*****In October 2016, we launched the NEW MILK Design Studio, MILK Archival Range, and New MILK Website.The following article pertains to the Original MILK Editor Tool and Website. For information on the NEW MILK Design Studio, please follow this link >>https://milkbooks.desk.com/?b_id=15017
Tips for images
MILK Books doesn't apply any corrections or alterations to your photographs (aside from the color conversion from RGB/sRGB color, to CYMK color for printing purposes). We print your images exactly as you have uploaded them, so it’s important to make sure that they look their best before uploading.
Your images are digitally printed using a Indigo Printing Press in CMYK colour onto art paper.
The three main aspects of your images to be aware of are resolution, tone and colour management.
While the story an image tells and the memories it evokes is probably more important to you than if it's a bit low in resolution, we recommend an image quality of 300dpi for best results.
Images over 150dpi will still be suitable for printing, but we don't recommend using images less than 150dpi as we can’t guarantee their print quality and don't want you to be disappointed. Images less than 100dpi will result in a degree of pixelation.
If an image isn’t of high enough quality for the size of the image frame selected, you’ll see a warning message. The warning message is letting you know that your image has dropped to a resolution of less than 72dpi. In this case, we suggest you select a page layout containing a smaller image frame.
If using our handy direct import tools from Facebook, Flickr and Instagram* image libraries (*Instagram image import, coming soon), we suggest you check your settings on those sites to ensure you're getting the best image quality. Please note that images taken from Facebook or Instagram are likely to be quite small, compressed image files and will be relatively low in resolution. Images taken from those sites in particular, should be used only in the smallest book-formats we offer, and placed in the smallest image frames available, for best results.
If you’re using images from a professional photographer please ensure that you are using the high-resolution files. Often a photographer will send through ‘proofs’ first for you to choose from. These are designed to be viewed onscreen but are not high quality enough for digital printing purposes.
To find out the dpi of an image:
*Mac users: From iPhoto, double-click on the image and then click the Info icon; from Preview, select Tools from the top menu and then select Show Inspector, or quick key Command i.
*PC users: Open the image and click Info on the top navigation bar, or right-click on the image file, select Properties, and then select the Details tab.
Some images will have a certain graininess inherent in the file, which is a result of the film speed or camera settings at the time the image was taken. It is important not to get this mixed up with pixelation, which is the condition of an image that is lacking in data. Grainy images can be very high-quality, whereas pixelated images are typically derived from compressed images, that are lacking in dpi.
As images look brighter on a back-lit computer screen than they do printed on a page, we recommend ensuring that all your images are sufficiently bright before you upload them into your book. In particular reds and blues will appear brighter and more vivid in RGB color than they will when printed in CMYK. - This is worth taking into consideration prior to upload.
We suggest checking that your subjects’ faces are well lit, especially if the photograph was taken indoors without a flash, or outdoors with the subject’s face in shadow.
Any images which do not look bright and clear on your computer screen can be lightened using editing software. Images taken in low-light, will print slightly darker in your book, so we recommend lightening any dimmer images slightly to counter this effect.
If you do not have access to editing software, we recommend the free online tool at pixlr.com. Using the tools under the “adjustment” tab you can use “brightness and contrast” to lighten your whole image or “levels” to fine tune your photograph, bringing out the detail in the dark or mid-tone areas.
Please note that our book editing tool does not include any tools for adjusting image colors/brightness, so please ensure that you make any necessary adjustments before you upload your images.
For best results we recommend converting your images to sRGB IEC61966-2.1 color profile for true results. It’s always worth viewing your images in CMYK in Photoshop to gauge the color difference. The CMYK color profile we use is ISO Coated V2. Previewing your images in this profile will show the expected change in color from sRGB to CMYK.