5. Choose early binding or late binding.
Do you work in RGB and convert to CMYK only for final output or early in the process? The timing of the RGB-to-CMYK conversion process is crucial for effective color management. Once converted, a piece is bound to a particular production method, so the decision is often characterized as early binding or late binding. Converting early allows jobs to be prepared within the capabilities (gamut) of the intended output device. So early binding ensures that you are not working with unreproducible colors. You can achieve consistent results with early binding provided that your SOPs specify the conversion software and settings. However, for most processes, late binding ensures maximum flexibility if the output device needs to be changed or if a job must be run on multiple output devices. It also avoids many potential problems, such as inconsistent use of embedded profiles. Late binding is generally more consistent because color rendering can vary depending on what software is used to convert the colors.
6. Use device-link profiles.
Select software and workflow tools that support device-link profiles, which allow finer control over color conversions—especially CMYK-to-CMYK transformations. It can be used for color conversion, total area coverage (TAC) control, and reducing ink costs by replacing CMY ink with cheaper black ink.
7. Not all objects in a PDF may be color managed.
Watch for complex objects, such as smooth shadings and transparency, which may not be supported by every software tool. In other words, just because one software application created a complex object, another application won’t necessarily be able to interpret it. One solution is to convert these objects to CMYK or RBG color space by flattening the artwork.
8. Be aware of possible inaccurate TAC calculations for documents.
TAC or Total Ink Coverage (TIC) calculations can be easily made for individual images. However, if you are working with PDF documents, your software may not be able to accurately calculate TAC or TIC values because it looks only at individual objects and does not account for overprinting and transparency.