While we accept all major software such as Corel Draw, Photoshop; PDF files our preferred format. PDF are the industry standard format for transporting artwork files. Firstly a few myths need to be dispelled. PDF files are not Infallible. Sometimes things change in a PDF file in the same way as they do in other formats - they are not 100% platform or device independent. PDF files can have missing fonts. Images in PDF files can print incorrectly, for example RGB images.

That said, if a PDF file is generated correctly then it is probably the most reliable format for supplying your job. Most applications these days have an option for exporting PDF files. These will invariably have preset options for producing different types of PDF file (for example "PDF For Screen1, "PDF For Electronic Distribution" etc). Remember that your PDF file is to be printed on a litho printing press so some strict rules apply. Creating a PDF file for "screen" or for "electronic distribution" is not an option. This will result in a low resolution file similar to a JPEG taken from the internet. Although these files will be very small do not be tempted to use them - they will provide inferior results.

Every application has slightly different interfaces for producing PDF files so we will use the terminology from CorelDraw's PDF generator. Other applications will have the same options but may be labeled slightly differently. The first issue we have concerns text and fonts (typefaces). When creating your PDF always use the option "Export All Text As Curves". This will increase the file size of your PDF unfortunately BUT it will remove the need for typefaces to be used at all. This is the same as converting your text to outlines in Illustrator, paths in Freehand or curves in CorelDraw. The text becomes a graphic rather than using a typeface. This also means that a PDF generated on a Mac can be used on a PC without any text  problems.

The second and slightly more complex issue concerns the compression of images. PDF files will embed your image in a way which is useable in our plate making system. You should ALWAYS make sure your image files are CMYK before starting any layout. When generating your PDF file do not compress the images. You will normally be presented with compression options for three different types of image file. Colour, Grayscale and Monochrome. Each will have options for the resolution to be exported and in some cases options will be given for the type of compression to use.

DO NOT DOWN SAMPLE YOUR IMAGES TO ANYTHING LESS THAN 350dpi. If you have generated your artwork correctly then your images will be 350dpi CMYK files. Therefore we do not want to do anything at the PDF stage which will degrade the quality of the images. When given the options for compression type always select NO COMPRESSION or the equivalent. If presented with options for resolution of images always use 350dpi. Always make sure the option for "Compress text and line art" is off. Finally, when exporting your PDF you should have an option for the colour space to be used - ALWAYS select CMYK for this option.

To reiterate, PDF files are not always useable. It is imperative that artwork is originated correctly before the PDF file is generated AND that the PDF file is generated correctly. Other applications may have more or less options and may be labeled differently - as stated the illustrations here are from CorelDraw.

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PRINTING: Ordering process

1. Select Quantity
2. Choose Paper stock / weight
3. Select number of Sides
4. Tell us how many Colours you want for your print work*
5. Tell us if you are supplying artwork as per our guidelines, or by answering no you are commissioning Double Image to design the artwork.
6. Returning customers: Please indicate in your comment/Suggestion table. New Customers: Fill in your details and your special instruction.