On average 80% of files sent to print have minor errors.
Most common files errors include the following
RGB images are not converted to CMYK. Converting images will shift your colors.
Images when enlarged to the actual size to be printed are not 300dpi.
Bleeds are not set correctly.
Missing fonts causes incorrect substitutions.
Flattened files hide errors that could be caught.
COMMONLY OVERLOOKED MISTAKES:
CORRECT FONTS INCLUDED:
Make sure all the fonts you have used are included with the job. This includes all fonts used within illustration files. For postscript fonts the screen and printer files should be included. For TrueType fonts only one item is needed as this serves as both screen and printer font. Do not include any fonts which have not been used.
Any image that bleeds must extend 1/8″. All type and graphics not intended to bleed, must be a minimum of 3/16″ clear and free from head, foot, gutter, face or trim area. On larger print jobs, like posters, we require a 1/4″ bleed and 1/4″ margin from head, foot, gutter, face or trim area.
CONVERTING TYPE TO PATHS:
Converting type to outline paths is a useful way of providing a job without the need to supply fonts.This has a double advantage of ensuring that the text will not flow incorrectly on output. To convert type to paths consult the manual for your specific package. This is not recommended for type in QuarkXpress files.
Many layout applications allow you to Embolden (make bold) or italicize type, without using the PostScript font associated with the typeface, by clicking on a B or I icon or selecting from a Style menu. This does not work with every typeface and can result in the text defaulting back to standard or roman style on output. Please ensure you always use PostScript fonts wherever possible. Other style settings, such as outline or underline are acceptable and will work correctly. Never stylize a Multiple Master font. Otherwise, the results will be unpredictable.
ALL PICTURE FILES INCLUDED:
Please ensure that all picture files are included with the job. Also make sure that they are the most up to date files and that the filespecs are properly established within your page layout software. Please remember to also include files which are embedded, nested or placed within other files. Failure to supply picture files is one of the most common faults, which delays production.
The resolution of a file as the number of dots per inch (dpi) it contains. As a general rule between 350 and 450 is best for a high quality output, but 300 should be an absolute minimum. The effective resolution is not necessarily the same as the file’s native resolution. It is the resolution at which the file is RIP’d on output. For example a 400dpi file reduced to 50% dimension in a page layout package will have an effective resolution of 800dpi, but the same file expanded to 200% would only have an effective resolution of 200dpi. The effective resolution can be quickly checked using a program such as FlightCheck from Markzware.
CORRECT COLOR MODE:
The color mode of a file is determined by its separate channels. The two main color modes are CMYK – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (or Key) – and RGB – Red, Green and Blue. CMY and K are the process colors used for full color printing. RG and B are the primary colors of light and therefore for on-screen display only. Use ONLY CMKY for print work. In addition Grayscale is acceptable.
Paths can be used for a number of reasons when creating a picture in an image-editing program such as Adobe Photoshop. One of the most common reasons is to ‘clip’ a picture, removing it from its background. When doing this, make sure all other paths are deleted and that the clipping path is correctly set in PhotoShop
CORRECT FILE FORMAT:
Pictures should be saved as EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) or TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) files wherever possible. When saving as EPS or TIFF do not use JPEG compression, use Binary.
A rule set to Hairline or 0pt will appear broken or not appear at all when output to a high-resolution imagesetter. This is because ‘Hairline’ is a vague measurement and can vary depending on output equipment. Desktop printers (even PostScript ones) will render a Hairline at between 0.3pt and 0.5pt, whereas an imagesetter will render it at 0.01 to 0.1pt. To be sure of rules appearing on the printed job please use 0.25pt as a minimum measurement. Also bear in mind that lines comprised of tints will not render as well as solid colored lines.
CORRECT COLORS FOR JOB:
It is essential that any colors you use in your job are named exactly the same in all applications and specified when submitting your order. PANTONE 280 CV and PANTONE 280 CVU may look the same and have the same color split, but because of the name difference it is read by the output RIP (Raster Image Processor) as two separate colors. You can ensure colors are set correctly in Duotones in PhotoShop by going into the general preferences dialog box and checking ‘Use short PANTONE names’. If your job is a CMYK job make sure all colors are converted to CMYK or they will not appear on the plate.