Open Source and print?

By printing I mean shirts and posters and things, not “why can’t I get my printer to work ;)”

I’ve got paintings done in GIMP that need to be printed, which means fun things like color seperations, CMYK, and file formats that GIMP doesn’t do (Adobe Illustrator 8).

I’ve found Scribus. Is this the best solution? Any suggestions?

Well, people that “print” usually have those tools?
Anyway, you can have “basic” CMYK in The Gimp:

Looks like there still is no natural open-source raster image editor. I used 59€ Photoline( some years ago for editing CMYK images. I was able to do all basic stuff for printing with Scribus+Photoline.

Open source?

I’ve be researching about this, too. Seems there’s not full support yet in Inskcape (I guess you will need for vector based art for t-shirts, logos, etc) for printing workflows, though a lot of people, mostly in the open source world, does use it. A method that seems (there will be allways issues to be aware of) to work is : Make your vectors in Inkshape, which is quite advanced for that. Even your color, fills. Better don’t use “effects” , but mainly pure solid gradients, better if not transparency, and try also to convert fonts to outlines. Then export to Scribus, as seems it has both actual good export for printing workflows, and a preview of the colors being converted. Oh, don’t go to a line width less than 0.5 points, and don’t do detail super small if aiming to vector based cmyk printing tshirts in those kind of companies. Try to close all shapes, and don’t leave rubbish isolated points or lines. These places do hate that.

The main issue is that the packages need to support cmyk ICC profiles , mostly the main ones used by most companies (usually 2 ) .IMHO this as first step, then add the pantones, if that’s possible legally. But achieving the profiles matter is key. And you will usually give your EPS or PDF file to the printing company with the embedded ICC profile they actually use, reducing this way the possibility of errors.

I keep an eye though (mostly the Windows build, not released yet. I can load virtually a linux, which I like too, but wouldn’t fit my workflow) in SK1 project, (a kind of Illustrator package, open source) as seems to be really targetting professional printing ouput.

Of course, GIMP with dunno if certain CMYK plugin seems to work for quite some people. For the non vector based works. Outputs, I mean. You can allways export from Inkscape a vector logo and import in Gimp with a huge resolution, then print cmyk, etc, not the way to go, imho, for logos, vectors stuff. Many companies will want the actual vectors…many do not, specially the non huge companies . I know there are though, a lot of customers and companies that are ok if you provide them with a 300dpi raster work, in a big enough size of inches (in the end, all are pixels, tho :wink: ) with all versions, and variants needed for the usual company projects.

OTO - There’s a first time for everything :wink:

Seperate will make the CMYK image, but it only saves to tiff.

It may be part of the solution, but I need to make a psd and adobe illustrator 8 file.

zelif - Photoline doesn’t run on Linux :frowning:

Extrudeface - I’m printing raster images.

I believe Cinepaint supports CMYK

Are you printing this stuff yourself, or is a service doing it? Just curious, where I work we print from RGB colorspace, and if users give us a CMYK file we just convert it in photoshop.

organic - That’s an option. Can it save an Illustrator 8 file?

(jay) - Service.

So, does this service require you to do color separations or give them CMYK files? Seems like a serious business would do that stuff if needed, and considering most people can’t do that kind of thing anyway, I suspect they would take RGB files.

There is little point in using the CMYK color space unless you are doing pre-press work. In fact, unless you are using an actual industrial printer that uses color separations AND you have the printer profile, there is no point to using the CMYK colorspace. If you are using an inkjet printer, even the fancy professional ones, CMKY color space is pointless since most of them now-days use a 6+ color process. Do your work in RGB and let a RIP server, or the printer itself deal with converting the color. They generally have very finely tuned color metrics to deal with color conversion far better than any standard CMYK profile will.

Remember, CMYK without a device profile is a waste of time. There is no such thing as “Generic CMYK”.

That said, you can do pre-press, CMYK, Color-management etc. But please do not try to do that in GIMP, it’s pounding a square peg in a round hole. You can do raster graphics in RGB with GIMP, but do any CMYK related work afterwards in another program.

Inkscape can do some CMKY and print related tasks, but those are utility functions rather than it’s main purpose. It’s primarily for vector graphics. Keep that in mind.

Desktop Publishing & Pre-press:
-Scribus :

High quality CMYK color separation tools:
-CMYKTool :

High quality color grading and photo processing:

Color profile management tools:
-Argyll :
-ImgTarget (Argyll GUI Tool) :
-LittleCMS :

Color swatch tool (Pantone, etc)
-Swatchbooker :

Hmm I’ve done these paintings for a client, so I’m getting the printer info 2nd hand. Maybe I oughta talk to them direct.

Thx for the info. I’d sure like to save these things out .psd from GIMP and be done with it!

really recommended. Always, or almost always avoids extra problems, does speed up things, etc. Or do what I do if no other way: They tend to have a site, dig for info on which profile do they use, how do they want the document be delivered, what do they use, etc, etc. Way better than just give them a file without knowing.

FishB8 gave a more accurate answer. Anyway, I actually was aware of that article: I do really provide the ICC cmyk profile always , be it coated fogra27, US Web Coated (swop), etc…

As a funny detail, I have seen myself hearing the pro guy at the company telling me: “The profile? UH, I always delete it from a client’s file and just i adjust with curves the test proofs.” But I realized he actually did not know to handle anything in Photoshop other than the curves, so…

Tiff works just as well, if fact probably better since the spec is nailed down and doesn’t change between versions like PSD files do.

Export from gimp as RGB tiff, and then use the CMYKTool to convert it to a CMYK tiff if the print shop requests CMYK documents. CMYKTool has quite a few color conversion options available, with color managed previews that let you A/B view different settings to see the differences.

I’ve contacted the client, waiting for a response . . .

Thanks for the advice!

Personally I think it’s better if the printer handles all this stuff too :wink: