Mark Anthony Media - FAQs
   
     

FAQs

What does "14pt" mean?
Points are a measure of paper thickness, equivalent to approximately 1/1000 of an inch. Generally, thin postcards are 8pt to 10pt thickness, medium weight postcards are 11 or 12pt, and thick postcards are 14pt or thicker. All of our standard full color postcards, rack cards, bookmarks, and business cards are printed on 14pt stock.


What is a "Bleed Area"?

Most offset printing is done on large sheets, then trimmed to size. Because of inevitable slight imprecision in the trimming process, a sliver of white space can mess up an otherwise great layout. If you want color to the edge it's good practice to extend colors outside the final trim line an eighth inch, to avoid this. Color beyond the trim edge is called the bleed area. Consult our general Templaes for visuals.

Why do I need to convert text before sending?
Your page layout program will use fonts that are installed on your computer. When you send unconverted text to another computer, other fonts may be substituted. You can prevent such unwanted substitution by converting fonts to curves before sending. Some programs call this "rendering text," "converting to outlines," or "converting to shapes." Another method of ensuring correct transfer is to render your layout entirely to bitmap form, preferably to tagged image format, or tiff, before sending.


What is "Resolution"?

The resolution of a computer bitmap [or "raster"] file is the number of dots per inch [dpi] or pixels per inch [ppi] that make up the image. It's important to understand that bitmaps that look great on a computer monitor might not print well. This is because most monitors show about 72 to 96ppi resolution, while most quality printing requires at least 300dpi for optimum results.

A 72dpi image that looks great posted on your website, will translate to an image about a fifth it's screen size when printed at a proper print resolution of 300dpi or more.



What are "Vectors"?
Unlike bitmaps, which are built from rows of colored dots or "pixels", vector files are drawn from mathematical formulae. Behind every vector image is code describing line length, position, curvature, etc. The advantage being that a vector image can be resized to infinity without losing any detail. Bitmaps, on the other hand, don't resize nearly as gracefully.


Common vector formats for printing.
EPS: Encapsulated Postscript
One of the oldest and most reliable vector formats. All professional vector graphics software will export to EPS


AI:
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe's answer to Corel's popular Draw program. Not as powerful as CorelDraw, but preferred by the Adobe/Mac crowd

CDR:
CorelDRAW
One of the earliest and most popular vector drawing programs. Very powerful out of the box, and probably the easiest to use professional vector graphics program available.


Common raster formats for printing.
BMP: Windows Bitmap
Microsoft's bitmap format. A bit dated and rough. Not your best bet for printing.

GIF: Graphics Interchange Format
Invented by Compuserve for optimizing web graphics. Good for certain types of graphics on the Web, especially graphics with few colors. Not good for print files. Can include transparency and animation, unlike JPEGs.

JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group
Invented by photographers for photo optimization in digital files. Great for monitor viewing of photos. Can be used for print, if not over-compressed. No transparency or animation.

TIFF: Tagged Image File Format
Best format for maximum color depth to print. These files are way too large for web use, but will provide optimum results when transferring to print.

What program should I use?
Prepare your page layout in a program such as QuarkXPress, InDesign, Microsoft Publisher, PageMaker or a graphics program such as CorelDRAW.

Prepare vector art, such as a company logo, in a Draw program like Illustrator, CorelDRAW or Freehand. Save these images as EPS files and import them into the page layout.

Prepare your photographic images (scans or digital camera images) in programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel PhotoPaint. Save these images as EPS, TIFF or JPEG files and import them into the page layout.

Supported Software
QuarkXPress, Adobe PageMaker, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Freehand, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher, & CorelDRAW.

How should I create my file?
In your page layout program, make the page size equal to the trim size of the final piece. Do not make a bigger page and draw your own “crop marks” or “printer’s marks”.

Use only alphanumeric characters (abc, ABC, 123, etc.) to name your files and folders. Do not use characters such as *, ?, /, \, :, ~, @, #, &, etc.

Create all the pages of your project within a single file in your layout program. Do not create a separate file for each page.

In multi-page files, arrange the pages in numerical sequence. Do not create “printer’s spreads”. Do not “gang” or “impose” a number of pages together into one big page.

For multi-page projects such as newsletters, magazines and catalogs, keep in mind that the total number of pages must be divisible by 4. In other words, projects of this type should have 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, etc. pages, the total number always being a multiple of 4. Therefore, if you end up with 23 pages, you should include a blank page or find additional content to bring the total up to 24. Do not leave it up to the printer to decide where the blank pages should fall. Details such as this often cause unnecessary delays.

Graphic objects or backgrounds that print to the edge of the page should be made to extend 1/8” (0.125”) beyond the edge of the page in the layout. This is called bleed. The overlapping 1/8” will be trimmed off, but if it’s not there in the first place, slight inaccuracies in cutting could leave a thin white border along one or more edges of the page.

Keep all type at least ¼” (0.25”) away from the edges of the page.

A couple of things you should not do...

Do not "nest" an EPS file within an EPS file, or a PDF file within a PDF file. Import EPS and PDF files as single files into your page layout. For complex drawings, create the complete art in a draw program and save it as a single EPS file.

Do not make a PDF file by combining two or more PDF files using the "insert pages" feature in Acrobat. Although this is a convenient way to make one document out of many, it can cause havoc in a professional printing situation. Differences in font embedding, for example, among the source PDF files can cause unexpected and unpleasant results when printing the combined PDF file.

Do not use hairline rules. Make rules at least 1/4 pt. thick (0.25 pt.)

 

 

 

What files should I upload?
Upload all the files needed to process the job: page layout files, imported images, fonts and other support files.

Use WinZip on a PC or Stuffit on a Mac to compress all the files into a single file for uploading.

Name the file using your Mark Anthony Media order number or, if you don't have one yet, your company name or name and the date (i.e. acmewidgets-mm-dd-yy.zip).

For instructions on how to send your file via FTP, contact your Mark Anthony Media representative or send an email to info@markanthonymedia.com with "FTP instructions" as the subject.

Can I upload a PDF file?
Yes, we accept PDF files, but it's important that you prepare them correctly. The above guidelines for file preparation also apply to preparing PDF files. In addition, you should:

If you are using InDesign, create PDF files using “Export to PDF”.
Create PDF files from other page layout or graphics programs using Adobe Acrobat Distiller. The method for doing this depends on your program, the version of Distiller you have and the operating system you are running. Check our TechTips main page for application-specific guidelines, or contact us at techtips@printpelican.com for advice for your system.

Make sure no security is applied to your PDF files; i.e. do not “password protect” them.
Beware of combining or "merging" many separate PDF files into a single file. The separate PDF files may have different settings relating, for example, to font embedding. This can result in font anomalies such as missing or substituted characters at print time.

Do I need to send my fonts with the job?
The general rule is that when you send us application files, you should also send the fonts used in those files. However, when you send us correctly prepared PDF files, the fonts should already be embedded in the PDF and will therefore not need to be sent separately. By "embedded", we mean that the font is contained or included in the PDF file.

There are a number of ways to send fonts. Many applications (such as QuarkXPress, InDesign and Microsoft Publisher) have the ability to "package" or "collect for output", which you can use to gather all of the fonts and other supporting files for easy delivery to a printer. Consult your page layout program's documentation for information about how to use its font-collection feature.

Where are my fonts?
If your program does not allow you to collect fonts automatically, then you have to collect them manually. Their location differs depending on whether you are using a PC or a Mac, and whether or not you are using a font management utility.

On a PC without an installed font management utility, fonts are generally stored in C:/WINDOWS/Fonts. However, be aware that this folder may also contain shortcuts to fonts located in other folders; in that case, you need to locate and send us the original font file, not the shortcut. If you need further advice about this, please email us at techtips@printpelican.com with "Help Locate Fonts" as the subject. On a PC with a font management utility, consult its documentation to find out where it stores fonts. For example, Adobe Type Manager stores PostScript fonts in C:\PSFONTS, and TrueType (TTF) fonts in C:/WINDOWS/Fonts/ATMFolder.

OS X fonts are stored in a number of different locations, for example in Library/Fonts or Library/Application Support/Adobe/Fonts.

How should I send manually collected fonts?
When you send these collected fonts via email or FTP upload, it is very important to compress them using a utility such as WinZIP on a PC or Stuffit on a Mac prior to sending them. Failure to do this can make the fonts unusable when they reach us. Your Print Pelican CSR will provide you with easy-to-follow FTP upload instructions when you need them.

Font Formats.
We accept and work with most common Mac and PC font formats, including PostScript Type 1, TrueType, OpenType and OS X dfont.

Remember that PC and Mac PostScript fonts are composed of two files, not one, and you need to send both of them to us. PC PostScript fonts are composed of .pfb and corresponding .pfm files, while Mac PostScript fonts are composed of printer and screen fonts.

How do I know if my fonts are embedded in my PDF file?
It is possible to create a PDF file in which fonts are not embedded. Such a PDF file is not suitable for professional printing. If you send us a PDF file without embedded fonts, we will not be able to process it and our CSRs will contact you to discuss how to correct the problem before continuing with the job.

Also be aware that some fonts cannot be embedded in a PDF file. Each font has a "permission bit" in its source code that is turned on or off by its creator. Fonts with this bit turned off cannot be embedded in a PDF file. Be especially wary of free fonts downloaded from the web. We recommend using programs such as Acrobat Distiller to create PDF files because they can warn you if they encounter fonts that cannot be embedded.

What colors can I use for my fonts?
Theoretically, you can use any color you wish, but there are definite practical limitations when using fonts in a professional printing situation. Paper travels at such high speed through modern printing presses that a certain amount of lateral movement or jitter of the paper is inevitable. If small objects such as type characters are colored using two or more printing inks, chances are that they will be slightly misaligned due to this paper movement. However slight this misalignment may be, the result will be a noticeable blurriness of the text.

To avoid this problem, remember to color body text as 100% black. You may also use 100% of a single Pantone or Process color. The important consideration here is that only one printing ink should be used.

Something you should not do.
If you have used Courier as part of your design, please let your CSR know about it in advance. Because many programs are set to default to Courier when a font is missing, our CSRs will flag any use of Courier and notify you about it.

Pictures, Color and Resolution
Save photographic images as CMYK EPS, TIFF or JPEG files and import them into the page layout.

Make sure your photographic images are saved at a resolution of 300 ppi at the final dimensions you want to use them. Be aware that size and resolution are inversely proportional, so that enlarging an image decreases its resolution. If images are saved at 300 ppi, you may safely enlarge them by up to 15%.

Be aware that most images on the internet are 72 ppi and will result in very poor quality printing. Upsampling these images in Photoshop or PhotoPaint will not improve them. You can, however, reduce the dimensions of such images in order to obtain a higher resolution, ideally 300 ppi. Still, use them at your own risk.

Things you should not do.
Do not embed ICC color profiles in Photoshop files. Use your image editing program to discard ICC profiles before importing images into your page layout.

Do not colorize small and fine objects (including thin lines or boxes, the body copy of your pages and script typestyles below 18 pt. in size). These objects are best left in black, or a single process or Pantone color. Also, do not “reverse” (white on black or color background) small and fine objects.

 

 

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