in Digital Printing
A great summer salad fresh from your own garden... that's the metaphor we've chosen on a cold day for a review of digital printing file preparation tips. After all, a garden can be trying, but more often than not, it is a labor of love. Tend it well, and the fruits of your labors will be entirely rewarding.
Document size should be set to the trim size of the printed page. Bleed (if applicable) should extend 1/8 inch beyond the trim for all bleeding elements. The repositioning or extending of page objects to create bleeds should be performed by the original designer to avoid additional pre-press charges and additional proofing cycles.
All projects submitted electronically, preferably via file upload, should be accompanied by a PDF from the originating application for reference during the production process.
Keep in mind that digital printing is CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) process. RGB (red, green, blue) images can be left as RGB, or can be converted to CMYK. A good idea is to convert to CMYK using Photoshop ahead of submitting your files. RGB Conversions done "on the fly" during the printing process can sometimes yield varying results, but often have a wider color spectrum.
Even though the project will print as CMYK, it's OK to use Pantone colors in your file. In fact, the specification of spot colors can sometimes improve our ability to match that color on press.
Image compression allows files to be transferred more quickly across the internet, but can sometimes cause the loss of valuable image information that cannot be restored. Therefore, uncompressed file formats such as TIFF and EPS should be used whenever possible (LZW compression of TIFFs is acceptable). Beware with compressed file formats such as JPEG that you avoid recompressing an image multiple times, as this can introduce artifacts and an overall loss of quality.
If using a special technique, such as dimensional imaging — or if you simply want to see what various designs might look like — we can run a “press test” for a small fee. You can place as many effects and designs within the press sheet size as you wish.
LARGE AREAS OF FLAT TINTS
Digital presses are very capable of reproducing excellent color; however, they can sometimes perform less well when reproducing large areas of flat tints or solid colors. Selecting a different stock can sometimes correct the issue. Reproduction quality can also be improved by printing a pattern, image or choosing either a lighter or darker percentage, depending on the color.
FILES AND PROOFING
For very small projects submitted via PDF, we sometimes proceed directly to printing, assuming you have already proofed your own PDF and you have previously seen a sample of the stock on which you are printing.
On projects where color is more critical, color proofs will be provided prior to going to press just like we provide with offset printing projects.
For projects printing on a specialty stock or feature image effects such as dimensional imaging, we recommend a proof on the actual stock using the same digital press on which it will be printed.
PHOTOS & OTHER DIGITAL ARTWORK
GETTING THE PROJECT TO US