Poor print quality on images in my recent printed books
I use a lot of images in my magazine projects, which I print as perfect bound paperbacks with B/W interiors. I have used lulu for many years...usually lulu do a decent job of printing these images, with sharp definition and solid blacks.
For my recent book, I was very disappointed to receive proof copies where many of the pictures had a visible streaking effect, vertical lines on the image. The blacks were also noticeably less dark, and there was less definition.
I realised I had selected the “Value” option, which I hadn’t intended to do. I read elsewhere on a Lulu forum that the Value books are printed by a different technology, I think using inkjet instead of laser printers, and that this option wasn’t great for books with images.
So I remade the whole book, reformatted the PDF interior, submitted it as a new project. I ordered another proof, and made sure to select “Premium Paperback” this time, which is slightly more expensive, in the hopes that it would resolve the print quality issue.
I received the proof copy of this Premium Paperback version yesterday. No improvement on the first proof I had received – exactly the same issue with the vertical line streaking and poor quality blacks on the images.
Is the lulu printer is causing the streaking? Or is there something wrong with my image files? I always use high resolution 300dpi TIFF files, yet they still streak. And why is there no visible difference between the print quality of a Value and Premium paperback, even though one of them costs more?
I’d like to know if anyone else is having this issue, and what can be done to resolve it. All I want is sharp images, good blacks and no vertical lines – which Lulu used to be able to provide, and now apparently they cannot.
If it matters, I’m based in the UK and my books are A4 size.