Every printing project is different and can raise potential issues which are particular to that single project. The potential for problems raises exponentially as the project grows from a single page or single image project such as an order of business cards to multipage projects like catalogs and calendars. However, there are steps which you can take when preparing your PDF files for submission to minimize the possibility of problems with your multiple page projects.
1. Apply the proper PDF standard
Many problems with clarity and resolution with multipage projects come from choosing the improper standard when preparing documents in Adobe Post Script. This usually arises from the confusing nature of the names of the standards in the program. Many customers choose the standard “Press Quality” since presumably, if the program believes that the standard is press quality, then the resulting document should indeed by press quality.
This is not the case. The industry standard is not “Press Quality,” but “PDF X-1a 2001.” Customers submitting PDF files should always submit their projects in the “PDF X-1a 2001” format to insure that the image will remain at the same quality level once it has gone through the printing process.
2. Proper Bleed
Having the proper bleed is invaluable in regards to making sure your multipage project turns out the way you plan it. Remember that the bleed is the excess area around your image that gives the printer the area in which to cut, without cutting out portions of your image. By leaving a 1/8 inch bleed around your image, it allows the cutter room to insure that none of your valuable image space is cut
3. Compile Your Images
One way to help with arranging your multipage projects is by compiling all of your individual images into one multiple page PDF document. Having all of the images in one document makes it easier for the printer to set the document for printing and allows the printer to see the order in which you want the individual documents arranged. This helps cut down on the possibility of error in the placement of the pages for printing.
4. Font Creation
When using fonts in your images, be sure to manage them properly. If you’re working out of a vector based program like Adobe Illustrator, make sure that you’ve converted the type to outlines and if you’re using Photoshop or a similar program remember to flatten the image. Also, if you used custom fonts in your images, please make sure to include the fonts with the images you send for printing. Managing your fonts properly will help go a long way towards insuring that they look the way you want them to on the final printed materials.
5. Convert Your Colors
Remember that the colors on your document will end up converted to CMYK color regardless of what color system which is used in original document. So if a document is saved in RGB colors, it will be converted to CMYK color before it is printed. This raises the possibility that the colors on the document which you have saved on your own computer or in your original image will end up looking different in the final product. To help prevent this, you should try to convert your file to CMYK before you send the image in for printing. That way there is no conversion and the likelihood of a color problem are lessened considerably.
Taking these steps before you send your multiple page project in for printing can help cut down the possibility of a problem with the final printed project.