Image Resolution

 

For an image to print properly, the image resolution must be at least 300 dots per inch (DPI) at the final output size.

If your file is not 300 dpi, you cannot simply increase a low resolution image to a higher one by increasing the DPI in your imaging program. The printed result will be a blurry image.

Raster Art vs Vector Art

 

"Why" We Need Vector Art For Printing:

What Exactly is Vector Art?
The technical definition of vector graphics is complicated! In a nutshell, vector files (encapsulated postscript) define a graphic by using mathematical algorithms, which allow the image to be scaled or modified without loss of image quality or resolution. When your artwork or logo is in a vectored format (either .ai or .eps), it allows you to increase or decrease the size of the graphic without compromising the integrity of the original image. The end result is a crisp, clear, and readable image no matter what the final output or size! Vector graphics are sometimes also referred to as "draw graphics", but they mean the same thing.

When you create an image in Adobe Illustrator (or in Freehand or CorelDraw), you are creating a vector graphic.  However, when you create an image in a program like Adobe Photoshop, you are creating a bitmap graphic (which is NOT a vectored format). A vector graphic retains its crispness at any magnification, and a bitmap graphic appears jagged when scaled up.

What Exactly is Raster Art?
Raster artwork is any digital art composed of horizontal and vertical rows of pixels. As a result, when raster images are enlarged, the image quality diminishes significantly. Typical raster file types include .psd, .tif, .jpg, .gif, and .bmp. Vector artwork is digital art composed of mathematical lines and curves.
                    

Supplying Print ready files

 

Your quote is based on you providing ‘Press/Print Ready’ files, but what are Press Ready Files? These are files which are supplied to the printer to be used for output with no intervention from the printer prior to production stage. As you can imagine, this file must be correct to avoid common problems during the print stage.
PICS: it is important that any photos used in the job are correctly adjusted for brightness and contrast. So if they are dark, they will print dark so will require correction. Also, the resolution should be minimum of 300dpi as the pics will print poorly or fuzzy if much lower than this. Remember resolution decreases as physical size increases. Same goes for any graphics/logos used, they should be of a reasonable resolution for printing.
PDF: the best way to supply your file is as a PRESS READY PDF - this differs from a standard PDF file in that the file is optimized for printing using CMYK and applying crop marks. It also reduces photos to 300dpi if they are larger than this (but cannot increase file resolution). We cannot alter the file once received, so we rely on you (the designer) as having completed the layout & proofing, and having the knowledge to ensure files are correct and in the right format.

* The fonts and images are embedded into the document (no need to gather them up to provide to the printer)

* PDF's display and print the same on all computers (PDF is an abbreviation for Portable Document Format)

* PDF's are compressed, so the file size is much smaller than their native art files. The quality of your printing, however, will not be compromised as long as the PDF file is saved properly.

* As long as you are not using a raster-art design program, all type and other vector art will remain crisp and pixel-free. In contrast, if you save to JPG or other raster file formats, all type and vector art will have pixels in it and print fuzzy.

FONTS: fonts must be converted to ‘outlines’ or ‘curves’ which makes them un-editable once done. This is usually done when producing the Press Ready PDF, look for this option and ensure it’s checked. The reason this is important is to ensure all fonts used reproduce correctly (regardless whether or not the font is on the recipient computer).

We always have our art department preflight your files to catch any problems that may occur and will notify you if your file is not print ready and what needs to be done to make it print ready.

Bleeds


This is the area which must extend 0.125" to each side of your artwork over the final cut size of the job. This is generally the background color or photo but must be applied at the end of the design process. NO text or graphics must encroach on the bleed area as they will be cropped at the finishing stage.

Your type (text) should be 0.125" (1/8”) inside the cut box on each side (in the safe area below). This will guarantee your text to not be cut off from your artwork.

See image below: The Green Line is the Trim Line. The Bleeds extend outside the Trim Line. No text should be 1/8” inside the Trim line (the Safe Area) to ensure they will not be cut off.

Proofs

Proofing is the MOST Crucial Stage of Your Print Order!

    Attention to detail is the key to successful proofing. This checklist will help you make sure your checking your proofs thoroughly.

    Is any type dirty or broken?
    Are photos positioned, cropped and scaled correctly?
    Are bleeds, perforations and folds indicated properly?<
    Are text and graphics in the right places?
    Is the trim size correct?
    Are borders correct?
    Are elements appropriately aligned, especially at the tops and bottoms of sections or pages?
    Are there any typos?
    Is the pagination correct?                                                                                                                      

Please look over the proof very carefully for any spelling or typo errors. Please note that when you send back an email stating it is OK to print, Faith Graphix nor will the factory be liable for any typos or errors.  PLEASE PROOF CAREFULLY!  Once you approve your proof, full responsibility for the accuracy of the copy, size & positioning of the imprint is YOURS. Please pay particular attention to spelling, addresses and phone numbers. Online proofing is to show color and/or color breaks, but IS NOT an exact color matching system. Output from laser & ink-jet printers or what you view on your computer monitor cannot be matched. These methods are subjective and may not accurately represent your final printed product.

While we do our best to ensure that every project is done right, only you know your project well enough to make sure all the elements are in place. We urge you to take the proofing phase seriously and check every document carefully. Once you have signed off on a final proof, you are giving us authorization to proceed with printing. After you have given us the approval to proceed, we will not re-print your job for any error you did not notice. We suggest that you enlist in the help of a professional proofreader.

We suggest that you enlist in the help of a professional proofreader.

Why Use the Services of a Professional Proofreader?

Professional proofreaders are editing experts. They are trained to locate and correct errors in written work and to enhance the quality of the documents that they review. Proofreaders search for technical errors, and eliminate them.

We highly recommend that you use a professional proofreader if you are investing in your marketing material, we are printers, and proofreaders are professionals in their field. Just remember after you approve a proof, we are not liable for typo’s, we cannot stress highly enough how the proofing stage is one of the most crucial stages prior to print and not to take  be taken lightly. We have a team of professional proofreaders who can assist you @ http://bit.ly/TopProofReaders

Included in the price of all items is an electronic proof (unless otherwise noted, mainly for promotional items). Electronic proofs are not intended to be accurate for color. In fact, we can safely say that the color won't match the printed piece you receive as we cannot guarantee the printed piece will exactly match the colors on your screen or printer.

Electronic Proofs Electronic proofs are digital facsimiles of your project sent to you online. We will email you a jpeg or PDF proof for you to sign off on via email


PDF: PDFs (Portable Document Format) are files created in Adobe Acrobat Distiller and readable with Adobe Acrobat Reader. PDFs are rapidly becoming the industry standard for file transfer and are our preferred format. Color fidelity of PDF files is affected by monitor calibration, lighting and use of Pantone® colors (Pantone® colors do not always appear as true on your screen). Therefore the color you see on screen may not appear as they do in print. However, PDFs provide a reasonable means for checking the accuracy of your files for print. Adobe Acrobat runs on both IBM and Macintosh platforms and can be downloaded for free from (click here>>).

Mail us back your approved proofs as soon as possible so that we can begin printing. If you have corrections, you have two options: 1) you may make the corrections yourself and send us new files.. 2) We can make the changes for you. We will quote you on how much the corrections will cost. Production for your job will not begin until we receive written sign off on the proof.

Guidelines for Preparing Your Files

 

Here are some guidelines for preparing your files for printing.
Images should be 300 dpi (dots per inch) at the final size in the layout.
Text should be 400 dpi at the final size in the layout.
Use TIFF or EPS file formats to achieve the best color quality and sharpness of image. Other file formats tend to remove some of the original images. Images originally taken from a digital camera usually appear in JPEG format and need to be converted to a TIFF or EPS format. If your image is a photograph, we recommend an EPS file format.
Try to avoid using images from the Internet or websites. These usually appear in GIF, JPEG or PNG file formats at a low dpi. Color and resolution are removed from these images to allow for rapid transfer. These images would appear fuzzy and dull if used for print.
Make sure all photos are set in the proper mode (CMYK).
Make sure the fonts and images are embedded into the document.     

Miscellaneous Printing Tips:

 

Creating a page that has a full bleed (ink all the way up to the edge of the sheet) requires that the page be printed on a larger size of paper. To set up your file to accommodate a bleed, be sure to extend the bleed area 1/8" beyond all four edges of the page. This will allow plenty of room for trimming and eliminate any of the paper showing at the edge. Please refer to each product estimate page to determine if bleeds are allowed on the type of project you are printing.
On products where bleeds are not allowed, make sure to leave an area around all four sides where there is no copy within a ½ inch of the edges.
If your document requires perforations or folds, please indicate them in the bleed area of your artwork with a small tick mark.
Be sure to include both screen and printer fonts among the files you send us, including any fonts used in linked graphics.
Be careful when using colored text. Minute misalignment on the press can cause CMYK inks to not align perfectly in small text (10 point or smaller) or in white text on a colored or black background (drop-out copy). This misalignment can make small text look blurry. If you need to use small colored text, it is best to keep it one of the true CMYK colors; black is the preferred choice. Text larger than 10 points will print clear and sharp with any color you choose.
If your design calls for screened text, especially for small text, avoid using light screens. Instead try to make screened values at least 60% and try to make at least one of the inks (preferably cyan or magenta) 100%.
When using large areas of black coverage, please set up your files with these values: 60% cyan, 40% magenta, 40% yellow and 100% black. Small text and rules should be left at 100% black.

Software Issues

 

The easiest and most efficient software for us to work with is Quark Express, Pagemaker, InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. Files prepared with these software types will never cost you anything additional if you have prepared your files correctly. (Charges are incurred when your files are not print ready and you have corrections to be made).

Other software we receive and use for jobs regularly are Publisher, Corel, Word and many others. These programs can have additional charges to make them "print ready". We won't know until we get your files and pre-flight them.

Files which require our art department time to make them "print ready" will be charged additional. We would not proceed with changes to your files without your knowledge and approval.  

Corrections
Any alterations made to your electronic file and/or in response to changes indicated on your proof will be an additional charge. Our pricing structure is for print ready files only. The additional charges includes image replacement, re-sizing or repositioning and making text changes or corrections. We will check your file before beginning any work and notify you about alterations to get your approval before proceeding with the job.