Mouse over a specification for a detailed description and explanation.
Portable Document Format (PDF) files are the easiest and safest way to send your design files, and the format Keness works with exclusively.
Make sure to check the 'Options' or 'Properties' or 'Settings' to ensure that you are creating a high resolution PDF. If your program has a 'Print' or 'Press' preset, either of these should be fine, but a PDF created with the 'Print' preset is likely to be much smaller and easier to transport.
Any design software can create PDF files. Microsoft has a free plug-in called 'Microsoft Save as PDF' which will allow Office 2007 programs (including Publisher) to save a file as a PDF.
If you are using Mac OS X, creating a high quality PDF is especially easy. Any program which can print to a printer can create a PDF without extra software. In the 'Print' dialog box, there is a 'PDF' menu in the lower left corner. Select 'Save as PDF...' and choose a file name. There are no setting to worry about, and the resulting PDF will print in high quality.
For best results, all images or artwork (vector and raster) should be prepared in the CMYK color space, not RGB.
Full color printing (also know as process color or 4-color printing) uses 4 inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) to create the full range of colors you see on paper. Monitors, on the other hand, use the RGB (red, green, blue) color space.
If you have designed your files using RGB, they will be converted on-the-fly into CMYK because that is what is necessary for professional printing. This can sometimes lead to unexpected results, so for print projects it is best to always prepare your files in CMYK to begin with if possible. If your color matching requirements are less precise, in most cases RGB files will print acceptably, but be aware that there will be less control over the color balance.
At Keness you will be provided an actual printed hardcopy proof, rather than an on-screen PDF proof, so you can verify your project with a much greater degree of certainty.
Any color image (photo or graphic) should be 300dpi resolution. If the resolution is less than 300dpi, the image may look blurry when printed, even though it looks very sharp on the screen. This is because printing is high resolution and monitors are low resolution. The lower the resolution, the blurrier it will be.
For color or B&W pictures, you don't need anything higher than 300dpi, regardless of the resolution of the printing device. Anything over 300dpi is overkill and simply increases the size of the file unnecessarily. For B&W line-art, however, a higher resolution (up to 1200dpi) may be desirable. This is only for true B&W bitmap artwork, not 'Grayscale'.
Note: If your images or photos are less than 300dpi, simply increasing the resolution in Photoshop won't have any real effect other than making the file larger. Photoshop can't 'create' additional detail in your image, all it can do is enlarge your image to the resolution you specified.
If your project has a bleed, please make sure to provide .25" extra beyond the trim edge for a reliable bleed.
A bleed refers to when the printed ink goes all the way to the edge of the paper, rather than there being a white margin around the edge. This is accomplished by printing on paper larger than the final size, with the ink also extending larger than the final size, and then trimming.
Fonts should be embedded in your PDF file.
With most modern software that creates PDFs, the default behavior is to embed the fonts used in your file into the PDF so that anyone else can use or print the document even if they don't have the same fonts.
No options are provided for Mac OS X users who use the built-in 'Save as PDF...' option in the Print dialog box, but fonts are always embedded by OS X and the resulting PDF file is perfect for printing. With most Adobe software you can choose to embed the fonts or not, but again, embedding the fonts is the default and doesn't need to be changed.
If you are using older software, please ensure that the option to embed fonts is enabled.