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Print Production Essentials: Embossing, Foil Stamping, and Die Cutting
Illustration by John Hersey

Sending InDesign die-cut files to the printer


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Print Production Essentials: Embossing, Foil Stamping, and Die Cutting

with Claudia McCue

Video: Sending InDesign die-cut files to the printer

I'm finished with this job and I'm ready to send it to the printer. And what they want is a PDF that they'll use as just sort of a visual reference, sort of the equivalent to the old sending printed lasers. And then of course they want my application files. They want my InDesign file and all the support art that I need to make that InDesign file print. Now some printers will ask you to send a print ready PDF but, even then, they might want to have your application files just in case they need to change anything. So for my printer, I just need a high quality print PDF and, then, my application files.

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Print Production Essentials: Embossing, Foil Stamping, and Die Cutting
1h 28m Intermediate Jul 02, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Adding a die cut or emboss to your print job can make a striking visual impact; it's a way of sculpturing and increasing a reader's engagement with your work. Learn about the various types of embossing and die cutting as well as the proper ways to set up your documents to achieve consistent results. Author Claudia McCue covers manufacturing concerns like cost, time, choosing the appropriate paper stock, and file formatting; preparing your artwork for embossing and stamping; and then designing your die-cut project in Adobe Illustrator or InDesign.

Topics include:
  • Understanding how dies are created: hand-engraved, machined, or photo-engraved
  • Preparing files for die-cutting
  • Choosing appropriate stock
  • Creating artwork for single- or multi-level embossing
  • Checking proofs
  • Examining a cutting die
  • Handling a complex bleed
Subjects:
Design Print Production Design Skills
Software:
Illustrator InDesign
Author:
Claudia McCue

Sending InDesign die-cut files to the printer

I'm finished with this job and I'm ready to send it to the printer. And what they want is a PDF that they'll use as just sort of a visual reference, sort of the equivalent to the old sending printed lasers. And then of course they want my application files. They want my InDesign file and all the support art that I need to make that InDesign file print. Now some printers will ask you to send a print ready PDF but, even then, they might want to have your application files just in case they need to change anything. So for my printer, I just need a high quality print PDF and, then, my application files.

So to create my PDF, I'm just going to go to File > Adobe PDF Presets, choose the High Quality Print. And it's going to go in my folder that I'm creating to gather up all the files I'm sending to the printer. The Optimized for Fast Web View and Create Tag PDF options honestly have no bearing on what it looks like on screen. How fast the PDF is made. I just always un-check those. I do want to make sure though that it includes my marks, and it includes bleed. So again, this is just going to be used for a visual reference. It's not going to be used for print.

That's a background process, but this is a fairly light file, so that didn't take very long. So what's going to happen at the printer? Well once they have my file and they've pre-flighted it and everything's okay, they're going to gang these up, or you'll hear it called imposition, ganging, multiple terms in the print industry. But they're going to print multiple cards all on the sheet. And how do they determine that arrangement? Well it's based on the size of the stock, or the press that it's running on. And in case like this that's die-cut, it may be based on the limitations of the machine that's going to be used to die-cut it.

This is not something you have to worry about. You don't have to put these in position. It happens at the printer. So you can see all the little cards are in position. Now you can actually see the die line here but this is again not a real press sheet. it's really just the kind to give you the thought. How the die line relates to the finished piece. We wouldn't see the die line on the printed piece. Once the sheet's printed, it's going to either go to the bindery department of the printing company if they do their own die cutting. Or it's going to go to a separate die cutting company if they do the die cutting.

So I would always encourage you to tour the printing company, and see how these processes take place. Especially jobs that involve die cutting. It's really neat to see that solid sheet of paper become interesting little shapes, it's almost like origami when it's cut out and I think you find again, it sort of inspires you to think of ways you might want to handle future jobs.

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