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What You Need to Send Your Printer

Here is a quick checklist of what you should submit to your printer in order for your job to be completed accurately, on-time and on-budget. Remember, different printers may have their own unique requests or guidelines, so make sure to consult with your printer before moving forward.

*If possible, send your printer a full-size proof created in a design program (such as Quark, Illustrator, InDesign, etc). Do not create the proof in a word processing program, as your printer will not be able to work with this type of file. You should also submit, along with the proof, a set of instructions on how the colors used in your project should be treated. These instructions are called color breaks. Colors, graphic information (TIFF and EPS files only, not GIF or JPEG), bleeds, pick-ups, and any other special instructions or notes should be clearly called out on your proof. Submitting a detailed and accurate proof will greatly cut down on the risk of a printing error or miscommunication.

*Label your photos and images. They should be labeled as either "live" or "For Position Only" (FPO). You should also label all original art (drawings, sketches, etc) and identify their positioning on the page (example: page 2, photo A) as it related to the laser proof. When labeling original art you should also note either the percentage reduction or final reduced size (avoid enlarging), as well as the type of scan (TIFF or EPS).

*Complete and submit a copy of your printer's prepress form (if you don't have one, now would be a good time to contact your printer. When filling out the form, make sure to identify the fonts (PostScript, not TrueType, unless your printer accepts these), graphics, and application versions you have used in creating the draft of your project. If you are going to be using any bold or italic fonts, make sure that they are they are the corresponding version of that font rather than just an attribute added to a plain font (example: Arial Black, Arial Narrow, Franklin Gothic Heavy).

*Label any and all discs or portable memory devices that you plan on submitting to your printer. Include the following: your name, the name of your organization (if applicable), the name/title of the job (hopefully something you and your printer have agreed upon or that you know they will recognize), a phone number that they can call anytime for last minute questions/issues, an email address, and the contents of the disc or memory stick.

*Make sure all RGB colors have been converted to CMYK (four-color). Make sure colors have been specified as process (select "process separation") or spot (deselect "process separation").

*Make sure that all bleeds - colors or design elements that are intended to run all the way through the edge of the page - are set at 1/8" in the application files and that objects that do not bleed are set at 3/16" from the trim.

*Confirm that you have drafted your project in the size you intend it to be when the final version is printed.

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