Prepping your files for print is perhaps the most important step in the entire printing process. Any mistakes made in setting up the files and you could end up with 100,000 reminders of your pesky little error.
At FORMost, we do our best to review your files when they come in and make sure they are good to go and rarely do we miss anything. However, if you are interested in making the process go a whole lot faster so that your job sails right to the presses, here are five of the most common mistakes for designers to avoid. (You might also help us to avoid high blood pressure, grey hairs, TMJ, ulcers, or other in the process.)
1. Convert fonts to outlines.
In Adobe Illustrator or InDesign, it’s always a good idea to convert your fonts to outlines. This will eliminate any issues with fonts being substituted and your Calibri showing up as Comic Sans. (The horror!) Remember to always save an unconverted file to your computer so that you can go back and make changes to the text if they are required. (You can’t change outlined copy.)
2. Add an adequate bleed.
A bleed refers to the artwork that extends beyond the document boundary. The purpose of the bleed is to compensate for the fact that the guillotines that cut print jobs are not spot-on accurate and need a little leeway in order to make your design bleed all the way to the edge of the paper. Add a 1/8” bleed for most handheld print pieces and you should be all set.
3. Don’t use .gif or .png file formats for printing.
.gif and .png files are for on-screen only. They aren’t intended for print and they will not look good. So please don’t make us print them! I mean, you’re the customer, we’ll do what you want, but it hurts us, it really does!
4. Don’t use low res graphics.
This goes right along with #3. Image resolutions for print need to be 300 dpi or higher. 72 dpi works for the web, but it will not be pretty in print.
5. Eliminate typos!
Spelling errors happen. We all make them from time-to-time. When it comes to printing, spelling errors and typos cost money. Art should always be carefully scrutinized prior to sending it off to the printer. Once we have your files, we will always provide electronic and/or hard proofs, but combing through the job before we provide proofs will save you time and money.
FORMost Graphic Communications