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- Researching the design and brainstorming ideas
- Setting up a document in InDesign or Illustrator
- Choosing typefaces, colors, shapes, and imagery
- Hand-drawing type and using different type treatments
- Creating illustrations from scratch
- Using and adapting photographs for illustration
- Preparing the book covers for printing
Skill Level Intermediate
So your book cover is ready to be sent to the printers, and how you are going to send it? You could send a package. If you went to the File menu and chose Package, you could then run through the options and it would create a folder for you that contained a folder of links, if there were any linked graphics as well as any fonts that were used in the document. A more efficient approach is to send a print-ready PDF to the printers. This is easier for them, it's easier for you, and it's far less prone to error.
Now I am going to run through the steps to create a PDF, but in terms of the specifics you should speak to the printer about exactly how to prepare the PDF. Some of the things that I specifically tell you here may not be applicable for the printing circumstances that you are using. Speak to the printer, you can possibly download a PDF preset from the printer's web site, but they can certainly tell you exactly what settings to use. I am going to go to the File menu, and choose PDF Presets, and I am going to start out with Press Quality.
I'll save this on my Desktop, and let's just run through these options. Most of them are what we want. We won't need to change them. But in this case, I do want Spreads chosen, because we have three pages that make up as single document, the back cover, the spine and the front cover, so it's important that we check spreads. Typically when making a Print-Ready PDF, you do not check this but in this case we definitely do need to.
Everything else remains as is. Compression can stay as is. These numbers mean that anything above a resolution of 450 pixels per inch will be downsampled to 300. The same for the Grayscale Images, a much higher number, much closer to the maximum output resolution for Monochrome Images. In this case we don't have any images in this document, but the Monochrome Images, it's seldom that you would have those, I would say, but Color and the Grayscale Images both very important.
In the Marks and Bleeds, now let's turn on the Printer's Marks. We may not need all of these. It's not going to hurt to have them. Let's make the offset of those marks 12 points, and I am going to turn on my bleed settings. I created this document with a bleed. Let's use it. In the Output, everything there can stay as is. It means that the color will be converted to my destination color profile. Any RGB images placed in this document will end up being CMYK in the resulting PDF, and that's what we want.
In the advanced section, nothing really to check here but it's worth pointing out that we are sub-setting fonts that are less than 100 percent used, meaning that only the particular font characters that are used will be embedded in the PDF, making its file size a lot more portable, which is important if you are sending the PDF by e-mail to your printer. We don't want to have any security settings, and we are not requiring a password to open or do anything to this document.
So now we are ready to go, and I am going to click Export, and then after a brief pause there is our print-ready PDF, and it's this document that we send to the printer.
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