Grayscale Tiff Image Question for the Graphic Designers

I have a photoshop grayscale.tiff image that I import into QuarkXPress, then color it in QuarkXPress with a spot color, I then make a pdf file of the document. I then open the pdf file in Illustrator & attempt to output color separations. The problem is: the grayscale.tiff image I colored in Quark with a spot color becomes CMYK when I try to print the pdf file separation in Illustrator. I want to print one plate of the spot color. I also don’t want to make the image a bitmap. I’ve tried various things in Photoshop like a monotone, changing to multichannel and changing the black channel to the spot color I want then saving it as DCS 2.O.EPS nothing seems to work. Also, in this last precedure I described, how come the image still looks gray in Photoshop after I changed the black channel to a spot color? Can you help?

Looks like you’re jumping through a lot of hoops to get your seps. Could you maybe explain why you’re going through all that?

In particular, why can’t XPress do your separations? I’m an all-Adobe type, so I don’t use Quark, but lots of people seem to think it works fine. So why the PDF-to-Illustrator workflow?

By the way, I’m not a graphic designer. But I flatter myself to think I understand designers and their tools to some extent.

Okay, THERE’S your problem. Have you tried printing it out straight from Quark? Try that, click “separations,” then go into the output file on your print screen, change it to “process & spot.”

That ought to do it.

What I’m really confused about is why you’d put it in .pdf format in the first place.

BTW: Which version of Quark are you using? I’ve got 4.0 and can’t save a file as a .pdf

Feel free to e-mail me


When you print something in separations, the colours DON’T show up except as blacks and greys.

The reason behind this is that when a colour separation plate goes to press, it is the ink which determines the shade, not due to any colour on the plate itself.

If you’ll print out all four plates, you’ll notice that they all have basically the same information, but in different proportions. At least that’s the way is goes at the paper I work with, and I’ll assume it’s a universal standard.

I still don’t understand the extra steps you’re taking.

I’m no expert on any of these programs; but a TIFF is a bitmap, and vectorization of raster data is a hard task that can seldom be performed reasonabley without human intervention. Gven that EPS andf PDF files can contain bitmap, it seems likley that your image is a bitmap at all stages in the process. So, why not just acknowledge that at make an explicit bitmap?

I need to be somewhat clearer on this I see.
My Quark document has many images, and is around 20 pages, with images on every page. I use Quark for the typesetting and layout. The images are sent in by clients as Photoshop Tiffs or EPS. I need to create the PDF, because the final document needs to be sent back to the client that way, and then made ready to print. All the other images are fine, and I have the spot colors for them. I don’t have the colors for the one image, because it was created with that color in Quark. A colored tiff in Quark rather. When the document is opened as a PDF in Illustrator, the color used in Quark was a Pantone color, but when brought into Illustrator, is read as CMYK… This is the dillemma, why doesn’t it retain the Pantone information?

You can create a PDF from any Application, you just need the drivers for either Acrobat Distiller, or just simply print to file, and your document is saved as a Post Script file. Acrobat Distiller will convert that into a PDF.

Ultimately, I want to be able to print seperations from PDF. I won’t have a quark document, just the PDF, and that can be opened in Illustrator. That’s why I need to figure out why this is happening. I can’t have my spot colors seperated into CMYK…
Does that help?

Do you not have Adobe Acrobat Reader? That might be a great help.

Other than that, I’m kinda stumped. I usually use Photoshop.

Sorry I couldn’t be any more help.

OK, I haven’t done in-depth print production work in a while now, but it used to be the case that a mismatch between the name of the PANTONE color used in Illustrator and that used in QuarkXPress would cause them to be seen and dealt with as two different colors in Quark when you imported an Illustrator EPS. I have to guess that the same thing is true now that you can produce PDFs from Quark and open them in Illustrator. Check the exact name of spot color definition for the colored TIFF in Quark, and make sure that a color with that exact name is defined as a spot color (not process) in Illlustrator’s color palette.

Unfortunately, I only have the manual for Illustrator in front of me today (left the Mac laptop it’s installed on at home), so I can’t test this for you myself, but I’m pretty sure this or something close to it is the problem.

I’m assuming you are referring to the CV and CVU endings on the Pantone color names, this isn’t the problem either, I’ve tried that…

Went through the manuals myself as well, and found nothing related to why this is happening.

Imagine if you will, having recieved a PDF from a client, that created one of the images in the original QuarkXPress document that was created into said PDF as a Tiff, and colored the Tiff in Quark with a Pantone color. You are sure the colore name matches what will appear in Illustrator when this was done, or rather the client is, now you need to print seperations of this PDF, but that can only be done in Illustrator, since Illustrator will open PDF’s, and Photoshop and QuarkXPress won’t, any version. When this PDF is brought into Illustrator, any images originally created as Bitmaps will retain their spot colors apparently, but the one Tiff image that was colored in QuarkXPress won’t, though using the dropper/color picker in Illustrator, and hovering over the Tiff, it reads the Pantone, It just won’t print it as a spot color. It treats it as CMYK in the seperation process. Acrobat Reader, or Acrobat Exchange will not print seperations. Illustrator will.
blessedwolf, I understand how seperations work, been doing this for quite some time. The issue here is that I don’t want 4 seperate plates coming out for this image, I need the Pantone plate to print as well, in addition to my CMYK plates, I will have pantone plates for the spot colors.