1) Create your document to the final trim size.
Allow items that butt to the edge to extend beyond the trim by .125.”
2) Include all fonts and images that are used in the project when sending the final files to the printer.
Programs that provide only “outline” text make later type changes more difficult and expensive. Please provide final PDFs as well as all native files, font aids, and high resolution images.
Programs that allow for embedded images, rather than the actual image, make subsequent image edits more difficult.
3) Convert all RGB images to CMYK before placing them in the final file.
The conversion to CMYK can sometimes cause undesirable changes that require further color edits. It is best to make the conversion and decide if the color is acceptable before providing the final file to the printer.
4) When designing a “spot color” job, consistently use the same Pantone color (or special ink) throughout the different programs used to assemble the project.
Even in a project that will be converted to process for printing, consistent “spot colors” must be used, or the conversions to CMYK will result in different color values for different items.
5) When creating a final PDF for print production, use an Acrobat setting that will embed the fonts and resample the resolution of the images to no less than 300 dpi for color/grayscale images, and no less than 1200 dpi for monochrome images.
6) It is highly recommended that projects are designed in commercial quality graphic arts programs such as InDesign, Quark Xpress, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Office type programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint create low resolution documents and images that result in substandard print quality.
7) White reverse items cannot have “overprint” selected or they will disappear when the file is rendered for printing. This is often seen in Illustrator graphics that were once a black color that should overprint and they have been altered to be white items to use as a reverse, but the “overprint” is still selected.
8) The colors “Registration” or “All” should never be used. The combination of 100% of all of the colors creates excessive ink coverage and can cause press problems. To create a rich dark black, use 100% black, 60% cyan and 40% magenta. This “rich” black should only be used for large solid areas.
9) Photos should be no less than 300 dpi if used at 100% scaling in the final project file.
A safe rule for scanning is: two x linescreen x scaling.
10) Monochrome scanned bitmap images such as one-color logos and scanned text, should be no less than 1200 dpi if used at 100% scaling in the final project file.