Quite frequently we receive files that have been sent with the belief that they are ‘print ready files’ which, on closer inspection, reveal a can of wriggling worms that need attending to before we can send it on its way to the press. We can of course correct the files, but this can be a timely exercise and add expense to your print job, not to mention the time that is swallowed up during the allocated production time.
Today, there are many design packages on the market that allow enthusiastic creative folk to create a piece of artwork that looks good on screen, but which hasn’t been designed specifically for print.
Here are some basic rules, plus a few tips to help you achieve a good job:
– Ensure all images are consistent throughout and not a mixture of RGB and CMYK. We require all CMYK images in a 4 colour process job.
– All images supplied should be a minimum of 600dpi.
– Fonts need to be embedded. This is a setting that needs activating within your software. Failure to embed your fonts will result in them not being printed correctly.
– Know when to apply a base colour (often cyan). This is applied under an area of solid black but not under text. During the design process this is known as a “rich-black”, and during the production process is often referred to as a “shiner”. This helps to ensure a true black is printed. A solid area of straight black may look dull and disappointing.
– Ensure special colours are set up correctly. For example, if you wish to use a metallic gold or silver, this needs to be a 5th colour pantone. This will result in additional costs, but gives a true colour and therefore a better finish.
A preferred and professional way to supply your artwork is in pdf format, with all the above points taken into consideration.
Designing artwork is one thing; preparing artwork for print is another.
We understand that many people won’t have the software that professional printers use in-house, and will be tackling artwork projects on programmes that are available to you on your pc. These are great programmes for every-day use, and you can create good looking projects that print well enough on your office printer, but if you are finding the technical issues above a challenge, then we are more than happy to work with you to ensure your files are prepared correctly. If in doubt, and before you embark on creating your artwork for print, then give us a call.
Alternatively, we can produce the design and artwork for you, optimising results while minimising costs!