Print-ready Graphics Problem

Subject: Print-ready Graphics Problem
From: Dawson McKnight <dawsonmcknight123 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2003 10:42:43 -0700 (PDT)


My team has written a document that an outside design
firm is laying out for us and sending out for offset
printing. The problem is this: Now that the firm has
laid out the document, the screenshots are almost
illegible. On screen and in print, the screenshots are
pixilated and "fuzzy"-looking to the point of being
worthless. The document hasn't gone to the printer
yet, so there is still a little time to fix the

The design firm requested that we send all of our
screenshots to them as TIFs (CMYK, 24-bit, and
"uncompressed"). The resolution of the screenshots is
92 DPI. The firm had to reduce the size of the
screenshots to about 60% of their original size to fit
them into the document. They are laying out the
document in Quark.

So the question is this: How do you produce
screenshots that are "print-ready?" How can I ensure
that the screenshots I am delivering to the design
firm have the adequate resolution to look good in
offset printing? I have seen many examples of
offset-printed manuals with crystal-clear graphics (no
matter how small).

The firm says that they cannot improve the appearance
of the graphics because of the limitations of
screenshots in general, and they can offer no solution
to the problem. That is why I am turning to you for
your collective expertise. I couldn't find anything in
the archives or on the web, believe it or not. I don't
know how to advise them, but I can't release a
document with this low level of quality in its

I am perplexed because I can take the same
screenshots, insert them into a Word or FrameMaker
document, and reduce them to 60% of their original
size, and they look crystal clear when I laser print
them. What could we be doing wrong to make the
graphics look so bad in Quark?

I really appreciate any insights you may have. You
guys are great!

Dawson McKnight

Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free, easy-to-use web site design software


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