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I gave my printer a PDF made from my indesign file. When I got proofs back, they were way too dark. To address this, he printed 2 versions: 10% lighter and 5% lighter. I want to go ahead using 5% lighter, but there are few panels I'd like a bit lighter. Can I edit them in photoshop to be more like the 10% version? I'm not sure if using a brightness adjustment layer will give the intended result.

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Make 5% lighter in Photoshop is very likely totally different than making 5% lighter in a print process. Adobe has collected during last 25 years a good amount of money from people who want to see on their screens what printing will make and know immediately, if something on the screen is out of the printable color range. And the collection continues because their system works.

The whole concept of color management and ICC color profiles are created for it. Now it looks like they are not at all used. The printer should give to you the proper color settings which make your Photoshop, Indesign and Illustrator to show a plausible preview of the printed result. Of, course, the color management should be used consistently through your document creation process and you should have a reasonably well color calibrated display.

Tell this to your printer and ask how to continue. If he does not recognize the whole concept or takes a derisive attitude you have entered a wrong door.

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  • Thanks, this helps. Only thing is: this printer was well recommended by someone who does a lot of this type of work (comics/graphic novels). Will see what he says.
    – Jon
    Aug 16, 2023 at 23:02
  • The printer may have given to him some useful notes. Or some accidental combination of settings happen to be right. Try to get the same. Do not pay before you get what you want. Aug 16, 2023 at 23:08
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I am assuming you want to independently edit the source images in Ps, then update the Indesign files, and then generate the PDF. Do not try to edit the PDF in Ps.

There are different ways to "Lighten" an image. If for a strange reason in the universe, you really need to lighten 10% you need to do it numerically. If your pixel color levels are 255 you need to move the values up 25 levels... whatever that means.*

Take a look at this post: Gamma vs brightness - any difference?

I am explaining how different "sliders" work mainly brightness and contrast vs using curves. You can use those, use curves, or use levels.

But which one depends on the image and what part you need to lighten.

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