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Join author Nigel French in Designing a Book Cover as he walks through several approaches to creating professional, engaging book covers using Adobe Creative Suite applications. This course covers document setup, composition and layout, illustration, typography essentials, and printing. Exercise files accompany the course.
Before we package out InDesign document along with the fonts and any placed graphics or before we make a PDF to send to the printer, we should preflight our document just to make sure there are not any problems with it. The most common problems that printers see are image resolution that's too low. Typically that's going to be anything below 300 pixels per inch. Although you can sometimes get away with less than that. Missing fonts and bleed and trim hazards. In this particular design we don't have any placed images so there is one problem that we don't even have to worry about, but we want to make sure that everything else is good to go. So I'm going to turn on my guides and let's just check out the bleed issue.
Now, we can't turn on the preflight to do this for us, but it's also a good idea to check it manually as well. The bleed guide, the red guide, at 9 points outside the page. That's there so that we can continue all the artwork that we want to print to the edge of the page to that guide. So make sure if that's what you want then the edges of your frames go up to the bleed guide. Now, I'm going to do a live preflight and down here where it says no errors, this is my preflight result, but currently it's preflighting using a basic preflight profile and we need to be a bit more strict with it.
So I'm going to double-click on this to open up the Preflight panel and we see that it's using the default Basic(working) profile. And I want to use a profile that I've already made, the offset litho profile, which is appropriate for the printing circumstances, and when I choose that, it preflights according to these conditions and it finds that there is an error. I can expand the information it returns by clicking on the triangle and the error is Non-proportional type scaling.
So I'm going to expand that further, and then I can click on this hyperlink and it will take me to where the error exists. And I see that if I look in the Info, Problem: The vertical and horizontal scaling values do not match and I see by looking at my Control panel that the type here somehow got set to a 90% width and we want to keep our type at 100% width. And of course this is just an aesthetic problem rather than a printing problem, the document would still print, but this is a problem that we want to solve.
So I'm going to set that back to 100% and the preflight problem goes away. Let's have a look at creating your own preflight profile and the things that you might want to check when doing so. If I come up here to the panel menu of the Preflight panel and choose Define Profiles, here we see all of the different things that I checked for the offset litho profile, and I'll just run you through them and explain what they are. Links, we definitely want to know about any missing or modified links, any placed graphics that may have gone missing or have been modified and not updated.
We want to make sure that the transparency blending space is CMYK if indeed we are printing the document, which in this case we are. It's unlikely that this would happen, but we want to be notified if the registration color has been applied to anything other than manually drawn trim marks. A very important one, we want to make sure that the image resolution is at a minimum of whatever is your minimum number and that's typically going to be somewhere between 200 and 300 pixels per inch. I'd like to know if any of the placed graphics have been distorted.
So a Non-Proportional Scaling of Placed Object. I'd also like to know if there are any stroke weights lighter than a half point. Definitely want to know about any overset text, any text that doesn't fit in the text frame, any missing fonts, and the one that it pulled us up on, any non-proportional type scaling. Now, which of these options you check depends upon how rigid you want to be with certain elements of your design. It's entirely up to you. It's also up to you what you do when preflight checks according to your profile.
It's just notifying you of these possible errors. It's up to you whether you choose to fix them or not. Sometimes you may just choose to acknowledge the information and move on. For example, you can check a box to tell you that transparency is being used. That's not necessarily a problem. It's to something that you might want to know about. So if you were to create your own preflight profile you simply come and click on this plus button right here, give it a name, and then check whichever of these boxes are appropriate to your printing circumstance.
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