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Monday, December 6, 2010

Welcome to Greater Dallas Press Tech Tips blog

Review the topics on the right to locate the subject for review.  Our Tech Tips page will be added to weekly or as issues arise.

Photoshop CMYK tips

Click on the folowing link and use the scroll bar at the bottom and right to read instructions for Photoshop CMYK tips:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Converting to CMYK

Click on the folowing link and use the scroll bar at the bottom and right to read instructions on setting up or converting images to CMYK using several different layout or graphic programs:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Proofing your files

Prior to sending your print files to Greater Dallas Press, it is prudent to proof your PDF files.  The tendency exists, once the PDF files have been created, to send them to the printer as soon as possible, but a little extra time taken to proof the PDF files will save unneccesary delays in trying to get the files corrected and printed.  We print from the PDF files, not the layout files and anomolies may occur in the PDF process, espacially with older layout programs.  When proofing your PDF print files, examine the files at between 150% and 200%.  Proofing files at "full page" view or "page width" view will not show issues such as low resolution images or font problems due to the inherent low resolution of monitors.

Look for the following issues:

1. Incorrect page numbers and dates.

2. Low resolution images.
  • This can typically occur due to image links being compromised in the layout resulting in an overly pixelated or low resolution image.
  • Compromised links can be identified in older layout versions by reviewing the "Links Manager". Recent versions of InDesign will allert the user to link issues during the PDF process.  These should be addressed prior to procedeing with the PDF.  Ignoring these alerts will only pass the problem off to the printer and create problems and delays.
  • Low resolution images can also simply be a result of a poor image. 
3. Inconsistent color quality.
  • If one image on a page is dark an another image is bright, that is the way it will print.
  • Hyper colors.  Pictures which appear overly red, yellow or dark are usually due to exposure settings when the picture was taken or just plain bad lighting.  Many of these color problems can be corrected using Photoshop.
4. Font anomolies.

  • Font issues will typically result from fonts not being embedded in the PDF process or unlicensed fonts being used.  Newer versions of InDesign will alert the user about many font issues during the PDF process. These issues should be addressed before proceding. Ignoring these alerts will only pass the problem off to the printer and create problems and delays.
  • Occassionaly, but not very often, fonts become corrupted.  We have seen this on Macs only. When this is identified, the font needs to be re-installed.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Newspaper page build size

The cut-off on our presses is 22.75 inches, which relates to the verticle dimension or page height of a broadsheet page. As with all web presses there is a portion of this dimension which is unprintable (where the plates are mounted into the press cylinders). Therefore, we recommend you build your broadsheet pages 22.0 inches tall. This will accommodate the unprintable portion of the page. We currently stock paper widths to produce up to six different sizes of broadsheets or tabloids. These widths are 23 inch, 24 inch, 25 inch, 27 inch, 31 inch and 35 inch. Each width represents the width of two broadsheet pages. One broadsheet page width would be half of the paper width i.e. a 12.5 inch wide broadsheet page is printed using 25 inch paper. For this size, each page build size will be 22.0 inches tall x 12.5 inches wide. Another example would be a 13.5 inch wide page would be printed on 27 inch paper and the individual page build size would be 13.5 inches wide x 22.0 inches tall. A 0.5 inch margin on all sides of the page is common and recommended.

Keep in mind a tabloid is merely a 1/2 folded broadsheet rotated clockwise 90 degrees. If the page build height of a broadsheet is 22.0 and a tabloid is a 1/2 folded broadsheet rotated clockwise, the page width build size of a tabloid page is 1/2 the height of a broadsheet or 11.0 inches wide. The height of a tabloid becomes a factor of the paper width. As an example, if you are wanting a tabloid with a page height of 13.5 inches, it would be printed on 27 inch paper. Our recommended page build size is 11.0 inches wide x 13.5 inches tall, with 0.5 inch margins to the inside on all pages.

Sheetfed (Gloss or Offset) page build size

The object is to build a page with sufficient size to allow for a bleed if desired.  We recommend oversizing your page dimension by 0.25 inch on all sides and include a margin of 0.5 inch, to the inside, on all sides.  All bleeds should be laid out to the edge of the oversized page on one or all sides and all content inside the 0.5 inch margin will be protected from the trim.  Even if there are no bleeds, build the page oversized.  This will allow for a bleed to be created at a later date instead of having to resize the piece or page.  Even without any bleeds the oversizing will yield the same results.

For example:  The finished product will be 8.5 x 11.0 inches.  Our recommended page build size is 9.0 x 11.5 inches, including the 0.25 inch oversized dimension.  With an 0.5 inch margin on all sides the protected area is 8.0 x 10.5 inches.  If the bleed is placed to either or both of the 9.0 and/or the 11.5 inch sides, the excess bleeds will be trimmed off leaving a clean edge for the finished 8.5 x 11.0 inch piece and all protected content is inside the protected area of 8.0 x 10.5 inches.