We all know the saying ‘when it rains it pours’. Not ideal, but as it happens, the to-do list gets too long for the hours in a day. Especially in print design and moving on to the print process there is a list of important things to remember. In the peek busy times when there are too many things to remember, I’ve compiled a Print Designer’s check-list for myself. This is based on using Adobe Indesign for the print project, before saving your print PDF. For some of the points in my check-list, I use tools in Adobe Indesign.
When your client gives you the go-ahead: “Thank you, approved for print.” it is important to go through the next few steps to ensure a successful print end product.
1. Spell check your print document
In Adobe InDesign go to Edit > Spelling > Check Spelling. There you can choose your Dictionary too. The pop-up panel will allow you to find all the words the Dictionary thinks are spelt incorrectly and it would suggest the correct word.
2. Fixing Errors from Preflight Panel
The later versions of Adobe InDesign show all/how many Preflight errors you have in your file, in a panel at the bottom of the working window. This is important things like too much text overflowing a text box, missing links and missing fonts. Thus, it is important to go through these errors and fix them before saving your print PDF.
3. Double check images to be high resolution
In a lot of print projects, designers use stock library images. A low resolution with a watermark gets used first until the project has been approved. To ensure that no unnecessary money gets spent on unwanted images, the high-resolution image needs to be purchased after approval, but before saving the print ready file. Something easily overlooked, thus an important point to my checklist!
If the image/s is from a different source, make sure all images are 300dpi at actual size.
Also, make sure the high-resolution images are CMYK. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. These are colours of the ink to eventually create/print a full-colour image. A mix of small dots of these colours makes the different colours in the image.
4. Do your documents have bleed?
This is something that needs to be done in the initial set up of your work document. But also worth double checking. It is usually 3mm all around unless otherwise stated. If you are not sure what is bleed or how to set it up, make sure to read Sam’s blog post: What is bleed and how is it used in print?.
5. Checking your print PDF in Adobe Acrobat
Adobe Acrobat has a handy independent plug-in that reveals important information about the colours in your print-ready PDF. Since each colour in litho printing is another printing plate, it is important to know your file’s colours are limited to the number of printing plates that are going to be used. Quite Revealing helps me a lot to spot unwanted colours that creep in your file. Sometimes it is from a logo that has been important and has its own spot colours in. This is also a good way to see if there are any images or other shapes that are still in RGB format.
These are the most important points for me. You may have your own additions. Either way, our design studio can help. So don’t hesitate to use the form below to get in contact about your design and print project.