This is a post for one of my classes with tips on (a) managing black ink and (b) using bitmap tifs. I briefly mention PDF settings at the end.
(a) managing black ink
Black requires attention on press. The main thing to remember is to communicate with your printer. Ask them about achieving a good dense black on press and ask them if they have a recommended profile (CMYK breakdown).
Black on screen, offset printed black, and digitally printed black require different handling.
Before reading this, remember that print terminology can vary. For some people what I'm calling Rich Black is Registration, and those people would call a breakdown of CMYK which has screens of CMY + 100% black (eg C-30 M-30 Y-30 K-100) a rich black. For this reason, I suggest not worrying about memorizing terminology at the beginning and just work on understanding how print works. Then use plain, laymen's terms (not printing terms) the first few times you are on press. Anytime you feel confused, just return to the result you want to achieve, and ask the printers how to achieve it. By using plain language and focussing on the result you want to achieve, you will avoid a lot of confusion. You will learn the terminology of the people you work with naturally over time.
Never select "Registration" from the swatch palette for anything other than registration marks.
Don't set black text in anything other than 100% K with no other ink (figure 1). Otherwise it can get fuzzy on press, because it's hard for the plates to line up perfectly under such fine detail. If you want text in a colour or grey, and it is to be printed on an offset press in a fairly small size, you'll need to select a spot colour.
Black on screen (R-0 G-0 B-0) is an additive process, not involving actual ink. You can make the black on screen as dark as you like without worrying about some of the issues that can come up on press when too much ink is laid down (see below). Generally, what you see on screen is what you will get, although computer monitors do vary in calibration.
If you are making a PDF to be viewed on screen, you could set the CMYK in your InDesign or Illustrator to a Rich Black (figure 4) because in InDesign when you use Process Black on its own, which I'm calling Plain Black (figure 1) it can look nice and dark, but after exporting as a PDF it can look grey (this also happens when you print a Plain Black). Technically, any black on screen is RGB, but those CMYK settings will work on a PDF designed to be viewed on screen and produce a pretty good result.
Offset printing is done with liquid ink, which is not opaque. Basic offset printing is with the 4 process colour: Cyan Magenta Yellow Black. When you lay down black ink on press (the K in the four process colours, which are CMYK), it is being laid on top of the other inks (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, which are printed in that order, with Cyan on the bottom, being printed first). Each of these inks are transparent, so they build on each other. In CMYK printing, using Plain Black (figure 1) can look a little grey once printed, and doesn't produce a great result. However, a Rich Black (figure 4) can also be a problem, because it is so much ink that it can have trouble curing (drying) properly and any graphics which are white, such as white type or white lines) can fill in.
A booster plate (figure 2) is compromise. A second process colour can be used to add density, and using a screen of Cyan set at 40 or 50% can help.
The final option is to use a Pantone Black. There are several Pantone Blacks. Sometimes people will use two passes (the same image printed twice) of a Pantone Black or a Process Black. Again, check with your printer about the best breakdown for their press. If attending a press check, and the black looks good on press, before signing off check with the printer about dryback, which is when ink gets lighter as it dries. At a press check the ink is still wet and can look darker than it does a few days later. This is not an issue with digital printing.
Digital printing is often done with toner. The nice thing about toner is that is sits on the surface of the page, not sinking into the page like offset ink, and therefore provides a deeper black finish without as much tweaking. It also doesn't have issues with drying. Again, the simplest thing to do is ask the printer for the best CMYK breakdown for their digital printer. A cyan booster plate (figure 2) will likely add a blue cast in digital printing which you may not want. Doing some testing, I have found a breakdown that evenly adds in screens of the other process colours works pretty well (C-30, M-30, Y-30, K-100). However, printers vary in calibration, so if possible ask before printing.
For both offset and digital printing you must make sure blacks which appear next to each other match. If the blacks don't match, it is often invisible on screen, but shows up in PDFs and in print.
The easiest thing to do is to set the logo to greyscale in Photoshop, and colour it the same as the background in InDesign. Make sure the grayscale PhotoShop file has the contrast up high enough that the black is really 100% black, not a screen, before beginning to work with it in InDesign.
(b) Using a bitmap tif
A good way to manage line drawings, especially when you want to colour them on top of a background, or lay them on top of a rasterized background like a photograph or texture, is to save them as a bitmap tif.
To save a bitmap tiff: in Photoshop, start with an image which is at a high resolution (minimum 500dpi, but 1200 dpi is a good target). Set image > grayscale and then image > bitmap. Save in a .tif format (not a bitmap format). This file type has very little information, so the high resolution shouldn't make an unmanageably large file.
Once you have done this, you can lay out the bitmap tif in InDesign on top of other images. It generally looks bad on screen in InDesign, but once printed or output as a PDF, the image should be nice and sharp.
When outputting a PDF for print, PDFX 1a is a pretty good setting.
Every once in awhile a linked image at a high resolution comes out soft. If something looks soft in a PDF, it will look soft when printed. In this case, going into the compression area and turning off compression can help. The output file with compression turned off will be large, but will print well. Printing PDFs from Acrobat instead of Preview is highly recommended.
If you are providing a PDF to print at an offset printer instead of an InDesign file + links, ask them to provide you with a guide to PDF settings and follow the guide. Most large printers will give you one.