Tips & Tricks
We strive to be printing technology experts, but we also know how frustrating technology can be. Some would say that, the closer they get to a pressing deadline, the more likely it is that their machines will give them problems.
If you've ever experienced this first hand, you know what we're talking about. Fortunately, we've compiled a comprehensive list of Tips & Tricks for overcoming these technology-induced obstacles.
Naming files does not seem like a big deal, but can cause problems down the road. Please limit the names of files to 32 characters in length. Anything longer and the name gets truncated and will not link up correctly in your document during Preflight. Also, please do not use non-traditional characters in the names. Please limit the use to the following: (_) (,) (.) (-).
A full page design can produce stunning results, there are a few issues and precautions to keep in mind however. Unless you specifically want a bleed (edge to edge printing), make sure you leave at least .125” away from the edge on non-stitched work and .25” away on stitched work.
If you want to create a bleed image, make sure the image or color extends at least .125 over the bleed edge. This allows for cutting and trims.
Resize not Reshape
Sometimes the perfect image just doesn’t match the space of your layout. You’ve seen them, images that are stretched beyond their original dimensions creating an unnatural looking car, building or person. Unfortunately the only way to work the image in is to crop it. Most photo applications give you four corner “handles” and four side “handles” to resize as needed. Beware, the corners resize and the sides reshape. Often you will need to hold down either Shift or Ctrl while you drag to keep the proportions correct.
When working with Images 200 dpi is the minimum for quality printing, 300 is optimal. Keep in mind, if the image looks bad before you send it, it would get any better when printing.
Scanned images should be supplied as CMYK and at least 300DPI. We prefer, but are not limited to, tiff and eps formats. If color is of a great concern to you, please contact us for information regarding PPDs and Custom Profiles for Photoshop.
When laying out a saddle stitch book/catalog/magazine etc., please layout pages in single page reader-spread format. This will make both your job and the work Pre press has to do much easier.
When setting up a book/catalog/magazine etc. for wirebind please do not set up pages in spread format. We require bleed on all 4 sides to complete this type of bind.
If you are designing a job that requires folding, please make sure you are aware of any panel adjustments that may need to be made when printing on either text or cover weight stock.
Building rich blacks can add a great look to a piece. They also help during the printing process as well. Built blacks are not recommended for type under 60pts, rules under 6pts and any areas of black smaller than a quarter. The rich black build Scudder Press recommends using for a solid black backgroud is 100C, 100M, 100Y, and 100K. For tex, lines or other more delicate surfaces, you can create a black using a combined total of 300 (ie: 75C 75M 50Y 100K) Try different combinations to achieve cooler or warmer blacks. Who would have guessed that black is not just black?
When Quark, PageMaker or InDesign, you will need to convert it into a PDF or Acrobat document. Make sure your fonts are converted to curves or embedded in the file. It is also a good idea to zip up your fonts and include them with the file.
When creating a PDF keep in mind that each program out there creates a PDF differently. There are settings to ensure you are getting the highest resolution possible while also including all the information a printer will need. We ask that if you would like to go this route, please call us for settings and requirements prior to sending your files.
Sending Your Files:
Getting your files ready to send for printing can be done relatively easy. The traditional way of burning CDs & DVDs is reliable but time intensive. We also offer the ability to upload files directly by using our File Upload or Place An Order features on this site.