File Preparation Information
Preferred File Format
An Adobe Acrobat distilled PDF (Portable Document Format) file is the preferred and recommended file format to present your digital project to be printed at Quinn Graphics. The easiest way to create a PDF is to have the full version of Adobe Acrobat (not the Reader) installed on your computer. Conversion from any computer application is one click away. If saved properly, and you embed your fonts, this PDF file will eliminate the problems that occur with native applications and different type fonts.
The next best file format is a PostScript (PS). You will need to have a postscript printer driver installed on your computer. Conversion would require you to "print to file", instead of the printer, to save your project as a PS file. We would then distill it to a PDF and proceed with your request.
Or, create your file using a Graphics or Page Layout program which we support from the above list. This will require some file preparation techniques on your part before you submit your job. Please see below.
Prepress File Preparation
- Fonts - can be one of the most frustrating elements of desktop publishing. They work and appear fine on your computer but when you look at a print proof they can appear different, substituted and can even change the overall layout of your project making sentences and text fall of the page. To eliminate this you will have to gather and submit the fonts that you used in your project to us. A quick primer on fonts: Adobe's PostScript fonts have been the industry standard. However recently the Open Type standard has surpassed PostScript fonts because they are cross platform (work on both Mac & PC computers) and they need only one file, as opposed to the PostScript font's two separate files. So if you have a choice between multiple font formats, Open Type fonts are a good decision. Steps on how to gather your fonts: Some design software has a "Collect for Output" feature which will gather up all the resource files and put them together in one folder. If your software supports this feature, it is always a good idea to use it, so that you can be certain you have collected all images and fonts required for your document to print correctly. If your software does not support font collection, you will need to gather the fonts manually and supply them along with your document.
For Windows 95/98/NT/XP:
- Type 1 (PostScript) Fonts: On your hard drive there should be a directory called \psfonts which contains [filename].pfb files. Within that directory is a directory called pfm\. This contains the [filename].pfm files. For each font send both the .pfm and the corresponding .pfb file. It is vital to include both files, or the font will not work.
- True Type & OpenType fonts: In the 'Windows' directory, open the 'Fonts' folder. Right click on the desired fonts, select "copy" and then paste them into a new folder that you keep with your publication, to be sent to your print service provider.
For Macintosh OS9:
- Type 1 (PostScript) Fonts: Copy the screen fonts and printer fonts out of your System/Fonts folder. It is vital to include both files, or the font will not work.
- True Type & Open Type Fonts: Copy the True Type font out of the System/Fonts folder.
For Macintosh OSX
- OSX stores fonts in several folders, and font management in OSX is too large an issue for this guideline to address. If you have trouble finding the fonts used in a document, contact your Technical Support provider and request assistance. As with OS9, you need to provide both screen and printer fonts if you are using Type 1 PostScript, and only one file if you are using TrueType or OpenType fonts.
- Photos & Graphics - should be converted to either CMYK, grayscale or bitmap color modes. TIFF files work the best and the minimal resolution should be 300 dpi for quality printing. All images should be in a seperate folder on the disk that accompanies your project
Proofing (or Print Proof)
Quinn Graphics can not put enough emphasis on proofing and encourage all our customers to review proofs for all aspects of printing.
- Why do I have to look at a proof...I already know what it looks like...spelling and grammar are fine? You do know what it looks like on your computer monitor, printed from your printer or from your hardcopy. But a multitude of issues can arise once we open your document or even put your hardcopy original on our copier glass. Fonts and images can print vastly different from one printer to the next. At this point in your project we hope that spelling and grammar have already been reviewed.
- What should I be looking at when I review a proof? You will be looking at:
- type of stock?
- the size of the stock?
- orientation of the stock?
- the text placement?
- font substitution?
- image quality?
- acceptable color reproduction?
- fold placement?,
- staple placement?
- accurate cut?,
- binding selection?
First you should consider how you would like to use the scanned image. Is it for web display? Will it be enlarged? Do you intend to email it? Do you intend to print it?
Before we start scanning we need to set our scanner equipment to a resolution setting that is measured in dots per inch (dpi). The dpi setting will dictate a small or large file size measured in bytes.
|Quinn Graphics resolution settings||good for...||not as good for...|
|200 dpi||emailing, web viewing||photo printing|
|300 dpi||email & print||photo printing|
|400 dpi||photo printing||emailing|
|600 dpi||line art & photo printing||emailing|
We need to know if:
- you intend to use your scan electronically for viewing on the web or emailing as an attachment.
- you want to view on the web share in email and expect the recipient to print.
- you are mostly concern with print quality. For large files we can burn the scan to a CD.
- I have a document that I would like to scan and then change or edit some words in the document, is this possible? The scanners we use are not equipped with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software so our scans though quality rich are not editable.
Merging Personalized Data Into A Print Project
Quinn Graphics can assist you in your personalized data or variable data printing. Another name for this is mail merge printing and an example of this is when you may have a form letter that needs to go out to several recipients. The body of the letter contains information that does not change (static information) but the persons name and address will change (variable information) for each printing of the letter. Other examples of this personalized printing are postcards and mailing labels. Once you have composed the letter or postcard static information file (Microsoft Word or Publisher; Adobe InDesign) and have a data file (Microsoft Excel) of your intended recipients you would merge the data file with the static information as a new file and send it to Quinn Graphics for printing, we call this merge up-stream. Or if you want you would supply Quinn Graphics with the two separate static and data file and we would merge and print, we call this merging down stream.
USPS Postcard dimensions Min: 3.5 x 5 Max: 4.25 x 6