Preparing Files for a Commercial Printer
- Complete the printer's job form and make sure it accompanies your file.
- Provide 100 percent size laser proofs (color if possible).
- If you FTP or e-mail the file, you must STILL provide a printed proof; don't rely on a fax .
- If your document is oversized, make sure it's set to tile (rather than reduce).
- Include registration marks for trim.
- Include a printed directory of contents of disk or CD showing all fonts and images used in your file.
Files and Digital Media
- Label the disk or CD with your name, phone, e-mail, project name, and date.
- Use standard file conventions (.pdf, .psd, etc.).
- Each file should have a unique, useful name. Be more explicit than "poster" or "brochure."
- Make sure revised files have new filenames.
- Include all image files: eps, tiff, etc.
- Include the final file of your pdf, InDesign, Photoshop etc.
- Check the disk to make sure it includes all the files, including image and fonts. Do this on a different computer than the one on which you saved and/or created the files.
- If there is any chance text revisions will be made while the file is at the printer's, be sure to provide the native (original) file in addition to a pdf.
- Have you made sure your type is big enough to print properly on the equipment? Pay special attention to reversed type.
- Is text aligned with tabs and not spaces?
- Have you used spellcheck and fully proofed your file?
- Have you styled the text correctly? In other words, have you selected Univers 65 bold instead of selecting Univers 55 and applying "bold" to it?
- Are your rules (lines) big enough to print properly? Pay special attention to reverses, trapped colors, and mixed colors.
- Have you scaled and rotated your images in Photoshop instead of in the page layout program?
- Have you made sure your blends and gradations will work on the equipment? It is wise to test this in advance or you could wind up with ugly bands of color instead of a subtle gradation.
- Are images provided in the correct formats? For instance., no pict files, no RGB images (unless you're using hexachrome printing).
- Have you deleted extraneous items from the pasteboard?
- Does your document size exceed the limits of the equipment or paper?
- Did you set up bleeds?
- Have you included original art for any images that need to be scanned along with clear instructions?
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