Ingram Spark - ICC and PDF/X-1a

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Hello everybody,

I am used to formatting book interiors for CreateSpace with Scribus and would like to start using IngramSpark, too.

Ingram Spark requires the PDF/X-1a format but does not recommend any ICC color profiles (indeed, it recommends turning off all color profiles). BUT with Scribus, the option to export to the PDF/X-1a format only works when color management is enabled.

Does anyone know whether there would be any issues with the submission process at IngramSpark if I used a color profile such as US Web Coated SWOP v2?

What about for grayscale interiors?

Thank you for any suggestions - and sorry, English is not my first language.


hi nanni

if you google "pdf/x-1a icc" you will find at least one post that suggest that you should stay away from IngramSpark.

if they have changed their workflow, they will simply ignore your color profiles... otherwise they will reject your pdf if it contains an icc profile.
of course, without color profiles, there is no focus on the quality of the colors and you have no control on how the output will look like (but with a bit of luck it will look good...)

and with scribus you can set the output to be grayscale...
or simply not use any colors but black....

personally, i don't know how to help you more with that...



Hi a.l.e

thanks so much for your reply.

Yeah, I figured it's too risky with IngramSpark - and any mistake can turn out to be costly.

But also just for grayscale interiors - I just don't know how to make a pdf/x-1a without using color management. ... I'll google more and also check out Scribus 1.5.


After much reading, I realized there are relatively few "documented" cases of people successfully formatting a black and white interior with Scribus, on a Linux and without Adobe Acrobat.

It's all very confusing. I wrote to IngramSpark, asking whether they would accept PDF 1.3 for a B/W interior, but I am afraid the response will not make things any clearer.

If I don't want to use any proprietary software, it seems I'm stuck between three equally uncertain options:
A) ignoring the PDF/X-1a requirement and instead submitting PDF 1.3 with output intended for grayscale. I suppose this would give good black print quality.   
B) ignoring the grayscale requirement and going for a PDF/X-1a with US Web Coated SWOP v2. While making sure that all the file contains no other color than black. Two problems with this: the file might be rejected for using the ICC; the use of an ICC color profile might potentially make the printed text less black.
C) a combination of A and B: grayscaling the images (either with "image effects", or with Gimp) and activating color management. This way, the images would be presumably without a color profile, even if the output intent would have one. 

I guess it's time for me to give up, lol.


Kris Borer found a way:

In short:

gs -o interior_no_icc.pdf