io design & illustration, inc.
fun and functional design & illustration services for print and web

InDesign Quick Mock Up for Grayscale Photos

PROBLEM: Needing a quick way to include grayscale photos in layout draft while working in InDesign.

When designing brochures where images were to be printed in grayscale I came across the need for a quick way to mock that up inside InDesign. Since I wanted to show the client choices for stock photography, I needed to use low resolution comp images in the drafts. As such, it didn’t make sense to put the time in to open each image in Photoshop and change it to grayscale before placing in the layout. And it would have been confusing to the client to have the images placed in color when we were planning to print in black.

SOLUTION: Fill the image frame with black. Select the photo only, within the frame, and change image effects to “luminosity.”

This makes an image that in reality still contains color, but it emulates grayscale well enough to not be distracting and enabled my client to review the drafts and make decisions on the stock photos. On my end it made it easy to change proposed stock images quickly and painlessly when the client wanted to see additional options.

Moiré Patterns on Garment Images in Catalog Proof

PROBLEM: Moiré Patterns showing on striped garment images in catalog proof.

You never want to hear that there is a problem with a bunch of images when a client sees the proof from the printer. Especially when it is Moiré patterns. The images in question were photographs of clothing items that were all made of a seersucker stripe material. On the proof they looked terrible with the delicate stripe nature of the garment totally marred by the Moiré. Definitely not good!

SOLUTION: Place linked images into InDesign at 100% or slightly less.

In this case, the solution was simply a matter of not having the photos placed so that they were compressed by InDesign and therefore the pdf and print rip. The resulting compression did not work well with the standard line screen angle settings of the printer.

I use InDesign for the catalog layout and had standardized all the product images at 3 inches wide during final file preparation, however many of the images were in actuality being used at half that size or less. I changed the sizing on the effected images so that they were placed inside InDesign at print size, or a little smaller (not more than 10% smaller) and that seemed to do the trick.

The revised proof look good and when I press proofed things look even better.

So, for these conditions the solution was actually quite easy. If that hadn’t worked, the next step would have been for the the printer to change screen angle, which could have been a lot of trial and error.

NOTE: The photographs were clear of any Moiré pattern. This solution will not work if the patterns are in the photos themselves.