Digital Prepress…the most complicated part of printing for both printers and designers alike. Common Problems: missing fonts, low resolution photos, files saved and packaged incorrectly. Oh my!
The next time you design a project and submit it to your local printer, take a peek at this list and your life and your printer’s job should be much easier! It might even be cheaper because your files were submitted correctly.
When creating documents to send for digital output, please ensure that:
- The document dimensions are correct and at the right size for output.
- All images are correctly positioned and linked.
- Logos or graphics created in programs like Illustrator, have all type converted to paths or outlines.
- In your page layout program, the status of all imported pictures or links should be “ok.”
- You have only used fonts that you intended to use for output.
- All unused colors have been deleted.
- The pasteboard’s surrounding all design pages are empty.
- All document bleeds have been extended at least 1/8″ beyond the desired finished size of your project.
- All documents have been proof-read and double-checked before submission. Have a friend proof read it!
Design & Pre-Press Checklist:
- Do not use Publisher or Quark. Stick to Adobe Products for ease of use.
- Remember, Photoshop is for photos. Illustrator is for illustrations. InDesign is for Page Layout.
- Do not enlarge images beyond 120% of original size when placing it in your document.
- Do not use images downloaded from Google. Read second sections of post.
- Do not use compression methods (i.e. LZW or JPEG) on placed images for output.
- Do not use RGB images whenever possible. Convert them to CMYK.
Before submitting files, please make sure that you have included:
- All fonts required to process and print the document.
- All attached EPS and/or TIFF/JPG files.
- Final laser prints of all document pages.
“Why does it always look different on my screen? A client might ask for a specific Pantone color from their own Pantone swatch book. The designer sets the file exactly as it is required, yet when the client sees an example on their computer monitor they are very disappointed that the color isn’t the same or even close. Why is that?
Guess what? Everyone is a critic and a designer in this town!
I have slowly accepted that fact that everyone in Savannah, GA some how thinks that they are qualified to be there own graphic designer. Here are a few do it yourself tips, courtesy of pidesign if you would like to create your own design and not hire a professional to create that next print project.
- Create your project in any program with “Microsoft” in the name. You’d be better off finger-painting with mud on an old pizza box, dousing it with gasoline and throwing it briskly into a portal to hell.
-From a print shops point of view – Charge extra for anything Microsoft.
- OPTIMA OPTIMA OPTIMA. Did I forget to mention that use of COMIC SANS will also immediately discredit you as a designer?
-Personal Favorite: Papyrus!
- Forget to run spell check. This is the best way to show how disinterested you are in the subject matter. Typos also demonstrate that you’re too lazy to finish the job right. That gives the rest of designers an undeserved bad name. How could we be lazy with all of these extremely tight deadlines that we have worked so hard procrastinating for?
-From time to time I print a customer’s project with misspelled words and then the client asks why did I print it? HA!
- Add an exciting red starburst with the word “NEW!” in some lame block font doesn’t really make anyone want to buy your new product. It actually makes them want to spray it with bug killer and smack it with their shoe. Twice.
- Add an outline to the lovely cursive font you have selected and watch the readability disappear.
- Use really low resolution images taken from someone else’s website for your brochure. Please note that if you’re going to use stolen imagery for your brochure you have to decide if it’s worth spending time in jail as someone’s lover for copyright infringement. Seriously, if you’re going to go to jail anyway you should at least have a nice brochure from which you might possibly get some business to pay for your court fees.
-Do not get me started on low resolution images. This is a daily nightmare. Why does it look good on my screen?
- Clip backgrounds from photos using the Magic Wand tool. The icon for the magic wand should be replaced with a sparkling crutch. Don’t use it to pull out background images from photos. Take that time that you’ll be ridiculed by all of your peers and put it to good use learning how to mask.
- Accidentally outline all the text in your document and then stand by praying that the client doesn’t ask for any copy changes. Come on, we have all been there, furiously trying to move around the big block of blue boxes created by the outlined paragraph instead of having to re-type the whole gosh darned thing.
- Fill the white space by cramming all the copy you can onto the page thereby eliminating any sense of focus to the overall message. This is one of the easiest ways to confuse the audience and remove any chance of successfully gaining new customers for your client. This often results in no more paying gigs for you.
-First rule of graphic design: White Space is always on sale!
- Stretch and squish your photos just to make them fit into that little space you have backed yourself into by filling the rest of the document with needless copy. Don’t worry, no one will notice.
Now of course these are things not to do…
But hey, who am I?
Please take a few more minutes to read this again. Why, because I said it was important!Original Post: http://blog.pidesign.com/2009/08/11-ways-to-ruin-a-great-design/#ixzz0S7rxJOtG