At R.C. Brayshaw & Company, our ultimate goal is to make your brand achieve its full potential, and part of achieving that goal is making sure that the visual components of your brand are well represented. Our prepress department utilizes a wide variety of software representing the latest tools, as well as employing our years of experience to ensure that your projects are going to look their very best.
Our prepress workflow starts with evaluating your PDF or native design files to ensure that they meet the standards for the type of project being produced. Our prepress examines native design files to check that all elements have been supplied, are correct for the workflow and match the specification of the production order, before Optimized PDF files are produced for output. PDFs created from the native files as well as those supplied directly from clients are then preflighted with advanced Adobe Acrobat tools that examine them one final time before going into the workflow.
The TrueFlow and Equios Preform workflows that we employ are not only time-tested but are constantly upgraded to ensure that we are providing you with the latest tools in print reproduction technologies. TrueFlow has utilized the Adobe Print Engine for several years and deals extremely well with advanced features like native transparency in the latest design programs.
Preflight & File Preperation
1. Final Copy Checks and General Tips
It is always a good idea to do a final spell check and proofreading – things get by the best of us! We recommend printing out a hard copy as well. It is often easier to proof, and it can be sent with the job so that we have a reference for output. And a PDF is a good idea to send with the files as well.
2. Getting the Electronic Files Ready
The leading layout programs have utilities built right in to collect or package your files to go. They can also alert you to many potential problems. Before collecting your files, we recommend the following:
- Remove any extra/unused colors from your swatch palettes. Confirm that the remaining colors are what you intended to use, and they are defined properly for the type of print job you are doing.
- All linked graphics are included. Links have not been broken by renaming graphics after they were placed. Graphics files are not nested, for example: a photo placed in an Illustrator eps, then placed in InDesign – the photo will not be collected by the program in this case.
- Line art is scanned at appropriate DPI, we recommend 1200 dpi. Grayscale and color art are scanned at appropriate DPI, we recommend 400 dpi. Check to ensure that the DPI for enlarged or reduced graphics has been accounted for
- There are no ‘hairlines’ or rules less than .25 points in thickness.
- Bleeds have been extended past the page edges at least .125”.
- Check your color separations if possible. This is quite easy with InDesign as it has a Separation Preview palette to let you see what colors are used where. In Quark, you currently must print out your separations to check them or make a PDF that can be viewed as separations in Acrobat.
- Fonts, both screen and printer fonts are supplied for Type 1 postscript fonts.
- TrueType or OpenType fonts are acceptable.
- Bold or Italic text has been created using the font menu and NOT the style menu.
4. Color Considerations
- Colors are clearly and correctly defined for the type of print job you are doing. A common problem is type imported from Word or another text editor that is defined as an RGB ‘black’ or Auto. This text color appears black on screen but actually separates to cmyk as a very dark muddy brown. It is best to make sure black type is exactly that – 100% Black only.
- Images are provided as CMYK for process color printing, B/W images are provided as Grayscale.
- Spot colors are defined as Pantone colors for spot color printing, not process or RGB colors.
- Color concerns, if any, have been discussed with prepress.
PDF or Physical Proof
One of the benefits of a PDF-based workflow is that we have the ability to create color-matched inkjet proofs directly from the ripped PDF files and to create high resolution PDF files for proofing critical details as well as low resolution PDFs for content approval. PDF proofing allows for rapid approval of projects that are on a tight deadline, without the need for physical proofs to be shipped to and fro. A color-matched Epson inkjet proof is created for every project and is always available for review. That final proof is usedfor approving color, content, and layoutwhile on press as well as for final production approval in the finishing department.
R.C. Brayshaw & Company is a certified G7 Master printer. We calibrate our presses and our proofers to the most current G7 specifications and methodology, and our equipment is maintained in top-notch condition to keep us within the G7 standard. For coated print projects, we recommend the use of the GRACol ICC profile with your publishing and image software for converting to CMYK color. For uncoated print projects, we have our own ICC profile that we can provide to install into your system.
On our website, within the customer tools section, you will find our convenient file transfer system, which provides a fast and easy way to upload your files. Simply select your Consultant or Customer Service Representative from the list, fill out the form with your contact details and browse to your file to select it for upload. We do recommend that you compress your file into a single ZIP or Stuffit file for protection and reduction of upload size. When the upload is finished your contact will receive immediate notification that your files have arrived, and you will receive an email with verification that your file was successfully uploaded.
We also provide an FTP server which can be accessed with any standard FTP program, or through many web browsers. Files sent this way MUST be protected during transit, so compress your files in the Stuffit or ZIP format before sending. Please contact us when your upload is completed with the EXACT filename(s) you sent. We allow guest access and can also create separate accounts for users, so contact your customer service representative to receive connection information.
We can also accept WeTransfer or DropBox file transfers as well.
You can rely on us to always support the latest versions of all the preferred design software programs including: the Creative Cloud suite with Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, QuarkXPress and Microsoft Publisher.
We also work with other applications like Adobe Pagemaker, Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Freehand, Adobe Framemaker, Apple Pages, CorelDraw, Corel WordPerfect, Microsoft Publisher, and Microsoft Word. If your project is designed in one of the applications, please contact us for tips on preparing these files for commercial printing, or to learn how to create Adobe Acrobat PDF files for output from these programs.
While digital photography has radically changed the landscape for capturing images, occasionally there is still the need to scan traditional originals. We can scan flat originals up to 13 x 18 inches on our large flatbed scanner, as well as smaller originals such as slides and transparencies. Large format originals can be captured photographically with a high resolution digital camera.
Need some file preparation suggestions?
Contact us today.