It is true that printing in color is more expensive than printing black and white. While some IT departments will set print drivers to default to black and white (mono), others leave it set to Auto Color. Auto Color allows the device to read the images and determine if the page should be printed in color or mono. Therefore, proper conversion of images from color to black and white is critical.
To cut costs on a publication, it is a common practice to convert color artwork to black and white on some of the pages while keeping color on others. This can be a good idea if you don’t need to make an image stand out, but you must take care when doing this conversion. At DBB we have had an issue arise with several of our customers when images like the ones above didn’t lose all of their color attributes during conversion. This caused the color meter to record pages that were thought to be all black and white. When these images were examined under a magnifier, small color dots still printed in the image.
To solve this problem, we tested several ideas that included conversion with Photoshop rather than directly in Publisher, which is often done. We also tested many file types to use with Publisher and also InDesign since it is a professional grade layout application. The only solution that we found for a Publisher application was to convert the image to a .bmp or bitmap image file. Since not every organization has access to Photoshop, we also tested free online conversions and found this to work also. The only downside with free converters is the lack of control of densities which may yield an image of less quality than desired. If you have access to the Adobe applications, we did find that InDesign had more flexibility and gave better results with a .jpg file as well as working with a .bmp while yielding a true black and white image.
As with many software issues, the combination of software used, version of that software, file type and operating system may yield different results. Therefore, the best recommendation that we can give is to be aware of this issue, test your file and check the results before printing a large quantity of a project. Whether you have a service agreement that includes supplies or you buy parts and supplies as needed, the color components used in the process have an expected life and their use adds to the cost of color output at some point time.
There are also documented issues with Microsoft and specifically Publisher. You can read more about those issues, HERE.
For more help or information, you can always Contact Us for more information or call our First Touch Team at (800) 456-1977.