How to ensure your print job is a success

Orlando de Abreu – Tali Digital

When one sends a file off to the printers for printing, usually it is a case of clicking send and hoping for the best. Well, it does not have to be that way. In the tips listed below, Tali will show you how to mitigate that risk – making sure that what you send is what you get.

There are many different graphics programs that are being used for graphic design. The main ones are Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop (for editing rasterised images and creating special effects) and CorelDraw.

Use the tips below to check your file before sending it to the printers for print.

If any terms below don’t make sense to you, all the more reason to contact us. We’ll make sure the printing process is as simple as it can be for you!

  1. Colour Space
  2. Always create the file in a CMYK colour space. All digital printers print in CMYK. Depending on the printing technologies being used for the job, there are special ink sets available which allow the printer to achieve a better range of scope.

  3. Bleed
  4. Remember to always include bleed. For most jobs, 5-10mm bleed is sufficient, depending on the substrate and the finishing required. But when printing a PVC banner which requires a hem to be welded all the way around, for example, you could need as much as 40mm bleed. Always confirm what bleed is required relative to the job at hand.

  5. Fonts
  6. Always convert your fonts to Curves/Paths so that the fonts do not change when the file is being prepared for print at the printers.

  7. Spot Colours
  8. If you have a particular Pantone or spot colour that you would like matched, label them in the file so that the printer can pick it up when they prepare the file for print on their side. As an extra precaution, it is always a good idea to mention the particular spot colours required in the email sent to the printer with the file.

  9. Images
  10. When you have a design that contains images, make sure that the images are of a high enough resolution so that they support the output size of your design. In other words, if you place a small image that you downloaded from the web in your design and it is only a few kilobytes in size, but the design is for a big 2x1m banner, the result will not be satisfactory. Some printers have got pre-flighting software which will bring up a warning about low-resolution images.

  11. Logos
  12. When supplying logos in the layout, make sure that they are vector so that, when scaled, they retain their sharpness.

When supplying a file for print, most printers will accept the following formats: PDF and Adobe Illustrator EPS. Some will print from Tiff’s and Jpegs as well but when printing from a rasterised image, it is not possible to control the spot colours accurately.

Make sure you receive a digital proof from your printer for sign-off and take the time to scrutinise it carefully. Sometimes layers and elements can fall off when pre-pressing the file for print.

Now that you know how to set up a print file like a pro, contact us to bring it to life.