What's wrong with my Word / Publisher file?
Probably the biggest problem is fonts, Word and some versions of Publisher do not perform a check to see if all the fonts that are used in the document are installed on the system that is opening the file, the result is often text re-flow, missing lines and an incorrect appearance. Also due to the way word processors calculate line width and font spacing text may even re-flow when changing from one printer to another for example you had it printing perfectly on your desktop laser and then you then print to a colour printer without changing anything.
Also the imported graphics formats that are available with office programs are often incompatible with pre-press and professional printing systems.
How should I prepare my graphics for printing?
Bitmap images include lineart (just black and white with no shades), greyscale and colour images which are typically scans or photographs. These should be created or re-sampled so that the effective resolution is at least 600 - 1200 dpi for lineart images and 300 dpi for greyscale and colour images. Colour images should be converted to CMYK.Why shouldn't I use internet graphics in my job?
Internet graphics are normally quite low resolution, and although they may look OK on the screen they rarely do when printed. They are also RGB images and may experience colour shifts when converted to CMYK. We recommend that you use images from high quality scanners, digital camera or stock photo sources that are at least 300 dpi resolution at the final size of the image (i.e. an image that is 300 dpi when it is one inch wide will only be 150 dpi if you use it at 2 inches wide)
What is a bromide and why do I need one?
Films are just like a bromide except they are a high density (that is very black so you can't see light through) image on a clear plastic base. Films are used to make high quality printing plates for offset printing and also for the special plates used for other printing processes including screen printing, pad printing and rotary label printing. What do you get for your Setup fee?
A lot! And it has very little to do with sticking the disk in the machine, or opening the file.
Nor is setup designed to be "hand holding for dummies". (Yes, someone said that). Our stats show that the most experienced users make the most costly blues because of pressure, quantity and complexity. So there!
Within TT we call setup "pre-flight checking", and it starts with you. You'll be asked how your job is going to be printed, so we can question everything you have done including the resolution, line screens and trapping needs. We also keep a confidential record of past jobs so we don't need to keep asking you the same questions.
The pre-flight operator also checks colours, fonts, line endings, crops and runs additional proofs. If there is the slightest doubt these proofs are faxed to you for approval. (You wouldn't believe how often we spot typos! That's not guaranteed but we are on the lookout.)
All of this doesn't slow your job very much because our production process is geared to it and we have then eliminated any hitches that might slow things down on the imagesetter. Besides, it's always quicker in the long run to get the job out right first time.
Simple problems will be repaired, involved problems will be advised for you to decide on - you fix or we do at cost. Either way the "setup" ensures that you don't end up paying for more pages than you need.
And if you don't want setup?
The bureau operator doesn't take any less care with your job but he does take your settings and instructions as gospel. While we don't expect you to make up Postscript files - for your own safety we strongly suggest that you do - that way you maintain complete control.
Please don't forget to:
Run your own separations to your laser printer, checking for extra pages
Make sure that your fonts are set to "download"
Clearly specify the settings you have used for res, neg/pos and emulsion.
What's the difference between RGB & CMYK?
Unfortunately for we in the printing industry printers (both the desktop and the offset variety) are limited to printing with a different model called CMYK which stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. These are an "addative" colour model where CMYK 0000 = white (or in fact the paper colour) and CMYK 255 255 255 255 = a very dark black colour. The problem is that the range of colours that can be created using CMYK is quite a bit less than RGB.
What this means for you is that it is a good idea to convert your images to CMYK before sending to us so that you are aware of the drop off in colours that may occur (this will vary with the image - some will not change at all during conversion but others massively).