Basics for creating your document:
• The document page size should match the size of the finished piece.
• Elements that print to the trim edge of the document (Bleed), should extend 1/8” beyond the trim. It is recommended that any critical elements on the page be at least 1/8” inside the final trim.
• The document color mode for all your files should be Grayscale, Duotone, or CMYK..
• Jobs that will print on press with spot color inks should only have the number of spot colors in the file that you intend us to print on the press.
Your job will be printed on devices that use CMYK inks or toner, and/or Pantone spot color inks.
Any RGB or LAB colors in your file will be converted to CMYK. Both RGB and LAB color modes support more colors than can be recreated with the CMYK color process. Therefore, when It is recommended that you convert any RGB or LAB elements in your document to cmyk before you submit them to us. That way you will see any color shift that may occur in that conversion. Any job printing Black only should only contain Black ink, do not use Rich Black or Registration black.
Graphics: Vector vs Bitmap
A Bitmap file is made up of pixels. All photographs and any scanned images are stored digitally as Bitmap files.
A Vector file is made up of points, paths and fills. It has no resolution until it is output and it takes on the resolution of the output device. So until it is output to a printing device, it can be enlarged to any size without loss of quality. Type (keystrokes), lines, boxes and fills are examples of vector elements.
The term “resolution” is used to describe the number of pixels per inch in a Bitmap file.
For optimum quality, Bitmap graphics should be at least 300 ppi (pixels per inch) for photos at final size and 800 ppi for linework at final size. For any Bitmap image placed in your layout, the effective resolution will change if you enlarge or reduce that element in the layout.
Images captured from the web are usually at a low screen resolution of 72 pixels and produce very poor quality.
Avoid jpeg compression when saving graphics. Depending upon the setting you use, jpeg compression can degrade the quality of your file significantly.
Creating a Press-Ready PDF file with Bleed.
The are several steps to follow to create a pdf with bleed.
First, the elements in the native document (InDesign, Quark, etc.) must extend beyond the page trim size (Bleed) - preferably by .125”. Now, either “Export to PDF” or “Save as PDF” depending on the program you are using. If you have pre-set options, choose “Press Quailty”. Next, look for the “bleed” option. Set the amount to .125”. If your document uses Spot colors that you want us to print as separate Pantone colors, select the “Color” tab and choose “Composite/Leave Color unchanged (as is). Lastly, Save (Export). The resulting pdf page size should be .125 larger on all four sides than the native document.