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.

Disappearing “White” Type

Problem: “White” type over an image not showing up in press proof.

Okay, there is no white in CMYK which is why I’ve put “white” in quotes. The white I’m referring to is that pesky absence of color, not an actual ink, i.e. knocking out type from an image so the paper color shows through. In this case I was building a postcard using Illustrator with linked images and text over the images. On screen both in Illustrator and in the pdf for print all looked fine, but when the printer (an online printer in this case) ran the file through pre-press the “white” type disappeared.

Solution: UNcheck the Overprint Fill option in Attributes for the selected type.

Duh, you can’t overprint an ink that doesn’t exist. If you are like me, when you have a client you do multiple items for you reuse bits and pieces from one job to the next. In this case the reuse included text that had been black and was correctly set to overprint. Not remembering I had it set that way, I just changed it to “white” and thought all was cool. Lesson learned!