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PDF - Preparing Files for Print
Press-Ready PDF´s
The cost in Oddi Printing estimates are always based on files being delivered as Press Ready PDF´s.  (Oddi considers a Press-Ready PDF one that requires minimal to no editing at our end before going to plate. Requirements are that (a) the document is sent as single-pages NOT spreads, (b) page size and page count is consistent with the original estmate, (c) all fonts are embedded, (d) a bleed of 0.12" is applied on all sides, (e) color images are high resolution 150-300 dpi, (f) black and white images are true grayscale - not RGB or CMYK, (g) RGB images are tagged with a color profile, (h) black body text is true black from the CMYK swatch and NOT RGB black.)

Proofing:  Included in the price of our estimates is the cost of making and sending via courier one set of hardcopy Bluelines. Cost pr high quality color proof is charged pr proof.  If image and/or file work is required there is an hourly fee. For information regarding these costs contact your sales representative.


PDF (Portable Document Format) is a technology that was created by Adobe Systems, first developed to exchange digital documents for use on screen. It has gradually been evolved to be the printing industry's standard.

PDF file format can be used for different purposes, e.g. as individual ads, part of a job, a complete job, a digital proof etc. It can include all the elements of the page, text, pictures and fonts.

The PDF files can be of various quality, from high quality made for printing to low quality with lowres images and useless for printing. For example a PDF that was made to be a digital proof can be useless as a final output for print.

Main benefits of PDF files:

  • It is platform independent, it can be used on all popular operating systems.
  • If correctly made, pictures and fonts are built into the file.
  • No undesired textflow can take place.
  • All PostScript errors which can emerge, will show up when the PDF file is made but not when job is output on plate.
  • The files are smaller than PostScript files, more compact and do not include any needless data.
  • All pages are independent, which means it is safer to work with multi page documents.
  • It can be used as a soft proof.
  • It is possible to lock the PDF files, so password is needed to open or print.

Main drawbacks of PDF files:
  • Corrections can be troublesome, especially text corrections.
  • One has to own Adobe Acrobat to make a high quality PDF.

Guidelines for PDF generation
Indesign PDF Export settings - Standard
Indesign PDF Export settings - Advanced
- w. no Down Sample and lossless compression of images recommended for scanned linework/text in 8 or 24 bit mode images with highres pattern.

It is important that pictures and background that reach the edge of a page, bleed a minimum 3 mm out of the page.

  • Resolution, color and grayscale pictures should not be lower than 300dpi, and black and white line art at 1200dpi.
  • Do not scale above 20% if high quality is expected.
  • In most cases EPS DCS (5 file format) do not work because PDF files should always be composit.

When pages are printed from the original application, make sure:

  • Printing area is bigger than the final page size
  • That they have bleed,
  • Crop marks
  • Sit in the center of the printing area.
  • Do not print the pages in spreads.
Note:
Do not use PDF Writer or similar shortcuts like "Save as PDF" unless you are certain that the application supports real PostScript. PDF Writer is not a true PostScript device and does therefore not handle all picture formats or fonts correctly.

Preparing files for print
There are couple of things that designers have to bear in mind though and are vital for the RGB Workflow 1. Profiles may not be removed from RGB images, but what profile is used is not that important, it depends on were the image is from, keeping the original profile from the digital camera is recommended, the profile which is mostly used by professional photographer is AdobeRGB1998, sRGB and ProPhoto are also popular. ProPhoto have the biggest color spectrum and sRGB one of the smallest. But all the colorspaces are bigger than the standard CMYK colorspace.   2. PDF files must be Exported from the DTP application and made with the correct PDF export settings.
N.b. The PDF files may not be created with Acrobat Distiller, that is a obsolete workflow.

Monitor Calibration

(Not vital, but to achieve the better match on screen)

ColorSettings have to be correctly set in Indesign, Photoshop, Acrobat etc. Correct CMYK Profile needs to be selected to be able to Proof on screen. N.b. it is not used to convert the images but only to look through in the applications.
Monitors have to be at certain quality and have to be calibrated. Working area needs to be with lit with neutral light and no daylight can interfere.

More regarding RGB workflow - Why RGB workflow?
Until recently the normal workflow in offset printing required Image data to be converted from RGB to CMYK colorspace early in the process.
Many print shops did even put a demand on their customers to deliver digital files with only with CMYK data.

This is now a thing of the past in all High Quality Commercial printing, since Adobe has solved their lack of support for the RGB workflow. Before DTP applications could not embed RGB profiles in exported PDF files and the raster image processors (RIP) could not handle RGB to CMYK conversion correctly.

Now most of commercial printers prefer RGB image data to obtain the highest quality. Doing the conversion from RGB to CMYK in the last stages of the platemaking process maximizes the quality.

And last but not least, working only with RGB images simplifies the workflow for the customer.
 
 

  Oddi Printing - Hofdabakki 7, Reykjavik, Iceland
Tel: +354 515 5000