Tips & Tricks

How-To Articles

How the Prepress Department works?

All digital artwork is sent to the prepress department for file manipulation, imposition, trapping and proofing. All digital artwork is opened and checked for compliance to our guidelines. Any adjustments such as adding bleed, converting from RGB to CMYK, building rich blacks, etc. are preformed. The files are converted to PDF with our customized settings for our Agfa Apogee Prepress System.

Using instructions from the sales representative an imposition layout is created. The file is sent to a RIP which is a device that digitally imposes, traps and converts to halftone screens the documents for printing. The document is now in a digital, finalized format where poofs or printing plates can be printed.

A few things to consider when creating a document:
• There is no need to build rich blacks into a document. Any document we receive is printed with the darkest black possible. Many factors determine how much extra ink can be added to achieve the darkest black on different stocks.
• Our software handles all trapping automically, there is no need to build your own traps.
• Our prepress system handles impositions effortlessly. Supply any documents as 1up, single pages or for multiple page documents supply the document as Reader’s Spreads.

Matching Proofs
Matching the proof exactly on press is the goal for every project, but many factors such as type of paper and inks, affect how the final press sheet will look. Every job is printed with color bars which we use to measure ink densities, dot gain and gray balance. This aids the press operator in matching the proof as close as possible. It is best to think of digital proofs as a very close representation of the final press sheet.

Lighting conditions when viewing a proof will dramatically affect the color. During printing, the proof and press sheet are compared under industry standard neutral 5000K lighting. Many lights in office environments often have a yellow or blue cast which will affect how the proof appears. It is quite possible a proof and press sheet will match under 5000K lighting but will not match under normal office lighting conditions.