What do we need to print your file?
Fonts: Files that you create on your computer use fonts that are stored on your computer. Occasionally we do not have the fonts used in your document and we may need a copy of your fonts to install on our computer in order to print it.
Links/Graphics: When you place graphics in your document, some programs merely create a link to where that graphic is stored on your computer and show you a preview of the image, while others simply embed the image inside the file (creating a larger file size). If these links are missing the printout is bitmapped or the resolution is very low. We may request that you supply the linked files in order to give you the best quality print.
Work Order: If we do not have a completed work order, it may delay the printing and processing of your job. These work orders give us detailed information about your job and they are used to prioritize and control our workflow.
Please call us at 626-6107 if you have any questions about preparing your file for printing.
Preparing your files with Office Applications
With word processors and Publisher, it is important to remember that your fonts don't transmit with your file and need to be sent with your file. Even with the same fonts, these file types tend to reformat whenever they are transferred to another computer. Converting your files to PDF files is the best way to ensure consistency when we go to print.
Most of these applications now have the ability to create PDF files, though Microsoft applications may require you to download an extension to make it possible. When exporting a PDF choose the "Commercial Printer" or "Press Quality" option if possible.
If the software you're using doesn't have the option to create a PDF, you can print to a PDF file through the print command on a Mac, or by installing the CutePDF writer on a PC.
Preparing your files with Adobe InDesign
Exporting a PDF with bleeds
Packaging your file with fonts and links
Choose File: Package.
If you'd like to submit your packaged file through email, you'll need to create a .zip file. On a PC, right click the folder and choose "Send To: Compressed (zipped) Folder;" and on a Mac, right click or control click on the folder and choose "Compress" or "Archive." You can then attach this file to an email or send it using yousendit.com.
Bleed: Presses cannot print right to the edge of a sheet of paper. To create that effect, we must print on a sheet that is larger than the finished document size. Then we print beyond the edge of the document (usually 1/8”), and cut the paper down to the document size. It is the designer's responsibility to set the bleed correctly, and it can be critical to the look of the finished piece. Due to the larger paper size needed, bleeds can also increase the cost of a printing job. Magazine covers are usually a good example of the use of bleeds.
Gripper: Printing presses grip the paper on one edge, and then feed the paper through the rollers. It's important to know how large the gripper area is because it is an unprintable area, and grippers vary from press to press. Our smaller presses typically use a gripper of 3/8”, and if your document doesn’t have 3/8” margins or larger, we may have to run it on a larger sheet of paper.
Four Color/Process Color/CMYK: To reproduce full-color photographic images, typical printing presses use four colors of ink. The four inks are placed on the paper in layers of dots that combine to create the illusion of many more colors. CMYK refers to the 4 ink colors used by the printing press. C is cyan (blue), M is magenta (red), Y is yellow, and K is black.
Think of it like a desktop inkjet printer, it has a color cartridge with cyan, magenta, and yellow inks, and a black ink cartridge. Your printer combines these four colors to give you a full color print. Unlike an inkjet, a press puts these four colors down separately, and each color requires a different ink tray and rollers to lay down that color. Our presses are all two color presses, which means they can only print two colors in one pass through the press. So, to print four colors we run each sheet though the press twice for one side.
Spot Color: Spot color is typically what we call two color or three color. It usually consists of black and one or two other colors, however black does not have to be used. If a customer has the desire to add color to their document, but doesn’t want the higher cost of four color printing, they can choose from one to two colors that can be printed individually. These colors are chosen from a Pantone swatch booklet that you may view in the Printing Services main office. You must also setup your file to use these colors in order to print them as color separations.
Weber State University stationery is an example of spot color. It is printed in Pantone 527 purple and Pantone Warm Gray 10.
It is also important to consider that since we only have two color presses, the cost to print three colors is very close to the cost to print four.
Separations: In order to print in four color or spot color, your document must be set up in an application that has the ability to separate all of the colors onto separate plates. Most professional page layout programs such as InDesign, Pagemaker, and Quark have the ability to do this. Word processing programs such as Word Perfect and Microsoft Word do not have the ability to print separations and would have to be printed on our color copier. Microsoft Publisher and PDF files have very limited abilities to print color separations, and we usually have to open the file before we can determine if it is possible.