Before taking off, an airline pilot would make want to make sure that ‘all is in place’ by going through ‘Preflighting’ – a checklist of procedures. In print-manufacturing, a similar procedure is used to make sure digital files will image correctly and will not crash the RIP when they are output to film - a way to discover problems before they tie up prepress personnel, materials and equipment. There are also software applications such as PreFlight Pro by Extensis Corporation and FlightCheck by Markzware Software to address these issues.
Which media formats to use?
• Email us your file if its size is less than about 10 MB, and 'compress' it to avoid corruption
• Upload Your File - large files and multiple files - faster, easier, safer! Click for instructions.
• Removable media - Floppys, CDs, USB Memories would work too. If they work on your computer, they probably would work on ours!
Tip: Send only the files you need for output.
Are your page settings properly specified?
Make sure your files are set properly. For example, page dimensions, page orientation, margins, bleed requirements, trapping, etc.
Have you supplied all the necessary files?
Make sure to include all image and graphic files imported into your document. Make sure you have saved them in an appropriate file format. Whenever possible, provide copies of original (native) and editable copies of all graphic files. Missing Graphics may remain visible on a computer monitor, but will output in low resolution and look pixelized or fuzzy when printed.
Always provide a PDF file.
In addition to native format files. Whenever possible or necessary, provide hard-copy originals or proofs. Have you included a full-sized proof of your file? Send a black and white laser print or color proof. If you send your files by email or through FTP server, be sure to also fax a laser print or send a proof. If your proof is too large to send at 100 percent of its finished size, write the reduction on the proof. If you supply a black and white proof, clearly label all elements that print in color.
Did you include all the fonts for your job?
Include all Fonts and a list of font names, versions, numbers and types (TrueType or Postscript).
Have you converted all your colors from RGB to CMYK?
Make sure you have used CMYK settings for all colors for process color output. Convert all images to CMYK mode or format.
If you used 'bleeds', did you setup your files for bleed margin?
Make sure all bleeds extend beyond the edge of the page about 0.125-0.25".
Trapping your files for proper output and registration:
• Trap lighter colors into darker colors.
• Avoid overtrapping.
• Use tinted traps to tone down the appearance of a third color at the border of objects.
• If colors of nearly equal densities are being trapped, choke the background color into the foreground color.
• Trap backgrounds into photographic images.
• Don't trap white knockouts, except in super black situations.
• Don't trap type in small point sizes or with thin serifs, and avoid knocking out this kind of type from multicolor and four-color images. These typefaces are good candidates for overprinting. • Overprint hairline rules.
• Watch out for opaque inks. Ink laydown sequence for opaque inks will determine whether an overprint or trap is required.
• Use common colors among touching objects.
• Watch out for nested files with inconsistent or incorrect trapping.
• To trap on object filled with a gradient into a solid object, try to find a color that is present at every level of the gradient and create a trap with that color.
• Trapping is unnecessary on objects that don't touch.