From Design Into Print
From Design Into Print
The fact is that roughly half of all files sent to the printer cannot be output exactly as delivered. From missing fonts or images to the use of incompatible software, it creates huge headaches for printers and results in delays, cost overruns, unanticipated proofing rounds, late stage design changes and sometimes unhappiness over the finished job. These problems can be avoided if you factor printing into the creative process from the earliest planning stage.
Consult you printer before you go into a designing process. Consider all your options in terms of stock choice, ink choice and size of your finished product. Sometimes adjusting your design slightly can save you a lot of money if you consider sheet size.
Once you know exactly what you want and start designing it’s a good practice to go through a check list to make sure all your files are in order and ready for print according to the requirements. There is a lot to consider before the printed products can go on press. Here is a list of top ten problems that occur when printing company receives files.
1/ Fonts not embedded in PDF or missing in application files When you create a PDF file you need to make sure you embed your fonts. This ensures that even if the person who opens the document does not have the font you used on their computer that they are able to view and print the file correctly. If you send application files for example InDesign the printer will need the fonts to print your job correctly.
2/ Incomplete or corrupt files Before sending, check to see if your file will open correctly and has all necessary pages, images, etc.
3/ Colors that are not converted from RGB to four-color CMYK mode You might design in RGB, proof in RGB, preview in RGB, however, we print in CMYK format. It is very rare that a computer monitor will accurately display the colors chosen in your layout. Your images may print in black and white or with inaccurate color if you neglect to convert images.
4/ Inadequate bleeds A bleed is any area on a printed sheet where ink extends to the cut edge. One problem of inadequate bleeds is that an image that you expect to extend to the edge will show a tiny white line on the trimmed edge. It leads to an unpolished, unfinished look that you want to avoid. the standard requirement is at least 1/8 (.1250) bleed.
5/ Placed images resolution too low or too high (always use 300 dpi) A scan resolution that is too low results in a low-quality image. A resolution that is too high increases the file size and printing time, without increasing the image’s quality. Images downloaded from the internet do not print clearly (the resolution is too low — 72-100 dpi).
6/ B&W images saved in RGB or CMYK instead of grayscale They will print with some color if not saved as grayscale.
7/ Images delivered in wrong file format (JPG, GIF) Use TIFF / PSD (Photoshop). JPG and GIF are great for photographic images on the web, because it compresses the file (makes the file size smaller for faster downloading). Not ideal for printing, because every time you save it, you lose more color and detail. TIFF / PSD is the best image for printing without loss of color or detail.
8/ Missing images in applications. Will either print blank or a low resolution image in its place.
9/ Wrong applications used for complex page layouts Use publishing programs like Indesign, Quark or Pagemaker. MS Word is great for word processing at your desk, when you can print to your printer. Limitations in software make it difficult to do proper, efficient layout. Any MS Word files presented for offset printing will have to be converted to PDF. MS PowerPoint is great for creating slides / transparencies for a presentation. Limitations in the software prevent this from being an efficient layout program. Any PowerPoint files presented for offset printing will have to be converted to PDF.
10/ Not supplying a hard copy proof This helps the printer spot potential problems. Please supply final color or B&W laser printouts with your digital files. Printouts should be at actual size (100%). If the image area in the page file exceeds the size of a laser or inkjet print, output the laser at a reduced percentage, but clearly note the amount of reduction.
Last but not least, make sure that you have a few proofreaders available to check your final work, there is nothing worse then receiving your beautiful print with a wrong telephone number in it.