In This Section
Introduction: Prepare Problem-Free Electronic Files for Printing
Fonts and Page Layout Issues
Scans and Graphic File Formats
Color, Trapping and Bleeding
Checklist for Submitting Digital Files
File Transfers and Downloads
Price Quote Request Forms
Fonts and Page Layout Issues
Most preflight headaches arise from missing fonts. To avoid potential problems
we recommend that you ALWAYS include all the fonts you use to create your
document on your disk or electronic file. Even though the font name may be
very common, different manufacturers produce different fonts and if the fonts
used are not exactly the same, there is a very strong chance that the text
will re-wrap or otherwise change position. Also include fonts that were used
to create a placed EPS file, for example include the font for the company
logo you created in Adobe Illustrator last year and placed into your new design
yesterday. You can also avoid this problem by using the "create outlines"
feature in Adobe Illustrator for unique text which will
not change, such as a logo.
type 1 PostScript fonts. TrueType Fonts are not as reliable and GX fonts are
not currently a standard. Each typeface typically has two sets of files, printer
fonts and screen fonts. We need both to process a file. Do not apply text
attributes from within the page layout program. For instance, if you need
to use a bold, italic and medium type, choose a font family that includes
these different fonts. Windows/PC fonts are generally not cross platform compatible,
so if it is necessary to change platforms on a document we need to know the
exact description information of the fonts being used.
Page Layout Issues
Placing Images. Try to have your images placed in your page layout program at 100% size.
Scaling photos from within InDesign, QuarkXPress or Pagemaker adds to imaging
time, often billable, and can produce a poorer quality image. If your photo
is too large, scale it down in Photoshop. If you are cropping from a larger
image, crop the file in Photoshop. If your photo happens to be too small,
it is often wise to rescan. A few percentage points of enlargement may be
acceptable, but it can be risky. An easy way to accomplish all of these sizing
issues is to use low resolution scans for position only (FPO) until you have your
Vector graphics (from a drawing program) can be scaled up or down without change in image
quality. It is still a good idea to scale your graphics to size prior to placement
in your page layout program, since scaling affects trapping and line widths.
If your vector graphics need specific trapping, it should be done in your
drawing program, since the page layout program will not trap within a placed
the components. In
the past, we asked you to assemble your document at final trim size using
printer spreads as opposed to reader spreads (see illustration at right). THAT HAS CHANGED. Now that we are printing computer to plate, we arrange
all the pages prior to plating using an impositioning program called PREPS.
PREPS automatically arranges all the pages in the document according to templates
using single pages (not spreads) in page order. So, prepare your multi-page
document in page order and include blank pages. You can arrange them as spreads
in your page layout program to help you visualize them as they will appear
in print, but they must be post scripted as single pages. It is still a good
idea to include a dummy for the printer, especially for multi-page documents.
Every job is a little different, and the more information we have about your
job the better.
When finalizing your document, delete any extraneous items from your file. If you are changing
fonts often during the design process, it is a good idea to check through
the file one last time to make sure that unused fonts do not still exist in
the document. Use the find and replace feature if necessary to replace stray
fonts. A useful tool for Quark users, to help provide quick and trouble free
output, is to use the "Collect
for Output" feature under the file menu. Refer to the Quark
manual for instructions on the use of this feature and how to put the information
in an easy report form.
How do I save my file? The
safest method is to save the file in the native format of the page layout
software used. In other words, save an InDesign file as an InDesign file,
or save a Quark file as a Quark file, just as if the file is going to be opened
again for editing. Reason: there frequently are problems that need to be dealt
with, and this way minor adjustments are more easy to make and less expensive
to fix. Also, major problems can often be spotted before going to press. Note:
you should always keep a backup copy of your documents.
What else do I need to include? The
name and version of the page layout program used (we prefer InDesign), all
fonts (screen and printer fonts even in placed EPS files) and all imported
graphic files, a laser proof at 100% or indication of size of output (noting
potential problems or items that warrant special attention) should be included.
The more information we have, the more we can avoid problems. Visit the Checklist for a detailed listing of what to include.