70 Coolidge Hill Road

Watertown MA  02472

617-926-0300

Local Supplier of

 Traditional and Digital Printing Services since 1985

 

File Preparation

  • How to visually check a file for printing quality.

    Print a Hard Copy:

    The best way to check your file is to print a hard copy.  This will show you the quality of text and graphics.  You should always print it to size.  Not enlarged or smaller than you plan to print it.  If your test print looks good, with respect to, layout, margins, type sizes, color, information,  then the printing from the same file will also look good.

     

    Review on a desktop computer at 200% and at 50%:

    The next best way to check a file is to review it at 200% on screen.  At 200 percent, if the images you see and are planning to print does not look sharp enough to be pleasing to your eye,  the image in question most likely will not print with quality.  If the image at 200 percent is clear, sharp and not fuzzy, then the printing will most likely look good when printed.  Be aware the looking at a file on screen is not the same as seeing a print of the file.  Things that look good on screen may be to small on paper. By seeing the file on screen at 50% (1/2 size) you can get a sense of margins, spacing and layout.  An on screen review is not as good as printing a copy to size.

     

    Ask us to inspect your artwork:

    Finally, you can start an order, and we will check your files and give an opinion of your artwork using our file inspection tools and our experience to look at your files for printing quality, layout and design.

     

    Printing with quality is all about the details.

    Some details are more forgiving than others.  Which details are important depends.  Depends on the printing technology you plan to use,  It depends on the paper,  It depends on how important good, great and Okay print quality is to you.  Depends on the size you plan to print.  It is important to plan so that your artwork is designed to print well with the technology being used to print your project.

     

    • You need to know the color model you used to create the file
    • You need to know where the image files came from and details about resolution and if the file was RGB, Greyscale or CMYK  Or LAB.  What format
    • Did you leave margins
    • What type faces are in your document

     

    We get that much of these details are not something you worry about.  It is what we do and think about everyday and why we can help you with your project to get it to print as expected.  It is our quality difference from ordering on-line.

  • Before you Start setting up your files  Plan

    How To Prepare Artwork For Print

     

    Many files sent to us cannot be output exactly as delivered. File problems (ranging from missing fonts to incorrect page size to overprint issues) can result in anything from a minor inconvenience to delays, cost overruns, unanticipated proofing rounds, late-stage design changes or even unhappiness with a finished job.

    The best way to avoid any issues is to factor in printing from the earliest possible point in the planning stage. Prepress doesn’t have to start when you deliver the file to us – it starts when you begin planning your project. Preparing printing specifications(specs) may seem like a distraction from actual designing, but if done early and correctly, we can become your best ally in making exactly the project you envision, on-spec, on-time and on-budget.

     

    When in doubt, consult us! Our experienced and knowledgeable staff is always available to assist you with any questions you may have.

     

     

     

    Print Layout

     

    Trim Line: This is the finished size of the piece.

     

    Live Area: Keep any important information within this area. The live area is smaller than the trim size to take into consideration the binding if the content is placed on the left or right of a spread so that you don’t lose any copy that is too close to the spine.

     

    Bleed Area: The more bleed you can offer, the better. The minimum bleed for a printed piece is 0.125in (1/8in) but some specs require more than that (wide-format, for example, is 0.25 inches). Take special consideration to keep the bleed area in mind when working with an image in Photoshop that you are placing into InDesign for print preparation.

     

    Type Margin:  Is the space between the cut, or the finished edge of the paper and the any type or image that must appear on the finished printed.  Printing being done on certain equipment and paper being cut does not always stack or print the image exactly.  When designing it is important to make allowances for minor registration issues so the finished piece looks correct even if there are slight imperfections

     

    Crop Marks: Indicate to the bindery department where to cut the paper. Do not use bleed marks, as this sometimes confuses the cutter.

  • Vector Art

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  • Bitmaps, Photos, Photoshop

  • Word Processing Files

    Many files sent to us cannot be output exactly as delivered. File problems (ranging from missing fonts to incorrect page size to overprint issues) can result in anything from a minor inconvenience to delays, cost overruns, unanticipated proofing rounds, late-stage design changes or even unhappiness with a finished job.  Using Word Processing software to create printing art is a major cause of problems.  It can be done.  But you need to be very careful with what you create as artwork for printing.

     

    We normally do not work with Word Processing files directly.  We prefer that you create a PDF file from your Word Processing program, or download our Convert your file to PDF tool. Click here for the tool.  If you do not know how to make a PDF from inside the your program we offer a tool that creates a printer on your Internet connected computer that prints the file to a PDF.  The file is sent to our server, converted to PDF on the server and a proof is sent back to you to approve by Email.  Remember that the reason for the proof is what you see is what you will get. (WYSIWG)  If there is an issue with the file you are being given the opportunity to find it before we work on your project.

     

    When you create a PDF file from you word processing program, it is a good idea to tell us how you made the file.

     

    PDF files created from word processing applications normally some work before they are ready for printing.

  • Microsoft Office Files (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher)

    Microsoft Office files, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Publisher present challenges to use these files for printing artwork.  We do not directly use these files.  They normally will reformat on us when we open them in the native format if they are Doc, DocX, or Excel.  Powerpoint files are less likely to reformat and we have used them directly successfully.  We see few Publisher files, and making a print ready PDF file in Publisher is very easy, we have not accepted a native Publisher document in a long time.  It is important that you convert these files to PDF before sending them so that we get a file that opens on our computer the way you created it.

     

    If you do not know how to make a PDF from inside the your program we offer a tool that creates a printer on your Internet connected computer that prints the file to a PDF.  Click here for the tool. The file is sent to our server, converted to PDF on the server and a proof is sent back to you to approve by Email.  You must approve the PDF proof before we know you have sent us a file.  Remember that the reason for the proof is what you see is what you will get. (WYSIWG)  If there is an issue with the file you are being given the opportunity to find it before we work on your project.

     

    It is very important that you disclose how you created your PDF. Tell us the source program used because Microsoft Office uses non standard encoding which effects the fonts and the color definitions inside the file and we need to use care and special software to ensure the your art prints correctly.

     

    Files created from Microsoft Office almost always require some work to be made print ready.

  • About Color and Color Models

  • Print Ready PDF's

    Basic Guidelines for creating PDF Files

    Submitting your files as Print Ready PDFs means faster turn around time, no interruptions for questions on artwork as well as better quality with no changes made to your original files.

     

    Click on the link for detailed instructions on creating your Print Ready PDFs from several popular graphics software

  • Templates

  • Using Native Graphics Art Software Files

 

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