How to Prepare an Image File for Photogravure

Digital Film Positive Histogram

Preparing your Image for Transfer to Polymer Photogravure

This procedure is about how to prepare your photographic or graphical artwork computer files for transfer to polymer photogravure plates by Intaglio Editions.  This procedure assumes the printmaker has a working knowledge of their computer and Adobe Photoshop or similar image editing program.

  1. Download our Photogravure Templates Zip file and unzip to your desktop.
  2. Open and save a new copy of your image file in Photoshop.
  3. Open the desired size template file.
  4. Choose your image file and click on Image|Image Size.
  5. In this window, make sure "Resample" is checked.
  6. Set the resolution to 380 Pixels per Inch
  7. Now, in this same window, set your desired image size and ensure it is smaller than the plate dimensions in your template.
  8. Flatten your image file and copy it to the clipboard
  9. Now choose the template file.
  10. From the top menu choose Windows|Layers and click the eyeball next to "DELETE THIS LAYER?". This will remove our logo from the background.
  11. Choose Edit|Paste Special|Paste In Place. This makes sure your image file will be pasted in the exact center of the template. If a "Source Space?" warning comes up, click "Convert."
  12. Flatten your template file and Save As a TIF
  13. When the TIF file options window comes up, select LZW Compression and complete the save operation.
  14. Repeat the above steps until all your files have been saved. If you wish to combine multiple smaller images into one template, please ensure you leave 1/2 inch between images, and include guides indicating where you want the plates cut. Additional cutting fees will apply.
  15. Login to your account at https://shop.IntaglioEditions.com to upload each of your image files or place new orders.

Recommendations for Getting Optimal Tonal Values

  1. Acquire image as an RGB 16bit, 380 or higher ppi, TIF. Set the black and white points right up to the head and toe of the histogram prior to scanning, if possible. Some scanning software allows for that. Clip up to 5% of the blacks and whites. Modify Adjustment Curve as needed - tweak to taste, but leave the black and white points maxed out. Remember, if you do not have 100% black or pure whites in your file, you will have only grays, which are not much to look at without some pure black or white tones beside them.
  2. Use "Smart Sharpen" to taste. Start with 100% Amount and 1px Radius (note that sharpening increases contrast and noise).
  3. Read Ansel Adams' "The Zone System" and reference the "Info" tool in Photoshop. Ensure your photographs have all zones represented prior to printing.
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