Some of the most valuable printing tips that we’ve come across in the five generations we’ve been in business are listed below. We hope you find this resource of printing best practices as important as we do. Our goal in providing these tips for printing is to provide our clients and potential clients with the same knowledge we’ve attained over the past 100 years of business.
Printing Best Practices for Document Creation
- Document page dimensions should be the same as the publication’s final trim size.
- Any element that is to extend to the trim edge of the publication should be extended 1/8″ beyond trim for bleed.
- No lines or anchored rules are thinner than .2 points.
- All picture box frames have been specified correctly. If rule lines are for showing position only, indicate as FPO (for position only) on the laser to ensure that they will be deleted.
- All images are positioned correctly in their picture boxes.
- There are no gaps between images and borders or rules around the images.
- You only have included fonts you intend to use, both screen and printer fonts. (Please do not send your complete font library.)
- All unused colors should be deleted.
- Colors should be defined correctly in color palette. (PMS colors as spot, process builds as process separation, CMYK.)
- The pasteboards surrounding all pages should be empty. This will reduce the final size of the file.
- When preparing a file, save as will reduce the file size. (This eliminates mini saves within the document.)
- In Quark XPress only – grayscale / full color TIFFs are in picture boxes with a none fill.
- No files have JPEG compression applied.
- RGB files are converted to CMYK or grayscale.
- Perfect bound should be set up in the page layout program on single page spreads. Full bleed backgrounds and elements should be extended to bleed off all 4 sides by at least 1/8″.
- All documents should be laser proofed for typographical errors and correct separation of all elements. (Both composite and color separated lasers are helpful.)
Before sending your files for printing, please check to ensure that:
- All printer and screen fonts required for the document are included.
- Windows: pfb and pfm files (Each font requires a printer for every style: bold, italic, book)
- Macintosh: Suitcase (screen) and postscript file (printer) Truetype: One postscript file for each font (Truetype combines screen and printer fonts into one file.)
- Fonts used within graphics have been included too.
- All EPS and/or TIFF files are on the disk even if they are embedded in a Pagemaker file. (This enables us to do any necessary editing for trapping, color, etc.)
- All original files for nested graphics (a graphic within a graphic) are on the disk.
- All original application art files are included on your disk (non-exported original Freehand files in addition to the exported EPS.) Final laser prints of all document pages are included. This allows us to compare our final output against your original for type reflow, defaults, etc.
- Name and contact number on disk, as well as name of job.