Color Recommendations for Cover and Interior Files

Black & White Interior:
The recommended color mode for B&W interior files is Grayscale mode, without the use of ICC profiles - text should be 100% Black (C-0, M-0, Y-0, K-100) and images should be grayscale. ICC profiles can often produce unexpected shifts in image tone when printed. A common issue is text that appears to be 100% black on the monitor, but prints as a shade of gray (showing a dot pattern).

Please be aware that images that are not converted and exported properly, may appear visually black and white in the digital file, however, when reviewed in Acrobat, they are in CMYK or RGB mode. Color text, graphics, or images, including CMYK/RGB images that appear visually black and white, may print darker or different than intended.


Color Interior:
Lightning Source recommends submitting color files in CMYK mode, without the use of ICC profiles. Files submitted in RGB or with an ICC profile may appear as intended in the digital file and/or eproof, however, once converted to CMYK, the colors may appear washed out or muddy.

Files should be PDF/X-1a:2001 or PDF/X-3:2002 compliant


We do not recommend using an ICC profile for cover files. If one needs to be applied, we recommend the U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2.


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