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(Print Primer for Designers continued from the previous page)

Page Crafting & Assembly

Designing is only part of the challenge

Today's printing projects can become extremely complicated. It's your job to make sure the complication does not get in the way of efficient procedure.

Always ask yourself if there is a simpler way to do something, or if you've put something on the page which is not essential.

Page Gathering

When you send your disk to prepress it MUST include all layout and graphic files which will be required to image the completed set of film. In many cases you will be required to send fonts or the font suitcases. You must ask your prepress vendor.

As you near completion of the project, establish a directory which will contain JUST the necessary files for the printer.

Save the final/final to that directory (or folder) and that file ONLY. Don't send multiple "versions" of a file.

Page Validation

As we mentioned before, create a complete "dummy" (hardcopy) from your Postscript laser printer or output device. Print it from the final files (contained on the disk) at 100% size, tiling if needed.

Fold, paginate, and assemble the project as the final printed version will be.

If you do not have color proofing capabilities, the use a Red (or another contrasting color) pen to indicate on the dummy where visual landmarks occur. (This includes photos to be scanned by the printer, color breaks, or other physical elements of the project which are not apparent in the B&W dummy.)

Write the following on the dummy and send it along with the disk:

You'll probably also want the client to autograph this dummy as well. In the approval meeting, go over each mark on the dummy. If it's a high-dollar job, you may want the client to initial the markings. If there are changes, make them then require an autograph on the revised dummy.

Take One Last Look

There should be at least four "final" proof points.

1. Text, copy, layout Proof. (Raw text, copy and position. copy with output from word processing files. You may circulate this first round proofs and loose graphics in the software application you used to create them. In many cases the client will provide text in a word processing file.)

2. Final Text Copy Layout (Graphics in position, final TEXT level, completed page layouts for typography and layout printed to a laser printer, and/or circulated as an Adobe Acrobat file. NO EDITABLE files should be circulated at this point.)

3. Final Dummy Proof (Just before going to the printer - final completed color proofs, fully assembled. Here you verify color separation, positioning, graphic devices, etc., using separated laser hardcopy or desktop color printer output. NO FILES at this point)

4. Color Pre-Press Final (Color proofing - final color proofs from the vendor responsible for creating the film. Changes here will be expensive)

Some projects may require one final (and expensive) step: Press proofing. But that's almost unheard of in today's world.

This multi-step proofing process should allow you to bring the publication to a press-ready state. Each level should be signed by the client! ("Client Approval" form is in the Subscribers Resource Library)

Next: The Press Proof...


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