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The 7 biggest mistakes in creating a print PDF

The design is finished, everyone is satisfied – and now off to the printing house with the data. Stop, at the point we hook. What must the data that goes into the printer look like, so that the layout in print also looks as planned? reveals the 7 biggest mistakes you can make when creating a print PDF and how to skip it.

The ultimate print format: the PDF

Let’s talk about the format first. The PDF is the optimal format for sharing and printing data. It contains all the necessary elements, is relatively small and the recipient, ie the printer, can open and print your PDF without having to purchase paid software. Ergo: The PDF is the printing format of choice.

Where to take and not to steal?

Almost all layout and graphics programs can produce a print-ready PDF; Alternatively, there are software like Wondershare PDFelement for the Mac or the PDF Creator for Windows. Professional software like InDesign offers predefined settings to export a printable PDF; in detail, but you should check if the settings are correct for your own purposes and the printer.

The 7 biggest mistakes

Wrong PDF format

The PDF the printers receive should normally be a PDF / X-4: 2010 or PDF / X-1a: 2001, which you can select in InDesign, for example. If you have worked with transparencies, you should use the PDF / X-4: 2010. Interactive elements such as buttons or form fields do not belong in a print PDF!

Cut off elements

Important information should be placed at least 3mm from the edge, otherwise they could be cut off. Images or areas that should reach to the edge after printing must be placed in the trimming, that is, they must protrude into the file 1 to 3 mm in the non-printing area.

Too big file size

Your file must be created in final format and not including trimming. So if you want to print a letterhead in DIN A4 format, works with a file size of 21x 29.7 mm; the trim must be specified separately.

Too low image resolution

The included pixel data must have a resolution of at least 300 dpi.

Fonts are replaced

All fonts used in the file should be embedded in the PDF, otherwise it may fall back to substitute fonts in print.

Too much or too little color

In order for the ink to adhere to the paper, it is common to limit the application of paint, typically to 280%. Thus, the sum of all colors applied in one place must not exceed 280%. Also, a minimum color order is common, it is usually between 10% and 15%; ask your printer.

Unnecessary crop marks and passport marks

Most printers do not want crop marks and registration marks in the PDF. Clarify this in advance with your printing company.

You can be satisfied with all eight points? Then you have created the best conditions for your design to be optimally printed. wishes you lots of fun with your print results.

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Manuela Richter

Category: News

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