Checklist: Prepare a publication for commercial printing

Plan your publication     Consult with your commercial printing professional before and during the design process to save time and money later.

Before creating your publication, discuss the following:

  • Whether your publication will include scanned pictures, and if so, whether you will scan them yourself or have a commercial printer or service bureau (service bureau: Prepares a publication to be printed on a commercial printing press.) scan them.
  • Whether there will be any pre-press tasks, such as trapping and page imposition.
  • Printing needs such as quantity, quality, paper stock, binding, folding, trimming, budget, and deadlines. Always ask if they have the items you want in stock.
  • Recommendations that can save you money.

Set up your files for the commercial printing service     Before designing your publication, set it up for the type of printing you want.

  • In process-color printing, four inks are combined to simulate a full range of colors. This method is typically more expensive than spot-color printing.
  • In spot-color printing, one or two inks are used to print solid colors or tints of the colors. Use spot color if you need to reproduce a specific color.
  • In process-color printing plus spot color, additional inks can be used if a specific color needed in the publication falls outside the process color gamut. For example, a specific color for a logo might require additional spot color.

Design and review your publication     Follow these design tips to help ensure a successful print job.

Prepare your files for the commercial printing service     You can prepare your files for commercial printing in one of three ways: as a Microsoft Publisher file, as a PostScript file, or as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. Ask your printing service which format they prefer.

  • To prepare your publication as a Publisher file, click Pack and Go on the File menu, then follow the steps provided. Publisher will save the files so you can take them to the printing service.
  • To prepare your publication as a PostScript file, click Save As on the File menu, then click PostScript in the Save as type list.
  • To prepare your publication as a PDF file, you will need to use Adobe Acrobat Distiller.
  • If you want to make changes to your file, you will need to do it in your original publication and then repeat one of the previous procedures.

Print and review color separations and composite proofs     Before taking your publication to a commercial printing service, print color separation and composite proofs.

  • Print a color separation to break out the component colors in your publication for final printing on a commercial printer.
  • Print a composite to combine all colors, text, and graphics onto a single printed sheet for proofing color and graphics. You can print a CMYK composite to get a better representation of how the colors will look once they are printed on a press.
  • Review each page carefully to verify that the colors are separated correctly.
  • Check for missing graphics and unwanted font substitutions.

Deliver proofs and files to a commercial printing service     You can deliver your publication to a commercial printing service in three ways:

  • Deliver the files on a disk. Include any fonts and linked images that you used in the publication. Give the printing service the Pack and Go files that you've saved to a disk, along with the color separation and composite proofs. Be sure to review your files and separation and composite proofs with the printing professional to verify that colors are separated correctly and other options are set correctly, and to identify any errors or design problems.
  • Deliver a master copy. You can give your printing service a high-resolution black and white laser printout of either a black and white or color publication to use as a master copy. Clarify any instructions you have about how you want the job printed.
  • Deliver the files electronically. This could be done by way of the Internet, using e-mail or other methods of electronic file transfer. Check with your commercial print service to see what process they use for electronic submittals. Include any fonts and linked images that you used in the publication. Be sure to review your files and separation and composite proofs with the printing professional to verify that colors are separated correctly and that other options are set correctly, and to identify any errors or design problems. Check with your commercial printing service about file size and any other details you need to send the files.
 
 
Applies to:
Publisher 2003