10 Tips for Offset and Digital Printing

1- Image Resolution
In order for a photo or image to look good in print, the resolution must be greater than what needed; to make it look good on screen when applying more than 200% zoom in the PDF file.

2- Images embedded in RGB
It is essential that images and files to be printed are handled in CMYK colours, if not it can cause unexpected results once processed, translated into incorrect colours and variations with respect to what is displayed on screen.

3- Special Colours
Many designers prefer to work with special colours (Pantone), mostly in logos, however in many cases; such logos get printed only in four colours (CMYK) because of cost issues. Therefore, when designing, it is important to consider that special inks have a higher value.

4- Issues with Fonts
There are multiple problems that can occur with fonts, but the main one is when a file is sent with fonts not outlined, since the computer replaces the font with another typeface available, generating a different result than what wanted to be achieved. Another common mistake is to use small fonts that are difficult to read in print, especially when they are in colour.

5- Designs with colour White
Creating files with texts or blank images on a certain background can generate errors that may make the item not appear in print. Selecting the Overprint function for the white element generates the element to be positioned above the rest of the colours, however in Offset printing; white ink is not usually used, so it may not appear. For this reason, it is essential for the blank element to be configured as Knockout (openwork) in order to achieve the desired effect.

6- Intense black
How to achieve an intense black without causing problems when printing on paper? Many designers generate blacks with 100% of the four CMYK colours, causing a very bad result due to an excess in ink load. Ask for assistance from your executive, but usually you can reinforce black with a low percentage (+ - 10%) of Cyan and thus achieve more intense blacks.

7- Transparencies
Although transparencies are widely used today, it is necessary for the printing press to pay additional attention to these to guarantee a good printing result. It is essential to carefully review the transparencies in the colour test to understand how the final result will look like.

8- Layer Management
PDFs have the possibility of containing layers, which can be visible or hidden. It is important that the files sent to press always have them visible, in case there are layers not to be printed. With regard to post-press services such as dies, UV lacquer or stamps, each one of them must come indicated in separate layers.

9- Surpluses
Files designed for printing should always contain surpluses. The background or design thereof must exceed the 2-5mm range for the cutting border; otherwise, there is a risk of reducing the file size with the cutting process, losing important information from the document.

10- Documents with multiple pages
To avoid mistakes and allow an express process in catalogues, magazines, books and memories orders; It is important to send the files as correlative pages, never as sheets, in this manner, page 1 will be the outer face of the cover, page 2 will be the inside of the cover and so on. The last page must be the outer face of the back cover. In addition, it is important to consider that to allow a correct binding; the total number of pages (including covers) must be multiple of four.

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