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What does the printer do with my files?

From: Print Production Fundamentals

Video: What does the printer do with my files?

Once you've given your digital file one last tweak its time to submit the job to the printer. A lot of happens between the time your CD lands on the salesman's desk. And the moment when that first trimmed and folded piece lands in a hopper in the bindery. First a customer service representative-- also known as CSR--will enter your job in to the printing company's job tracking system. The CSR will be your main contact during the life of the job. Next, either the CSR or member of the prepress staff will preflight your job.

What does the printer do with my files?

Once you've given your digital file one last tweak its time to submit the job to the printer. A lot of happens between the time your CD lands on the salesman's desk. And the moment when that first trimmed and folded piece lands in a hopper in the bindery. First a customer service representative-- also known as CSR--will enter your job in to the printing company's job tracking system. The CSR will be your main contact during the life of the job. Next, either the CSR or member of the prepress staff will preflight your job.

Preflight is an industry term for what's wrong with this picture. At the stage the preflighter is looking for simple problems such as missing artwork or fonts. And more serious problems such as a file built the wrong size. If problems are found the CSR will contact you and ask you if you want to fix the problems or whether you prefer to have the prepress staff perform the surgery. The more serious the problem of course, the more potential there is for it have an impact on the overall job schedule, that's why preflighting is performed to catch those problems early.

Next, a planner or estimator will lay out the lifecycle of the job scheduling each part of the manufacturing process. At this point target dates are set for each stage, prepress, plating, press run, bindery and so forth and the cost of the job is established. Next, prepress staff will process your files perform any needed surgery and generate a contract proof. We'll talk more about contract proofs in a bit. Keep in mind that if the prepress staff has to modify your files that doesn't mean necessarily that you made a mistake, sometimes is to accommodate printing needs.

They may also generate a folding dummy which shows all the pages in final position, if it's a multi-page project such as a brochure or magazine. Once the contract proof is okayed the imposed files pages arranged in the correct order for printing are imaged to plates. Unless the job is printing on a digital press which doesn't require plates. Next, plates are mounted, ink is applied and the press is run up to speed. And after makeready which is setting up the press the ink density and the register and so forth. Finally, printed paper begins to come out of the press.

If you've never seen this you really should visit a printing plant to see what all happens to your job. Finally, some presses perform in-line finishing such as folding and paginating the printed paper some don't. Most jobs will be finished in the bindery department where folding, trimming, stitching and other finishing processes such as embossing may take place. Now it's really a printed piece. Now that you have an overview of your jobs' lifecycle we'll focus on one of the most important milestones in the life of your job, the contract proof.

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This video is part of

Image for Print Production Fundamentals
Print Production Fundamentals

68 video lessons · 23822 viewers

Claudia McCue
Author

 
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  1. 2m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 7m 5s
    1. What is print production?
      1m 51s
    2. Understanding roles and responsibilities
      5m 14s
  3. 13m 49s
    1. Communicating with your printer
      3m 49s
    2. What does the printer do with my files?
      2m 39s
    3. Understanding the importance of contract proofs
      1m 57s
    4. Handling corrections and alterations
      2m 8s
    5. Attending press checks
      3m 16s
  4. 13m 27s
    1. Choosing the correct type of printing for your project
      3m 15s
    2. The art of letterpress
      1m 33s
    3. Understanding the advantages of sheet-fed printing
      2m 22s
    4. Using a web press for long runs
      1m 39s
    5. Understanding thermography
      1m 38s
    6. Considerations for digital printing
      3m 0s
  5. 15m 11s
    1. What's a process color?
      2m 55s
    2. What's a spot color?
      2m 52s
    3. Exploring how ink behaves on paper
      5m 14s
    4. Comparing monitor vs. press output
      4m 10s
  6. 15m 15s
    1. Building to the correct size
      4m 37s
    2. Folding and trimming
      3m 18s
    3. Setting up for die cutting
      3m 19s
    4. Embossing
      4m 1s
  7. 3m 17s
    1. Choosing an application
      3m 17s
  8. 9m 54s
    1. Understanding font formats
      1m 45s
    2. Using OpenType fonts
      5m 20s
    3. Fonts to avoid
      2m 49s
  9. 13m 52s
    1. Comparing raster vs. vector images
      3m 23s
    2. Understanding color space
      4m 26s
    3. Examining image formats
      6m 3s
  10. 13m 13s
    1. Looking at image resolution
      7m 16s
    2. Masking basics
      5m 57s
  11. 39m 53s
    1. Understanding Illustrator
      2m 34s
    2. Illustrator layout tips
      2m 48s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure
      6m 29s
    4. Using swatches
      5m 22s
    5. Working with effects
      5m 16s
    6. Cautions about some effects
      1m 23s
    7. Importing images
      2m 41s
    8. Exploring fonts
      2m 42s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      3m 2s
    10. Saving as PDF
      4m 36s
    11. Gathering up the pieces
      3m 0s
  12. 57m 8s
    1. InDesign layout basics
      5m 21s
    2. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method one
      7m 19s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method two
      3m 21s
    4. Working with color and gradient swatches
      7m 12s
    5. Making gradients and creating a rich black swatch
      4m 45s
    6. Exploring fonts in InDesign
      2m 54s
    7. Importing graphics
      7m 49s
    8. Copying and pasting graphics
      3m 38s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      2m 21s
    10. Packaging up a print job
      6m 57s
    11. Generating PDFs
      5m 31s
  13. 22m 43s
    1. Using Overprint Preview in InDesign
      3m 3s
    2. Managing swatches in InDesign
      5m 29s
    3. Preflighting in InDesign
      7m 58s
    4. Using the Links panel in Illustrator
      3m 16s
    5. Using blending modes in Illustrator and InDesign
      2m 57s
  14. 35m 35s
    1. Basic forensics in Acrobat
      11m 3s
    2. Using Output Preview
      5m 30s
    3. Dealing with display artifacts
      2m 52s
    4. Using TouchUp tools
      8m 17s
    5. Converting colors
      4m 11s
    6. Using preflight profiles
      3m 42s
  15. 3m 27s
    1. Submitting the job
      2m 29s
    2. Being a good print customer
      58s
  16. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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