| Have you heard the term "camera
ready"? Not too long ago just about everything being printed
was first photographed from a laser printer output. The printer
used either a daylight or darkroom camera in the process of making
a printing plate for the press, the term "camera ready"
meant the printer did not have to do any further prep work before
making a printing plate. He could take your artwork directly to
the camera and create a printing plate.
While camera plates are still used, most printers have now migrated
to digital plate processors. So, now the term for when a job needs
no further work before taken to the printing plate processor is
"Press Ready". This is because most of what West Printing
does is print from digital files. We take your digital file, preferably
a PDF or a native application like Illustrator, In Design, Quark,
PageMaker or Microsoft Publisher and send it directly to a special
computer called a raster image processor (rip). The rip is connected
to a printing plate processor. In goes you digital file and out
come a printing plate for the press. Nifty! But it is not without
problems if your digital file is missing a key element.
Missing fonts and/or graphics in your digital file are a real problem.
This is common problem in the digital age that can add significant
cost to your job and delay the work from being press-ready. Another
issue is colors that aren't properly assigned. If you want a one
Pantone spot color job, it's not big deal. Give us the artwork in
black and we'll put whatever color ink you want on the press.
But, if you have a multicolor item things get more complicated
if the colors in your digital file have not been separately identified
. The rip won't be able to separate them. You have to understand,
you can only put one color on each printing plate. A multicolor
printing press has a separate tower for each color to be applied
to the print job. So, if you have a multicolor job, say black, yellow,
cyan and magenta; each color goes on a separate plate. If the designer
does not expertly designate the color separations; black and magenta
may end up on the same plate. That won't work. If the designer uses
a scanned multicolor graphic that has RGB properties, we can't print
it in the Pantone colors you picked without tearing the graphic
apart and reassigning the color properties.
Sometimes we can work around color separation problems by using
a digital press. This works nicely for multicolor short runs of
under 500 quantity but the cost is substantially higher. If problems
arise with your graphic files during the quality check routine in
our prepress department, our customer service will discuss all of
the options with you. It is our intent to give you exactly what
you want when you want it.
You should always give your printer provider a hard-copy print
out to match with the digital output file. When a file arrives we
don't necessarily know how it is supposed to look. We rely on the
definitions and properties in the file. Our output devices will
certainly render something different than your office ink jet printer.
As an example, you should have noticed that the colors you see on
your computer monitor are different than what appears on your printer.
That is because each uses a different method of rendering the colors.
The computer monitor uses RGB (red, green. blue) an additive color
model whereas the inkjet printer you may have uses CMYK (cyan, magenta,
yellow, Black) subtractive profile.
Even though we prefer to receive your digitally prepared files
in PDF format you can also use native software's collection function
when preparing your artwork for your print provider. The collection
function varies from software to software. The collection function
may be titled "Collect For Output" or as in Microsoft
Publisher "Pack and Go". These collection functions are
a very important part of completing your job and saving you money
when using an outside print provider like West Printing. The collection
function does just what it sounds like. It collects all of your
graphic files and fonts along with your publication and packages
it up nice an neat for you to save to a CD or upload to our website.
(See the "Send Us Files Tab on our home page)
When your job is ready you may save it to a CD or upload the files
to us. Uploading the file to us is easy. Click on either "Online
Ordering" or "Send Us Files" and follow the steps.
Takes only a couple of minutes. We will receive notification when
a job has been sent to our server and we will contact you right
We have some more Q & A below that you may find helpful. But
if you don't see an answer you can call us at (419) 246-0857. Someone
nice will answer. Or,
you can email
|Questions & Answers
| 1. Does
my artwork have 0.25" bleeds?
2. Do I need
to use CMYK color mode?
3. Does West
Printing accept any file format?
4. Can you
help me prepare my files?
5. Why is resolution
6. What resolution
is needed for my job?
7. What if
my file is missing fonts?
8. How do I
convert text to outlines?
9. Does my
artwork have borders?
10. What if my file is
if my artwork contains gradients?
| Question : Does my artwork have 0.25"
Answer : If you design artwork wherein
the elements (text or graphics) go all the way to the edge
of the piece, then you are asking for a bleed. The way printers
make a bleed is to print your design on a larger sheet of
paper than the final size and then cut it to the final size
after printing, thereby creating the look of ink going all
the way to the edge.
West Printing requires a 0.25" bleed around the perimeter
of your artwork to ensure accurate cutting (e.g., artwork
for a 4"x6" postcard should extend to 4.25"
x 6.25"). If your image has a white border on all four
sides, bleeds are recommended but not required. If your image
is not white on all four sides, you must include bleeds in
print-ready files. Before submitting your artwork files.
|Question : Do I need to use CMYK color
: Depends. If you are designing a full color item
item, the answer is yes. It is especially important to do so
if you are designing a full color item using Microsoft Publisher.
But, if you are designing an item with 1 or 2 spot colors the
answer is no. Use of the Pantone Matching System (spot colors)
is a standard in the print industry.
| Question : Does West Printing accept
any file format?
Answer : No. West Printing accepts
print-ready files in any of the following formats: .eps, .jpg,
.pdf, .ps, .psd, .tif.
We also accept print-ready files saved from the following
design software programs: Adobe Photoshop® CS, Adobe Illustrator®
CS, Adobe InDesign® CS, Adobe PageMaker, Macromedia Freehand®,
QuarkXpress®, Microsoft Publisher if you have properly
packaged/collected all of the graphics and fonts with the
We can also print raster images (.tiff and .jpegs) independent
of the application program used to create such designs if
they are submitted at high-quality, uncompressed 300 dpi resolution..
We can not guarantee files created in MS-Word or MS-Publisher
will produce high-quality images and text. Please refer to
your user manual or software vendor for information on how
to output a print-ready raster image that meets West Printing
Please note that if you have an artwork file in any other
format (e.g., word document), we encourage you to create a
PDF file that can be uploaded to West Printing.
|Question : Can you help me prepare my
: Yes, our skilled designers and put together
anything you can imagine. Call us at 419-246-0857 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
to discuss your specifics.
|Question : Why is resolution important?
Answer : Have you ever seen a printed
piece with graphics or fonts that look jagged or pixelated?
Resolution also known as DPI (Dots Per Inch) can be described
as the number of dots that fit horizontally and vertically
into a one-inch space. Generally, the more dots per inch,
the more detail captured and the sharper the resulting image.
Sometimes we get digital artwork that has graphic files the
designer unknowingly saved at 72dpi, the common resolution
for web graphics. Looks great on the screen and ugly on paper.
For an image to print properly, the image must be at least
300 dots per inch (dpi) at the final output size. If your
file is not 300 dpi, you can not simply increase the dpi from
a low resolution to a higher one by increasing the DPI in
your imaging program.
|Question :What resolution is needed for
: For most printing jobs, 300 dots per inch (DPI)
is the minimum resolution to guarantee acceptable printing results.
For larger products such as large format posters and banners,
we recommend sharper resolution which can range from 300 to
1200 dpi, depending on the intended use of the printed piece.
| Question :What if my file is missing
Answer : It is important that you
supply all fonts used in your layout. If you do not supply
fonts in your artwork file, we will request that you resubmit
your files with fonts included. Generally fonts are a non-issue
if you submit your file as a properly created PDF. A PDF that
has been properly created will embed all graphics and fonts.
Otherwise, If you have vector artwork and your file is missing
fonts, you can open your file in Illustrator, select "Create
Outlines", save your fonts, re-save your artwork file,
and then upload it.
If you have artwork that is rasterized, you can open your
file in Photoshop and select "Flatten the Layers",
re-save your artwork file, and then upload it.
Please do not submit your fonts separately from your file
because it is critical that we receive your print-ready file
with fonts included to avoid any printing issues.
|Question :How do I convert text to outlines?
Answer : All text
within your files must be converted to outlines with the outline
set to zero to eliminate the need for fonts. Consult your software
application "Help" menu or user guide. It is a simple
but important process.
|Question :Does my artwork have borders?
If your artwork contains borders, you must make sure all borders
are 1/4 (0.25) of an inch wide on each side of your artwork.
In addition, you need to add a 1/8 (0.125) of an inch bleed
on each side of your artwork. This approach will ensure proper
cutting and help the finished product maintain a symmetrical
appearance. If your border is not at least 1/4 (0.25) of an
inch wide on each side, you risk creating a border that looks
|Question :What if my file is missing images?
Answer : If your file is missing
the images you desire, you should re-save your file properly
so that the images will not drop out during printing.
We do not normally accept images by themselves. The only
exception is if you engage one of our graphic designers to
help you with your project.
Otherwise, you must place all images in your artwork, preferably
by linking them, and make sure to save your files properly.
Please refer to your software program manual for more information
on how to save your files properly. For example, if you are
using a vector-based software program such as illustrator
you must make sure you are using tif file images to place,
then when saving to an eps or pdf you must embed the images.
If you are using Photoshop, you should flatten all layers
before saving to keep all images and text in place. Sounds
complicated, but it is all a part of getting your job prepared
for printing with the fewest hassles and delays.
|Question :What if my artwork contains
: Gradients are commonly used in printing and
in most instances produce good results. Gradients can be represented
in a file as a mathematical equation (Vector) or rendered by
the application into a series of pixels (Raster).
We now offer the additional solutions to you!
We offer a wide variety of items...including color copying &
Let your computer "sign" your name!
Ask Steve for more information on how West Printing Co. can be
an asset to your company. We guarantee that the services we deliver
will help you make more money. Now, isn't that the reason you buy
media in the first place? Because we treat each client like family,
you know you are going to get our very best effort every time. No