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The 9 most common mistakes when preparing print files

... and how to avoid them 

Preparing your files for print is the first step towards a perfect print job. And this is more complex than you think. Our prepress experts made a list of the most common problems they encounter when checking files. And they provide you with some tips to avoid these mistakes.

1. Low resolution

The most common fault is supplying files with a too low resolution. 300 dpi guarantees a good quality. The absolute minimum is 150 dpi. If your image is insufficiently large, we will ask you to supply a better photo.

2. RGB instead of CMYK 

RGB has a much wider colour range than CMYK. Make sure that your colour settings are correct right from the start to avoid surprises afterwards. Note that there are different colour profiles in CMYK. The best profile to use depends on the type of paper chosen. Ask your contact person at die Keure about which profile you can best select. If you supply the file as PDF, make sure that no undesired RGB colours or additional colours are present.

3. No bleed

If you want trimmed pages without white edges, don't forget to provide a bleed. For standard formats the bleed is 3 mm on each side. Make sure your images run to the edge of the bleed. Then the images or coloured areas will perfectly meet the edge.

4. JPEG compression

Compressing images reduces the image quality. When compressing an image certain colour shades are merged to form one colour. Always opt for low compression or assess whether the image really has to be compressed. We recommend sending images with TIF or PSD extension.

5. Double spread

If your printed matter requires further imposition, avoid a double spread. Send us the file with the pages separate. We can then correctly position the printed matter more easily.

6. No overprint 

When you use black text in InDesign this is set to overprint by default. Create your own new black colour sample and the property disappears: you then save text. If the black text then comes on a coloured area, an undesired white edge may appear.

7. Missing fonts

All fonts used must be included in the PDF. Fonts can differ slightly from system to system. If the font is not included, text flow can result.

8. The wrong black

Nothing is what it seems to be, because there are very many variations of black. It is important to choose the right composition that matches your purpose. It is best to only use black for text, while for fully coloured areas a combination is used to ensure sufficient ink coverage. Rich black (C: 50% - M: 40% - Y: 40% - K: 100%:) is suitable for this. Make sure that complete ink coverage is no greater than 300%.

9. Thin lines

The minimum line thickness you can best select is one of 0.12 pt. You then have an attractive visual line. If you work negatively you can best choose a line thickness of 0.20 pt. You always create fine lines in 1 colour (black, cyan, magenta, yellow or an additional colour). If fine lines consist of a number of colours, a registration problem can result.

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Need help? 

Do you have any other questions about the best way to prepare your print files? We're happy to help!