A set of typographic character
It is possible some readers will find this argument rather basic, however I’ve heard very often typographer I know complaining about a lack of fonts and colors management in files they receive for printing.

A good rule of thumb, especially if you’re starting to collaborate with a new typographer, is always to ask first how he prefers files to be prepared.
My favourite file format is PDF, however you can have some problems with it if typographer has an older version of Adobe Acrobat than yours (it is possible file won’t open at all or, worse, a black blob will print where you put transparencies), so most of times best solution is to go with EPS, a hybrid “container” format that incorporates both images and curves.

Problem with EPS is that if your composition has some text, and the font you used to create your paragraph is not installed on the computer that will open file, your text won’t display nor print as you intended, but system default font will be used.

To solve this issue you have to embed the font in the EPS when you save file.
However, even if EPS files can contains either images and type they are placed in a page layout as images. Font and style attributes are saved within the EPS file when it is created – such as by an illustration program, and simply embedding font cannot always be a solution.

Other than font embedding there are a few other ways you could deal this.
You can:

1. Provide the fonts along with the job (assure first if any licensing agreement applies)
2. Convert all the fonts to curves in the EPS file (but the text will no more be editable)
3. Deliver two versions of the EPS file:
a) A master version with editable text;
b) A copy with text converted to curves.

Next detail you have to take care of is the color model you are using.
Is the job going to be printed using spot color or process color?
Let’s assume you have to print a two-color job – for example, blue and red. If some objects were marked using process blue (a mix of cyan, magenta, yellow and black) and the text in the page layout file was marked using a spot color depending on colors used, four or five plates may be output instead of two (three to four for the process colors and one for the spot color).

Furthermore, it is a good idea to ask for a laser proof to your typographer to check your output before sending your composition to final production.
The reason is that the service bureau’s equipment uses PostScript. By printing a proof using the equal page-description language, you will be able to obtain an accurate replica before the files are committed to high-end output. EPS and PDF files must be output to a PostScript device for them to print the right way because their instructions are written using PostScript.

As a final recommendation I would say to avoid to save using JPEG compression, neither for EPS nor for PDF, because it is a quality loss format (probably you won’t notice much difference on display but once on paper you’d really regret your choice) and you lose quality each time you re-save your document.

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[…] Original The Mik […]

Font and color management for print : thegameoflove added these pithy words on Sep 20 08 at 10:56 pm

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