Bleed Zones

When setting up your file there are three important areas to keep in mind:

Trim area: This is the size of the trim page size. It is the size that your finished book will be trimmed to, height and length of the page.
Bleed: This is the area that extends BEYOND the trim line. If you have a background, image or any design element that you want to bleed off the page, you must extend this by 1/8″ (3 mm) beyond the trim marks.
Safe area: Keep text boxes and headings contained in the safe area, which is at the minimum 1/8” (3 mm) in from the trim area.

The printer sets up the imposed pages on the sheet, therefore it is important to set up bleeds on all 4 sides of the page.


Color Management

For best results the profiles need to be applied to the images in Photoshop, not in InDesign:
When preparing your image files in Photoshop, select from the Edit/ Convert to Profile and choose one of the following from the drop down menu:
• For GRACoL, Adobe profile: Coated GRACoL 2006 (ISO 12647-2:2004)
• For FOGRA coated, Adobe profile: Coated FOGRA39 (ISO 12647-2:2004)
• For FOGRA uncoated, Adobe profile: Uncoated FOGRA47 (ISO 12647-2:2004)


File Prep

Review the guidelines in this section to help prepare your files as accurately as possible. This will help to avoid errors during preflight. If you are not sure that your files are set up correctly please contact your sales executive for advice.


Acceptable Files

Application Files Accepted:
• Adobe InDesign
• Adobe Illustrator (Not suitable for interior layout. Please restrict to line art and single page documents, like logos, jackets, etc.)
• Print ready PDFs created from the application files listed above


Font Guide Lines

We recommend that you use PostScript, OpenType or TrueType fonts. Some fonts get corrupted during transmission, such as burning on DVD or uploading via FTP. We recommend compressing fonts before submitting them.

Do not create fonts that do not have a corresponding printer font. For example, in your layout program you can select “Helvetica” and then click a “Bold” style because there is a corresponding “Helvetica Bold” printer font. But if you select “Futura Heavy” and then apply a “Bold” style to it you will not get a bolder version of that font because there is no corresponding printer font.

We recommend that you select the font you want directly in the font menu rather than selecting the base font and applying a style. With large fonts that contain many weights the latter technique can make your results unpredictable.

When setting up your font color, please keep these guidelines in mind:
8 pt. at 100% of solid color.
12 pt. at 60% to 80% of color
16 pt. at CMYK color. Smaller CMYK font will print with jagged edges and appear fuzzy (or off register) because the dots are printed as screen.



Trapping is extending a graphic or image by 0.25pt to avoid any white halo or gap around the image or graphic. Generally process colors do not need to be trapped, although there are some exceptions. InDesign has preset trap settings, generally you do not need to worry about trapping.

You should be aware of trapping when you are knocking out an image or design element from a solid background. There are two ways to avoid the white halo, or what appears to be misregistration, by applying the correct trapping or by overprinting. Overprinting is recommended for text or thin graphics or lines, but remember that overprinting will add the assigned color of the object to the underlying color and may affect the object color.

If you have green text (c: 95, m: 0, y: 80, k: 0) sitting on a blue (c: 95, m: 20, y: 10, k: 0) background, you do not need to trap because of the solid cyan background AND if the text is 16 pt. or smaller you should set the text to OVERPRINT.


Image Set Up

Hi res image files should always be submitted as TIFF, PSD, AI or EPS files. The most important factor in a quality reproduction is the final file size. All image files should be 300 DPI (dots per inch) and line art should be 1200 DPI at final size.
A large image scanned at 150 DPI is functionally equivalent to an image half that size that is scanned at 300 DPI. Both will result in a file that is roughly the same size.

When preparing your image files you need to capture the right amount of information. If your files are too small they appear blurry or pixelated. If they are too large they make the imagesetter work too hard or may produce a Postscript error.

Images less than 300 DPI (or 1200 DPI for line art) will cause an error during the preflight process. All hi-res images need to be set up as CMYK, and not more than +15% or -15% of the reproduction size. Artwork downloaded from a web site is usually too low-resolution for print reproduction. Avoid using lines within artwork that are thinner than .5 point.

All images should be submitted as CMYK, not RGB format. All color should be retouched and color corrected in Photoshop prior to the images being imported into InDesign.


Bitmapped Images

Raster or bitmap images are contained in the form of small squares in grid like pattern, known as pixels, to represent graphics. Each pixel in a bitmap image has a specific location and color value assigned to it. The most common file type are TIFF, EPS or Photoshop PSD files.

When preparing photograph files for print reproduction you should almost always produce TIFF images or PSD files. TIFF files are more common, and are an open format, which means they can be used in InDesign or Quark. PSD files can only be used in Adobe Photoshop program.

Another common image file is a JPEG. Primarily used for photographs, JPEG is one of the two common file formats used on the web. It is a compressed format so information is lost during compression. If you have a JPEG file you want to use in print, open it in Photoshop and select: Image->Mode->CMYK Color (or Grayscale).

It is ok to resample from a large image to a smaller one. Photoshop simply throws out the extra pixels and an image will appear smaller and every bit as sharp as it was before.

It is NEVER A GOOD IDEA to upsample from a small image to a larger one. In this situation, Photoshop adds pixels to the image. The program assigns color to these new pixels based on the color of neighboring pixels. This may result in an image that is blurrier than the original, as shown to the right.

Never submit GIF image files for print production.


Black and White Images

Depending on your project, you can set up your images as 1 color black and white, duotones, or 4 color CMYK images.

1 color black and white image is set up generally using process black. Highlights and shadows are set up in grayscale.

2 color black and white image are set up using process black and a PMS color. The PMS color can be used to apply a sepia color or PMS gray to create more details in the grayscalefrom highlights to shadows.

4 color black and white are created using CMYK and provide the most detail from highlights to shadows. 4 color black and white images require a very delicate balance. When setting up your files, you have to make sure that there isn’t a color cast in your images. You must eliminate the cast in Photoshop before the image is imported into InDesign.


Vector Illustrations

Output all the vector illustration files as EPS or AI (Illustrator). Be sure to match the color names in these files to the names of the same colors in the layout software.

Some versions of Adobe Illustrator allow you to raise or lower Adobe Illustrator’s default output resolution. Don’t adjust this setting. Lowering the resolution will result in poorly formed paths. Raising it might give unnecessary errors during preflight.

Save line art files as bitmapped images. If you save them grayscale, the edges may output with a halftone screen making them appear blurry or jagged.


Using Black Ink Solids

If a large area of solid black will be crossing other built tints, there will be a difference in density between the areas over color and those that are not over color. The solution is to build a “rich black” tint mix as follows:


Using this rich black will avoid any obvious density variations in black solids. It is also a good formula for producing a dense, uniform solid black, even when it will not be crossing other colors.

Other black elements such as rules, type, and thin illustration elements should be made up of 100% black and set to overprint.

Consider adding varnish on pages that are solid dark color facing a white page to prevent set off.


Releasing Your Project

Before submitting your files, please use the Preflight command in InDesign to check your files.

Please include:
• Only images that are used in the layout. Make sure the names and locations of linked files do not change after you collect your files.
• All bitmapped image sizes should be at least 300 DPI, and all vector line art files should be at least 1200 DPI
TIFF and EPS files should be CMYK, not RGB. All images as TIFF, and all vector line art as EPS.
• Include all fonts used, along with their corresponding printer fonts, even if the font is commonly used.
• Eliminate all unused colors. InDesign’s color palette has a “Select All Unused” option that will help you to locate and delete these swatches.
• Make sure each color has only one name.
• Simplify the graphics to use the minimum number of steps in a blend or the smallest number of points on a path.
• Make sure Photoshop documents do not include unused or hidden layers. Otherwise, ripping errors may occur and the hidden layers may output and create unexpected results.
• Eliminate unused elements on the pasteboard or elements that are completely hidden by other objects.
• All pages should have trims and bleeds (bleeds should extend 3mm or 1/4” beyond the trim on all 4 sides).
• Include low res PDFs for placement and/ or laser printout. Write page numbers on the lasers if the folios do not print or low res PDFs for placement.
• Include separate application or PDF files for text and cover, case any other components (endpapers, binding, etc.)
• Color guidance, if you are supplying.

You can submit your files via wetransfer , Hightail or other online file sharing program, or portable drive (make sure to include the cable to connect to computer). Submit InDesing or hi-res print ready PDFs with trim marks and bleeds included.

For additional details on how to set up PDFs, please visit the Adobe help site:–get-started–essential-beginners

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