Preparing your file to print

There has been a request for clear info about how to prepare your file for print. Here is a basic set of instructions.

1. If you are working with scanned images, scan them at the highest resolution. The images should be at at least 300dpi at the final size they will be printed. That is, if the original image is 10cm high, but you are intending to print it at 20cm high, then you should scan it at 600dpi minimum.

2. If your print is more than one colour, perform the colour separations on the image. Follow the tutorial linked here.

3. Prepare your print in Illustrator or Quark or similar programme, if you need to add text or vector graphics or combine images etc. Set the document up as CMYK not RGB. Set the size of the document – the maximum printable area of the press is 1000X700mm – but if you can, make it smaller. This size is slightly larger than A1. Remember to consider what paper you will be printing on. Is the available paper at a corresponding size to your print image?

4. Export the file to a PDF – if your PDF is in CMYK, that’s fine. The platemaker will divide the CMYK image into four plates (or fewer plates if there are less than 4 colours).

5. If you are having troubles, email info@bigfagpress.org making sure you leave plenty of time for troubleshooting before your deadline.

[NB: Mickie has made some addenda below in the comments!]