


Just Me
Are you using just 100% black or a rick black for the background. We use a 30%Cyan - 20%Magenta - 20% yellow - 100% Black for offset printing... you may want to pump it more for a color copier.
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Bobby H

Arial Sucks.
Here's a tip to deal with that "softness": Don't design business cards in Photoshop. For that matter, don't design logos and other graphics in Photoshop either when they will be far better served in vector-based applications like Illustrator or CorelDRAW. Logos, type and other graphics with well defined edge detail should absolutely be designed and output in vector format whenever possible.

Some items may need to be designed within Photoshop, if there are certain photographic effects or other effects dependent on Photoshop use. However, you must always consider the output device used and the resolution required.

Thanks to the tyranny of the Internet, many items designed in Photoshop have puny levels of resolution. It's a fairly common occurence that I received a "logo" file which consists of something along the lines of a tiny 200 pixel by 200 pixel JPEG only appropriate for a little web page. But that sort of thing is just flat out terrible for print work since there's not anywhere near enough pixels of native detail to produce anything of acceptable quality. On top of that, with the image being bitmap-based it has little if any flexibility to be resized or adjusted to work better in a layout.


New Member
Bobby H said:
Here's a tip to deal with that "softness": Don't design business cards in Photoshop.

I disagree strongly,

I have designed Business cards to Flexographic containerboard packaging in Photoshop.

Photoshop is not the problem here it is the user!

Erin: The trick is to understand your color working space and the relation to your peripherals. First get a book on color management!

The easiest tip I can give you now is to make sure all your files are tagged with a color profile coming into Photoshop. If your file is tagged your printer will ditch its own profile and use the interpolated LAB color equivalent to get the color to match with in the ball park.

The most generic is sRGB, this profile will work with 90% of desk jet printers and copiers.

Also check you color settings in Photoshop to make sure your color out is set of for what your printing with.


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Bobby H

Arial Sucks.
I still say using Photoshop for many print related tasks is flat out wrong, regardless of any disagreement. Vector applications like Illustrator and InDesign are far more suited to the tasks of designing business cards, brochures and other print related tasks.

Unless all the objects require some sort of Photoshopping effects (which isn't likely) then a drawing app or page layout app is far more appropriate to use.

Vector art will print at the maximum resolution of any output device. Photoshop will not. You get only how many pixels were in the .PSD, .TIFF or whatever file you generate. That's it.

If you need to go back later and reuse some elements from a previous design, it is far easier to do so when dealing with vector-based elements. They scale to whatever size is needed without any quality loss. Bitmaps do not.

Then you also have the issue of file storage requirements. In the case you make a Photoshop layout with high enough resolution you don't want some big, bloated bitmap taking up large chunks of space from your hard disc drive.

Photoshop is a wonderful application, but it only needs to be used when necessary. It is not a "does it all" application when concerning logo design and other graphic design tasks.