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2.2 Preparing Images for Printing

While our file is ready to print, it is always important to check on the resolution and color mode of the images we use. This is essential if you will be working on other software outside of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator or Adobe InDesign, for example, or if you acquire files from a client and need to know if they are optimal for printing.

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2.2 Preparing Images for Printing

Hi there, welcome back to this course. One of the most important steps to take when working with images for printing is to convert the images to the right color mode and resolution. Many images acquired from the Internet are in low resolution and in RGB mode. In this lesson, we will take a look at how to prepare images for printing. For this specific project, we will be working directly in Photoshop so the images we drop in our ready-to-print Photoshop document won't need to be converted. But this is a useful tip if you will be using images outside of Photoshop, let's say Illustrator or InDesign, and your end product will need to be printed. Or if you receive files from a client and need to check on the details to see if they're usable. Let's take a look. I have a folder with the images that we scouted from the Envato website. And let's choose an image and drop it into Photoshop. So here's how you can quickly check the color mode. If you go to the top where the files are, you'll notice here that it says RGB. So that means that our file is in RGB color mode. To change the color mode, head over to Image > Mode > CMYK. You will get a warning about the color profile, and click OK. If you look at the top where the open files are, you will notice that now the RGB has changed into CMYK. To check the size of the image, head over to Image > Image Size. If we're sending a file to print, we need the images to be at 300 DPI and these are Dots Per Inch. And this is the amount of data that there is in a square inch of an image. So we can see here that our image is already at 300 DPI. But let's say that we need to send this image to be used on the website, and we need to make it smaller. So we could here change the resolution to 72 DPI and click OK. If we're sending this image to print, then we would change it to 300. Now you have to take in into consideration the width and the height. At 300 resolution, the width and the height are 33.87 cm. And this is the maximum size that you can use this image at. If you decide to use the image larger than this specific size, then you will start to lose the quality. So let's proceed and click OK. When you convert images from RGB to CMYK, you will notice that some of the color will be a little bit dull. So this is the step where you can change the highlights, contrast, hue, and saturation. And once you're happy with that, then you can head over to save. To save the file, head over to File > Save As, and a new window will open. I suggest saving the file with an extension at the end, especially if you're working with many images. So for example, I will be adding an R, and this will stand for revision. And then you can change the format from JPG to TIFF, because TIFF holds better the quality of an image, especially if you will be using this on InDesign and Illustrator. Now we won't need to convert any of these images because we will be dropping the original files into our ready-to-print Photoshop file, which is already set to CMYK and 300 DPI. So they will get converted automatically. But this step is really useful if in the future, you will be using Illustrator or InDesign and your end product will be a print design project. So we're ready to work on the composition of our poster. In the next lesson, I will show you how to choose images and edit them without compromising their integrity. I'll see you there.

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