LETS GET TECHNICAL ...
It's bad enough writing this, so pity you if you’re stuck and need to read it!
THE EASY STUFF
First things first, if you’re sending anything other than just images for printing, then .pdf is always best. If its images then native files are fine; .jpg, .psd, whatever else, but please don’t go too mad on the file size please!
That's it, all you need to know! Just kidding, you ought to know about bleed.
If an image or colour runs off a page in any direction it's called bleed. We need bleed on a document so that when the guillotine blade cuts the print, it cuts through the excess image and leaves no white edges. We suggest a minimum of 2mm extra on each edge, but you can add more if you like, too much isn't a problem but no bleed gives everyone a headache.
Please see our ‘how to create a print .pdf with bleed’ document for further information, it's not exactly bedside reading, but hopefully will be of help if you’re stuck.
CMYK IS BETTER
We print CMYK ( cyan, magenta, yellow, black) using 4 colour and 6 colour print machines. If you don’t convert your images first our RIP software will take care of it and produce really good results, but you’ll have more control over the appearance of your print if you convert all of the images to CMYK before sending them.
BOOKLETS / SADDLE STITCHED DOCUMENTS
Technically booklets are printed on one sheet and folded in half with two staples on the spine.
Just remember that your page count should divide by 4 ideally, otherwise we need to insert blank pages to make it work. Don’t make sense? Imagine you are holding a sheet of paper, if you fold it in half it will give you 4 sides. A booklet is made from a number of these sheets held together at the fold by two staples.
Don’t worry about trying to save your document as spreads or anything that will give you a headache, just give us a .pdf with the pages in order and we’ll create the layout for you, no problem.
MULTI PAGE DOCUMENTS
This is a nice simple one! Just give us a multipage .pdf file please. Insert blank pages if necessary and we can take care of it from there.
Just incorporate them in your document, unless you’re going for foil blocking, embossing or spot varnishing in which case please supply a separate file with just the element that is to be foiled, embossed or varnished please.
Obviously, the thickness of the spine depends on the number of pages, the paper type and weight you have chosen. Just let us know your preferences, and we will work out the thickness of the spine for you.
Here's a guide to perfect binding we've done on your sister website magenta.media to help you out Perfect binding for students. This includes photos, how to set up your document and what we do when we print it.
HARD CORE TECH STUFF
How to Create a Print .PDF with Bleed
INDESIGN: If starting a new document make sure all your options are showing by clicking the “more options” button. Look for Bleed and Slug at the bottom of the menu. In the bleed section type in 2mm in the Top, Bottom, Inside and Outside selections.
If you already created your document, it is easy to go back to your document settings and add the bleed. Just go to File / Document Settings and look for the Bleed and Slug options. If they are not showing, just click the “More Options” button.
Once you have finished your masterpiece and saved, then choose the high quality print option from the .pdf presets.
• Setup – Page size should be set to custom, page position should be set to centred.
• Marks and Bleeds – The ONLY things that should be selected here is “Use document bleed settings”
• Output – Use composite CMYK. All spot colours and PMS colours should be converted to process CMYK.
Other software such as Microsoft Word does not allow you to enlarge your document size for bleeds. What you can do to work around this issue is to request that your PDF be printed at (102%. for word documents). Allow enough of a margin to accommodate your trim size as well. Always request a print proof to review your final product. Always test check your final PDF. If you see white space, your bleed is not correct.
OVERSIZED PDF: Other software such as Microsoft Publisher allows you to create an oversized document but will only allow you to print on A4 page size. Create your print-ready oversize PDF as you normally would. Open your PDF document containing your bleed plus extra white space to accommodate the larger page size
CONVERTING TO THE CMYK
Select File Tab, then select Info. Select Commercial Print Settings. Select Choose Colour Model, then Select Process Colours (CMYK)
If the file already exists select the following menu options: Image/Mode/CMYK When starting a new file select CMYK for the mode before clicking OK.
Select each object you want to convert. Select the Fill tool and click Fill Colour Dialog. Make sure the Colour model is CMYK. For each object with an outline: Select the Outline tool and click the Outline Colour Dialog. Make sure the Colour model is CMYK.
Select File/Document colour mode/CMYK colour
Use the following menu options: Window/Swatches and Window/Colour. Double click colour in Swatches Change colour mode to CMYK and colour type to Process. Any colour created in the document that is not in the Swatches palette needs to be changed to the CMYK colour space. Select each object you want to convert and make sure the Colour palette reflects the CMYK percentages. Click top right arrow in the palette to change to CMYK if necessary.