Useful Information for Artworkers
Generally speaking, we are capable of handling the latest versions of all the standard artworking applications (QuarkXPress, InDesign, PageMaker, Illustrator, FreeHand, Photoshop) but it is worth checking if you are using a new release. Work generated by standard packages on PCs (as opposed to Macs) can usually be processed without any great problems; however, it is essential to provide hard copy so that fonts can be checked. If you are using another graphics package (on Mac or PC), such as Corel or Microsoft Publisher, it is best to contact us first. The same is true for programs not designed for press output (e.g. Word, Powerpoint). We will happily accept press-ready PDF files (but see the remarks below).
1. Preparing Digital Artwork
You may find the following tips helpful:
Include all elements separately – avoid embedding graphics. Delete unused elements (e.g. images or text on the pasteboard).
Ensure we have all the fonts used in a document, including any used in imported elements (logos, etc.).
Ensure every file has a unique name.
Define all colours correctly (i.e. process or spot) and delete unused ones. Make sure names are consistent (i.e. the same in all files).
Colour or greyscale scans produce optimal quality at about 300/350ppi resolution for use at 100% scale. Full colour pictures are best supplied as CMYK mode (not RGB). Black and white continuous tone images should be saved as greyscales. Line art will produce better results at higher resolutions (>800ppi) and saved as bitmaps. The preferred formats for graphic files are TIFF and EPS. (If DCS files are used please indicate this, as they require special handling.)
Build in bleeds where necessary (3mm is recommended).
Document pages should preferably be supplied in running order and on actual page sizes (i.e. not within oversized pages with trim marks.) If spreads are used we will assume they are reader’s pairs (e.g. 2&3, 4&5, etc.) not printer’s pairs (e.g. 1&8, 2&7, etc.) unless otherwise indicated. We prefer not to have printer’s pairs supplied as this can lead to extra work. Please do not put spreads on single pages.
There is no need to impose pages – we use special imposition software to do this. Jobs supplied imposed will usually have to be broken up into separate pages, and this is time consuming.
When checking artwork files it is advisable to use the application’s built-in pre-flight tools, or independent programs such as FlightCheck and PreflightPro. If there are any problems with PDF files they will often need to be re-supplied, so to minimise this risk it is worthwhile checking them using the Preflight options available in Acrobat. FlightCheck will also preflight PDFs.
2. Packaging Checklist
We recommend using job packaging tools, such as ‘Collect for Output’ in Quark XPress or ‘Package’ in InDesign, to bring together all the elements for a job.
When sending artwork please Indicate:
- Platform used (Mac or PC).
- Layout software used , including version.
Please Include (whenever possible):
- Specifications form.
- Printout of disc or folder contents.
- Hard copy (preferably in colour; alternatively B&W). (If the printout is scaled, please mark this up.)
- Folded dummy, if applicable.
- Collect for Output report (Quark XPress), Instructions file (InDesign) or equivalent.
- Discs are clearly labelled with the job name and place of origin.
- Any special instructions are communicated to us and written down on the hard copy or elsewhere.
- All FPO (for position only) images are marked on the hard copy. (All other images will be considered as live.)
- Images to be scanned are safely packaged and accompanied by instructions.
- You retain a backup copy of the files.