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All our origination is done in house using Quark Xpress, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. All jobs are supplied with colour or pdf proofs from a PowerMac G5 quad core system.

Supplied Artwork

PDF files are the industry standard format for transporting artwork files. Firstly a few myths need to be dispelled. PDF files are not infallible. Sometimes things change in a PDF file in the same way as they do in other formats - they are not 100% platform or device independent. PDF files can have missing fonts, and images in PDF files can print incorrectly, for example RGB images.That said, if a PDF file is generated correctly then it is probably the most reliable format for supplying your files.  Most applications now have an option for exporting PDF files. These will invariably have preset options for producing different types of PDF file (for example “PDF for Screen”, “PDF for Electronic Distribution” etc). Remember that your PDF file is to be printed on a litho printing press so some strict rules apply. Creating a PDF file for “screen” or for “electronic distribution” is not an option. This will result in a low resolution file similar to a JPEG taken from the internet. Although these files will be very small do not be tempted to use them - they will provide inferior results. Every application has slightly different interfaces for producing PDF files, so we will use the terminology from Corel Graphics PDF generator. Other applications will have the same options but may be labeled slightly differently.

The first issue we have concerns text and fonts. When creating your PDF file it’s our preferred option to “Embed All Fonts”. This will remove the need for typefaces to be used.   This also means that a PDF generated on a Mac can be used on a PC without any text problems. Text can be “converted to curves”, but this does increase the file size substantially.

The second and slightly more complex issue concerns the compression of images. PDF files will embed your image in a way which is useable on our digital platemaking system. You should ALWAYS make sure your image files are CMYK or spot colour  before starting any layout. When generating your PDF file do not compress the images. You will normally be presented with compression options for three different types of image file: Colour, Grayscale and Monochrome. Each will have options for the resolution to be exported, and in some cases options will be given for the type of compression to use. DO NOT DOWNSAMPLE YOUR IMAGES TO ANYTHING LESS THAN 500dpi. If you have generated your artwork correctly then your images will be 500dpi CMYK files. Therefore we do not want to do anything at the PDF stage which will degrade the quality of the images. When given the options for compression type always select NO COMPRESSION or the equivalent. If presented with options for resolution of images always use 500dpi (Colour/Greyscale). Always make sure the option for “Compress text and line art” is off. Finally, when exporting your PDF you should have an option for the colour space to be used - ALWAYS select CMYK for this option. To reiterate, PDF files are not always useable. It is imperative that art-work is originated correctly before the PDF file is generated, AND the PDF file is generated correctly. Other applications may have more or less options and may be labeled differently.

Sending Files
Files can be sent via email or contact us to arrange for large files.  When sending files by email these should be 8mb or less, we always advise sending another email immediately after the file attachment has been sent advising that you have sent a file, this way if the file is not received we can immediately advise you. Please note that we deal with a great number of customer files, please do NOT send any files without a covering note explaining what they relate to, this not only helps us identify the correct job but assists us in virus detection too. Any files received without a covering note will be deleted without any message being sent to you. Covering notes simply stating “here’s the file”, “here’s the file as per telephone conversation” will NOT suffice, we require company details and contact information. Please include your Easyforms order number (if known) with all communications.

NO PROOF REQUIRED  Providing a colour output is provided, we can proceed without proofing if requested by the client. Please note, whilst we will check the proof against the copy provided we CANNOT be held responsible for errors or omissions, regardless of cause. This proofing service is provided entirely at the client’s own rrisk and is not recommended.

Black Text
When generating black text it is essential that the black is made of the correct colour mix. It is possible to create a black which uses all four process colours (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) but this is not the mix of black we need for colour printing. As litho printing involves physically aligning four separate plates, if the mix of black text is made from more than one plate the printer must then align these plates perfectly to give a nice smooth print. If any of the plates is even fractionally out of register the resulting text will have a slightly rough edge to it. Therefore it is essential that black text is generated using only the black plate. The figures to the right illustrate the correct and incorrect mixes for black using Adobe Photoshop. When creating artwork in an image editing package such as Photoshop it is vitally important to use the correct black mix from the outset as these colours cannot be easily changed later. When using black text, especially in booklets etc - it’s always best to have the black set to 100% K - ie black only and NO OTHER colours.  This will provide a sharper finish.

Colour Palettes
All artwork supplied must be based in the CMYK colour mode or spot colour. RGB is not acceptable for litho printing. Why not? RGB is a colour mode created to represent colours on a screen. Printed inks are translucent and work in a totally different way. If a RGB image is supplied the computer will try to substitute the corresponding CMYK values and use these values to create the print. When this happens there is an added variation in colour which can have an adverse affect on your image. In the case of some packages (notably Adobe Pagemaker) a RGB image file will result in a black and white printed image. When creating artwork and defining colours it is essential that you begin working in CMYK. If you create your artwork and then subsequently convert to CMYK your colours (especially black) may be drastically affected.

Colour Reprodcution
Although we can provide you with a colour proof copy once your file(s) have been processed, this is NOT colour accurate to the final print run. Our proofs are produced on an OKI ES3640a3 Digital Printer which uses toner rather than ink. This has slightly different characteristics and therefore we cannot guarantee accuracy in shades of colours. You can have a look at our colour swatch printed on a full colour presses which will give a better indication of colours achieved.

Printing Resolutions
When scanning images for print please make sure they have a resolution of at least 300dpi. If artwork is generated at a lower resolution the quality of the final print work will depreciate. Edges of lines, graphics and text will change from a sharp, clear, smooth edge to a rough square edge. It is essential that artwork is generated at a resolution of 300dpi from the outset as this cannot be “repaired” at a later stage. In most graphics packages this will not be a problem, but again when using image editing packages this is vital. It is possible to edit a 100dpi file and set the resolution to 300dpi but this will not give the required clarity to the image. It will however increase the file size and very likely reduce the physical size of the image.  For these reasons it is not possible to use images from the internet for litho printing. These will be optimised for computer screens and will therefore be set to either 72dpi or 96dpi in order to keep the file size down.

Data File Types
When using images in software such as Quark Xpress, Adobe InDesign or Adobe Pagemaker we require the original image & font files to be provided as well as the document file. These packages do not store a printable copy of the image in their own file, instead when being processed for print they look outwith the Quark, InDesign or Pagemaker file for external (third party or linked) files. Without these we cannot print your document.  These images / fonts are sometimes referred to as “Linked Files”, please ensure that linked files are supplied to the correct resolution (500dpi) and the colour palette (CMYK) is used.  72dpi images from an internet site are NOT recommended. Although these packages will allow you to use various different formats, we have found TIFF files and Generic EPS files to be most successful. TIFF files should be used for all photographs while EPS files should be used for logos or drawings. As our preferred method of file supply is PDF, we will charge for converting application files to PDF - please call for further details.

Software Supported
Quark Xpress to version 8
Adobe Illustrator to version CS3
Adobe Photoshop to version CS3
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Publisher
Microsoft Excel

Quark Xpress to version 8
Adobe Illustrator to version CS3
Adobe Photoshop to version CS3

We do have the above application software and can accept files (produced correctly) in these formats.  However, as our preferred method of file supply is PDF files - there may be a charge for converting application files to PDF. Please call for details. Software Packages in RED:  Red means DANGER!! , whilst we accept and can use files supplied in the above programmes it MUST be pointed out that these are NOT industry standard graphics programmes and as such can cause production issues. If you are able to convert the files to PDF please do so, alternatively you can supply us the file complete with fonts etc and we will convert this file for you.   Please note there may be a charge for this, please check before ordering. As with ALL files supplied, as we have no control over how the artwork was CREATED, files are supplied entirely at the customers own risk. Easyfrms cannot accept responsibility for the printed results DUE TO FILE ERRORS.

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Easy Forms

Easyforms Ltd
Unit 34 Second Avenue
Westfield Industrial Estate
Radstock BA3 4BH

Tel: 01761 416709
Fax: 01761 415548