Eeks. RGB to CMYK conversion was not the issue. In my previous post on this matter, I showed you the digital files I converted from the RGB to CMYK. This is now the test print of what the conversion to CMYK looks like.
Fun tip: since I’m ordering this deck to check color, I tried to optimize my resources and time by printing lots of different versions for the card back options I was entertaining. This way in one fell swoop, I can determine which design, which color saturation, values, brightness, etc. to go with.
In the above photo, you can see how I printed out many variations of that double vajra bluish card back design, at different color saturation and brightness levels to see which one I would like best.
This version is too saturated compared to my intentions. I’m going for a very muted, subtle color palette. Not bold. This came out way too bold.
Forgive my slow learning curve, because it wasn’t until now that I realized I can’t run the same brightness and saturation adjustments on all the cards.
This will need to be a card by card assessment. @#$%^&*
Bummer. That was a flop. And a waste of a week’s time.
Let’s compare the digital file I uploaded with an as-is scan of the actual printed card:
Above, the bottom row is from the first test print, printing straight from RGB. I thought the actual printed result was too dark and hypothesized that the issue was that I didn’t convert to CMYK before printing.
The top row above it is from this latest test print. To the left is the digital image file of the card after converting from RGB to CMYK. To its right is the as-is scan of how it printed– even worse than the first test print.
Arrrgh! Hypothesis proven wrong!
The one consistent thing is the actual card always prints a few shades darker than how it looked as a digital file.
Top row of the Judgment (Apocalypse) and Moon (Necromancer) cards was from the first test print. Bottom row is from the second test print is the CMYK conversion from the RGB. Yah, no, that wasn’t it.
Here’s what I want the cards to look like:
Below left, the version of the Lovers card is too bold and saturated. It’s not bad or anything. It’s a particular style. Just not the style I’m going for. The version to its right actually came out fine (from the first test print) and I don’t mind it as-is, except other cards from the deck at these specific settings came out too dark or too dull. So the default settings do not apply to every card– some came out fine, some not, further confirming that I’m going to have to go at this card by card.
Sigh. This process feels very Goldilocks.
I’m bummed that test run #2 was a total flop. I’m grateful for the digital design lessons learned, however. A mentor of mine used to call this tuition for the school of life. =)
On to test run #3.