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.
Print-ready PDF files Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF) is great for a multitude of uses. It has caused a revolution in printing. Everything needed for high-resolution printing can be packed into one file that can be opened and printed using Adobe’s free Reader on almost any computer. The trick is, because a PDF can be created many different ways, to create it the correct way and pack it with the essential information for high-quality digital printing or a file that can be used for make-ready, for offset printing.
Here are a few of the minimum requirements for a PDF file to be usable for high-resolution printing using a digital print process.
- All fonts used in the document should be embedded in the PDF file. The preference for “Subsetting” the fonts should be set to 100%.
- For CMYK printing, all color in the document should be CMYK. This goes for ink colors as well as photos and illustrations.
- Make sure that the photos and line art in the document do not have their resolution reduced (downsampled) when the PDF is created. Photos should retain their 300 dpi resolution.
- The compression should be fine set on “automatic” but some say “zip” is better than “jpeg” for quality. You can also choose “none” and the photos will not be compressed when the PDF is created but, this will result in a larger PDF.
If you follow these guidelines, your PDF will work for high-resolution CMYK printing. The same PDF will also work in all the processes that require less resolution as well.The term “make-ready” refers to everything done on a press to prepare for the final print job. This includes selecting the proper colors, getting the image placement correct, setting up the plates, and preparing the printer for the chosen paper size and weight. Getting everything right during make-ready helps to ensure a quality print run. This step would be considered finished when the printer is satisfied with a print, and can therefore begin the actual run.
Is Snow Leopard just a cheap Windows 7 knockoff? Kidding me?
“Where’s the beef?” I knew the features list would be lean — Apple has deliberately undersold Snow Leopard by pitching it as a relatively minor release — but please! It’s as if someone at Apple grabbed a copy of the Windows 7 beta and simply Xeroxed the release notes. -Xerox probably works better when connected to a Mac!
For example: This couldn’t more retarded.
64-bitness: Yippee,! Apple finally goes 64-bit — BFD! As a Windows user, I’ve been livin’ la vida 64-bit for more than three years. Vista was the first mainstream desktop OS to deliver a viable 64-bit experience, and Windows 7 has taken this migration further by making it the preferred flavor for business users. –Great research
Meanwhile, Apple can’t even deliver a fully 64-bit implementation. Snow Leopard boots into a 32-bit kernel by default — something about a lack of 64-bit device drivers, which is ironic when you consider how small a hardware ecosystem Apple must govern when compared to Microsoft and its burden of having to run on just about anything with an Intel-compatible CPU.
Exposé Dock Integration: This one’s a joke, right? Am I to understand that Apple is just getting around to adding this? Microsoft has been offering this type of functionality (aka thumbnail preview) for years, and Windows 7 has taken the concept further with Aero Peek, Shake, and Snap. It sounds like Apple’s Xerox machine suffered a paper jam with this one — or perhaps it’s just stuck in one of those famous Mac OS X infinite loops. -No comment. Just far enough to be in left field.
Expanded PDF Preview: If this constitutes a “feature,” then Apple must really be grasping! I mean, Windows has supported PDF file preview — via an installable ifilter module — ever since Desktop Search debuted pre-Vista. In fact, the ability to seamlessly preview third-party content has been a staple of the Windows experience for years. So while I’m glad to see Apple finally getting on the ball with its PDF handling (I hear the updated viewer lets you basically do away with the piggish Adobe Reader for most common tasks), I’m still utterly stunned by the fact that this is even an issue. Provide a free (i.e. not trialware) XPS document viewer with Mac OS X and then maybe I’ll get excited.