Monday, March 21, 2011

Will it Print???

3 tips for creating an InDesign file that prints perfectly.

1. Talk To Your Printer Early
2. Construct Your File Carefully
3. Create a Document Bleed

In the days before digital publishing, the layout of publications or the creation of artwork for printing was almost always done by artisans—craftspeople who either worked with ink-stained hands in a printing shop, or who had been carefully schooled in the craft of printing. Today, you’re often on your own when you create
an InDesign document for commercial printing. Here are some tips for preparing your job for printing that may save you and your printer a few gray hairs.

1. Talk To Your Printer Early
Talk to your printer early in the process of constructing your print document. A customer service or prepress person at the printing company will tell you of production requirements for their particular presses. These guidelines include items such as the minimum distance that artwork should sit from edges and folds, the sizes of panels for folded pieces, and how much overlap must be created for a bleed. Following production  requirements is particularly important if your printer is using special printing processes like die cuts or embossing. 
Also, ask your print provider the following questions and store the information. I’ll explain later how the answers will affect your files: ❱❱How do they prefer to receive files: InDesign application files, PDF files, or both?
❱❱What kind of RIP do they use: PostScript or Adobe PDF Print Engine?
❱❱Do they have a preferred method for preparing PDF files?
❱❱Do they have a custom PDF preset you can use?
❱❱Does the printer use a custom output profile? If so, you can install this and select it when converting images from RGB to CMYK.

2. Construct Your File Carefully
Sometimes you may not know who the printer will be. If you’re new to the printing process, try to find a mentor—a more experienced designer who has successfully created the kind of document you’re working on, and who can give you some general guidelines. When constructing your document, place one piece per page, rather than all on one page, each with its individual crop marks. So, for example, a company’s letterhead would go on page 1, the envelope on page 2, and the business card on page 3. You can create multiple page sizes in a single InDesign document with the Page Control plug-in from DTP Tools. Create your document to the correct trim size. This is the final size of the printed piece. If you have an odd-size page, create a custom-sized page in the New Document dialog. Don’t place the artwork on a larger page and placing crop marks around it yourself. Maintain the live area in your document: This is the area recommended by your printer where you can place objects on the page. Staying in the live area is important because when you place text or graphics too close to a trim or a fold, the objects may be trimmed off or be creased in the fold. For multipanel brochures, make the panels that fold inside shorter than the outer panels. The amount actually depends on how thick the paper is, so getting advice about this from your printer before you begin the document is a good idea.

3. Create A Document Bleed

If any element on your document layout makes contact with the document edge, you have to use bleed. The trick is to place the element so that it goes over the edge where the document will be trimmed after printing.
Let’s say you’re working on a brochure with a background color that extends off the page. Your document size (what’s set up in File > Document Setup) should be the size of the final trimmed page, but you’ll add a colored frame that extends past the edge of the page. To ensure the object bleeds off far enough, add bleed guides on the pasteboard around your spreads. In the New Document dialog, click More Options to reveal the option for setting bleed (Figure 1). In North America, a standard bleed amount is usually 1/8” (.125in, or about 1p or 5mm), but check with your printer. You can also add the bleed after the document is created by choosing File > Document Setup; click More Options if necessary. In Normal view, the red line that surrounds the document boundaries indicates the bleed. Later, just before you print, you can test whether the objects off the page will print properly by turning on Use Document Bleed Settings in the Marks and Bleed pane of the Print dialog box (or the Export Adobe PDF dialog box). In most cases, you don’t have to worry about bleeding into the gutter (the spine of a facing pages document)—just extend the object to the edge of the page. However, in some cases, a printer might ask for a true bleed into the gutter. That’s easy if your  document is set up for single-sided pages. But if your document is set up with facing pages, you can still force a bleed area in the gutter by following these steps: 
1. In the Pages panel flyout menu, turn off the Allow Document Pages to Shuffle option.
2. With this option turned off, in the Pages section of the Pages panel, you can now carefully drag the right page of each spread to the right. Drag until you see a dark vertical bar, then release. Or choose Move Pages from the panel menu and tell it to “move page 3 to after page 3,” then “move page 5 to after page 5,” and so on.

1 comment:

  1. just ask your print press to get Adobe Print Engine for handling and flattening the emboss and transparency effect.....