Print Consulting

Case Study: Page One

Indian River Magazines

Printed Image Improvement

Image Clarification

On Site Training

Print Consulting


All three of Indian River's City Magazines were experiencing similar problems. The

magazine images (including the covers) often appeared dark and somewhat soft in

detail. Image definition was missing in the shadow tones and the highlight areas were

occasionally completely blown out. There was random inconsistency in image print quality.


The focus of this study was to discover and remedy the printed image inconsistency.



About the Client


Indian River Magazine is located in Fort Pierce, FL. Indian River Magazine Inc. also publishes Port St. Lucie Magazine, Fort Pierce Magazine, the Sunrise Theatre Playbill, the St. Lucie Travel Guide for St. Lucie County Tourism, and the program for the Emerson Center in Vero Beach.



The Objectives


• Investigate Publication Submission Standards: (Printing Company)

• Develop Image Capture and Submission Doctrine: (Photographers/Designers)

• Determine File Submission Guidelines: (Photographers/Designers)

• Establish Image Editing Workflow and Settings: (Photographers/Designer/Image Editor)

• Define RGB Design/Production Workflow (Magazine Production Staff)

• Ensure Proven Printing Results from submitted materials (Printing Company)



Executive Summary


Indian River Magazine was experiencing inconsistencies in their three magazines' printed pictures. The photo quality

was inconsistant, appearing routinely dark and somewhat mottled. The publisher, Gregory Enns, contracted

with Herb Paynter/Imageprep Communications to investigate the cause of the problems, to develop a solution,

and establish production standards.


Imageprep Communications worked closely with Indian Rivers' printer, The Ovid Bell Press (Fulton, MO) to: fully understand their specific color and pre-press processes, identify and define the problem areas, and develop a comprehensive solution. Terry Myers, Pre-production Manager at Ovid Bell outlined the company's pre-press workflow, and provided answers to technical questions about the process. As a result of these discussions, Herb developed a comprehensive plan to improve the overall print quality of the magazine.


This discovery phase identified four specific areas for improvement, including photography, image preparation, the existing color workflow, and a redefined CMYK conversion process. A trial phase of this program, implimenting several improvements, was introduced prior to the 2017 Summer edition of Indian River Magazine. A marked improvement in the image quality was noted, but further color-related issus still needed to be addressed.


The second phase, incorporating adjustments to the tonality and image detail of the photos prepared for Ovid Bell's presses, was implimented for the 2017 Summer edition of Port Saint Lucie magazine. The magazine's appearance, specifically in the photo reproduction process, was greatly improved as a result. Image preparation processes were established to prepare Indian River photographers' images to reproduce with both strong color and detail. Tuning the image preparation process to the limitations of the production presses was the key.



The Challenge


Indian River Magazine has published magazines for the Treasure Coast of Florida for twelve years, relying on their photographers and/or their graphic designer to properly prepare images for their magazines. While the magazine's design and printing were excellent, the appearance of pictures was inconsistent– some images printed well while others didn't. The challenge was to identify the source of the problem (whether it was the photography, the image preparation, or the printing), and find the solution.



Purpose for

the Study

 Go to Observations

 Go to Conclusions

About Herb Paynter