In print production, document exchange is usually driven by sending your print service’s provider your project in what is called a portable document format (PDF). Why are PDFs used? PDFs should contain all of the necessary items to successfully print a job on a press. More importantly, both the PDF and the items it contains should be of sufficient quality.
A print quality PDF starts with a print quality native application file, whether it be an Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, or QuarkXPress design document. A quality design document should have the following: Bleeds, Images with the proper resolution, Images in the correct color space, Print quality fonts and Properly named spot colors.
• Images with proper resolution
The resolution of the images (pixels per inch, or PPI) should be twice the line screen (lines per inch, or LPI) in which the job will print
• Images in the correct color space
Images must be converted from the red-green-blue (RGB) color space to cyan-magenta-yellow-black (CMYK) for print production. Considerations have to be made for paper type (whether it’s coated or uncoated), dot gain, and total ink coverage, for example.
Repairing bleeds in a PDF can be a time-consuming process. Ensure that adequate bleeds are created (typically 1/8″) in the native application file and that they are included in the final print PDF.
• Print quality fonts
The ability to embed fonts within a PDF is one of the format’s greatest strengths as a compressed, encoded set of glyphs (characters) will be included in the file. It is important to keep in mind that some fonts contain licensing restrictions. This usually means that they cannot be embedded in a PDF.
• Properly named spot colors
If your project contains spot colors that will print as additional inks on press, make sure that they have not been converted to process in the native application. Correcting this is also a very time-consuming procedure and possibly costly procedure.
You should also work closely with your print service provider to make sure that the PDF you submit for the job is of the best possible quality. By asking your print service provider for the Adobe PDF Settings that they recommend for creating PDFs for print production, you can create a quality PDF for print. By taking the time to use your print service provider as a resource, in addition to preparing the native document file to make certain that it generates a quality PDF, you will help yourself to avoid some of the problems that commonly plague these documents. For help more help in creating quality exchange artwork contact our Graphic Design Services Team at My1Stop.com.