The #1 Cause for Delay in Printing Turnaround Times
And at Least 4 Ways To Avoid It
The last thing anybody wants when there is a job to be printed is a ripple in the production process. ESPECIALLY a delay in turnaround time. We researched the #1 cause for delay in our own shop. The solution is actually quite simple! And can be solved by making sure your file is setup and saved correctly. We do our best to fix any errors we can for you but there are some things we just can’t fix. In this case, we will have to send the file back for you to change.
This guide covers those errors that could result in a file being sent back. We also threw in a few extra time-saving tips.
#1 Get A Good Start
Document Size + Canvas Size + Bleed Area + Crop Marks
An incorrect Document size (Illustrator, InDesign) an incorrect Canvas size (Photoshop) can ruin an entire project. Why? It will affect the placement of Crop Marks and Bleed Area on your PDF which determines where your document is trimmed or folded, etc. It could result in it being trimmed to the wrong size.
*It is also one of those things we just can’t fix for you and would have to ask you to adjust.
Setting Up Proper Document and Bleed Settings
Find detailed, step-by-step instructions with photos for Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop here:
#2 CMYK All Day Every Day
Resist the temptation to design in RGB color mode. Make it a habit to set your Document Color Mode to CMYK. We all know RGB looks amazing on screen… But, RGB images don’t always look so amazing in print. Also check all supporting files, artwork, and images to make sure they are in CMYK mode as well.
Our proofing system will automatically convert RGB to CMYK, it usually gets very close to the intended color, however a certain range of RGB color is not possible to reproduce in print. Make sure you know exactly what you’re going to get by converting it yourself.
Quick Trick To Check Color
*MAC SHORTCUT: Quickly check the color space of JPGs,TIFs, and other art (without opening it in Photoshop,) select the file name or icon, then press command and the letter i. A dialog box will appear showing the file information, including if the image is RGB or CMYK.
#3 Don’t Send Huge Files
Our Second Most Favorite PDF Saving Trick
Large files can result in long upload times, or canceled uploads due to exceeding files size requirements. We have a favorite fix for large files created in Illustrator, or a PDF created with Illustrator. The secret is to resave the file in InDesign. Why? To take advantage of its efficient file saving methods, InDesign creates smaller pdf files that Illustrator.
* How To Save Small with InDesign
- Create an InDesign document with all of the proper document size and bleed settings to save for print.
- Go to: File > Place and select the Illustrator PDF you would like to resave. Make sure the file is positioned correctly on the art board, and that you have included the bleed area.
- Check your “Links” Panel to confirm the file has been embedded.
- Save the file as a regular InDesign document. (You are required to do this before it will let you export a pdf)
- Export the file as a pdf with all of the correct settings for print. (Bleed, Crop Marks, Etc.)
- That’s it!! Compare the Illustrator PDF to the InDesign PDF to see the difference in file size.
Speaking of Saving For Print…
Refresh (or Learn) Yourself on How To Save For Print
Make sure each PDF you save has been saved with all of the correct settings. The most important settings are Crop Marks and Bleed Area. (Things we CAN’T fix for you.)
View step-by-step instructions for saving PDFs in Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop here:
#4 Fall in Love with Free Templates
One of the easiest ways to know for certain that your file has been set up properly is to use one that has already been created for you. Slate Group has a huge selection of templates ready for you to use in Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop as well as .eps and .jpg templates. Using a template may seem like a small factor, but it can go a long way in helping many clients begin creating projects with confidence and certainty.
#4 Use Our Most FAVORITE Trick for Saving PDFs: Automation
Wouldn’t it would be easier if we could just save the file for you? Well, we can get pretty close! We have created a PDF Preset you can use when saving your PDF. Selecting the preset will automatically save your PDF with all of the correct settings.
The Preset, Installation Instructions, and How To Use it are located here.