Getting your file imaged onto the printing plate at the lowest cost
Desktop publishing is the process of using the computer and specific types of software to combine text and graphics to produce documents such as newsletters, brochures, books, etc.
Page layout is the process of placing and arranging text and graphics on the page to produce documents such as newsletters, brochures, books, etc.
Page layout refers to the actual document page and its composition. The primary software programs for desktop publishing are called page layout applications.
Digital parts of a Page
Illustration (Vector) Graphics
Figure A shows an image of a rose.
Figure B shows one leaf of the same rose magnified, along with the paths and handles used within vector images.
Additional attributes of vector-based images include:
Vector-based images are usually created and edited in “drawing” or “illustration” programs such as Adobe Illustrator.
Vector-based images have smooth edges and are created with curves or shapes.
Vector-based images are good for precise illustrations, but are not as good for photorealistic images.
Vector-based images are easily scalable, due to their use of mathematic formulas.
Vector Based Applications
Bitmap (Raster) Graphics
How a Bitmap Works
Figure A shows a small blue arrow image at its actual size.
Figure B shows the same image magnified. The upper left quadrant shows the individual pixels of the image. Each pixel has an assigned color; some pixels are white, while other pixels are blue. The information stored in a bitmap image regarding pixel location and color is what forms the image. Bitmap images are edited at the pixel level; in other words, the color of any one pixel can be changed.
Additional attributes of bitmap images include:
Bitmap images are usually created and edited in "photo" or "paint" programs such as Adobe Photoshop.
Bitmap images are mapped to a grid.
The size of the image is based on the image's resolution.
Bitmap images are not easily scalable.
Bitmap images are used for photorealistic images and, therefore, may involve complex color variations.
Tips to save money
Non-Automated Prepress Process
Client submits digital file on a CD or the preferred upload through our Website.
During the prepress process your files are first of all copied to our servers.
Your file gets a preflight review.
A Press Optimized PDF is created.
We’ve learned that by streamlining the prepress process we are able to pass significant savings onto our customers.
Refining is part of the Automated Workflow
Trapping is part of the Automated Workflow
Trapping involves creating a region of overlap between two adjacent colors, so that even if the colors are out of register, no gap is visible. In the illustration below you can see how trapping helps this problem.
Imposition is part of the Automated Workflow
Technician Previews Soft Proof of Imposed Press Form
Final steps to client approval and the making of printing plates
HP plotter proof to show position of copy, pictures and position of pages.
Integris contract proof to show CMYK colors.
Client approves both these proofs.
Plates are made.
If a change is required the process goes back to making the change in the digital file.
Digital File Checklist
Prepress checklist lets us bypass common pitfalls associated with preparing digital files for print.
Run spell check as part of the page layout procedure.
Have higher authority review low resolution PDF.
Have a second set of eyes proofread your document.
RGB vs. CMYK
RGB-(Red, Green, Blue). These are the colors your monitor uses to display everything.
CMYK-(Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black). These are the colors used for printing.
Convert RGB Files to CMYK
RGB-(Red, Green, Blue) These are the colors your monitor uses to display everything.
CMYK-(Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) These are the colors used for printing.
Color shifts are usually not visible in color photographs; however, rich and solid colors (like a background) can be affected by a color conversion.
Large, solid black areas should use Rich Black to prevent the color looking gray. Rich Black consists of
For regular body text, do not use Rich Black.
For headlines larger than 48 points consider using Rich Black.
Digital File Layout Trim & Bleed
Digital file layout
Brochures in spreads to accommodate paper creep.
Saddle-stitched booklets facing pages
Perfect bound booklets single pages
The document page size should be built to final trim size plus 1/8-inch bleed.
Score, fold and trim marks indicated and outside live print area.
All fonts should be included when sending your project to the printer.
Screen and printer fonts when using postscript
Truetype and Opentype can also be used
Do not use menu styles when using postscript fonts
Do not use Multiple Master fonts
Images should be linked to your document, not embedded. Embedding makes your file size very large.
All images should be included when sending your project to the printer.
The name of your image must be exactly the same as name of image place holder in your file.
Dielines & Varnishes
Sending your file to the printer
When you have checked everything off the checklist, collect all your files. This includes your page layout file, all fonts and images.
InDesign has the “Package” command to do this for you.
If you are not using these applications, you might consider a preflight application that also has a collect feature.
To create the most savings, convert your project to a final press ready PDF.
To create a PDF, you will need an application called Adobe Acrobat.
Getting Your Files to the Printer
It is not always necessary to copy all your items to a disk or burn to a CD.
Depending on the size of files, there is email, FTP and a variety of other ways to get your project to the printer almost instantaneously.
Before preparing your files it is a good idea to speak with your printer as to their specific specifications.
Online soft proof
Digital folding proof
Digital contract proof
Tips on Preparing Digital Files
Creating a Digital File with InDesign
6 Pointers on Producing Effective Digital Printing
Click Here to Print from your Uploaded PDF
Click Here to Print from your Design Created Online