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Melbourne InDesign User Group

   Fantastic! Really informative. Full of information which will impact my workflow. Alot of the information given went into greater detail than what has been taught in the past.

Meeting Summary: Print Production: Top 10 Most Common Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Wed, Jun 22nd, 2011 at 6:30 PM

RMIT University

Event Details

Melbourne InDesign User Group - Now on Youtube!

Lithocraft's Prepress Manager, Paul Salmon, shared his top 10 most common mistakes made by graphic designers when sending artwork to print. More importantly, he explain what's wrong with the artwork and how to avoid making these mistakes. Here's a quick summary of these 10 common problems.

10 Common Mistakes Designers Make

Problem 1: Pages set up incorrectly for short pages on gatefold and rollfolds

With InDesign CS5's Page Tool, you can now set up different page sizes in one document.
6pp DL rollfold: 6 pages with 3 pages per spread. Be sure to have the panel that would be folded in at least 2mm narrower than the other two panels to allow cleaner folding.

Problem 2: Failing to set diecuts to Overprint and set as a 5th colour (spot)

When creating dielines, use a 5th colour (spot, not processed) and give it an obvious name, like "Dieline". Also, remember to set it to "Overprint Stroke" in the Attributes palette (Windows > Output > Attributes). By doing so, the dieline does not interfere with the underlying artwork, but rather sits "on top" of the artwork.

Problem 3: Not using Rich Blacks when required

Black itself in this volume can look grey and washed out when printed. It is a good idea to create a Rich Black. You can build it up with other colours or add 40% cyan to the 100% black. It is important to have an open conversation with your printer when creating Rich Blacks as it may vary from job to job.

Problem 4: Wrong use of Registration Blacks

Registration Blacks use 100% of all the 4 process colours - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. As a result, any area that uses Registration Black would not only be applying 400% ink to the paper but if used as a text colour, it would very likely be misregistered. Also, if it's meant to be a one colour job, this would now be a 4 colour job. To avoid making this very costly mistake, use the Separations Preview Palette (Windows > Output > Separations Preview)

Problem 5: Fonts and links not included

With deadlines getting tighter, waiting for fonts or links to be sent once the job has been started is an inconvenience no one can afford. To avoid this problem, use InDesign's Package feature (File > Package). You'll never have to worry about missing fonts and links again!

Problem 6: Sending RGB Low Resolution PDFs to print

Like they say, "Garbage in, garbage out." This applies to printing as well. Low resolution PDF = pixelated print. Be sure to have your artwork set to 300dpi and in CMYK for the best results.

Problem 7: No bleed, no trims

Ensure all finished art sent to your printer include at least 3mm bleed and trim marks when exporting to PDF.

Problem 8: Forgetting about varnish and glue free areas

Printed materials such as presentation folders, envelopes and promotional pieces may require gluing. However, a lot of glue do not stick to some inks or varnish. It is best to be safe and incorporate glue free areas into your design. Have an open conversation with your printer if your design requires gluing.

Problem 9: Not tidying up the swatches and not converting unwanted spot colours to CMYK

If you don't want an extra colour to print, convert it to CMYK. Any extra colours may not convert properly going through a prepress rip. The best way to avoid this problem is to remove any unused swatches. To do this, click the top right icon on the Swatches Palette. In the fly out menu, click on "Select All Unused". InDesign has selected all unused swatches in your document and you can now delete them in one go! If there are plenty of spot colours left, select them all, bring up the fly out menu and click "Swatch Options" then choose "Process" for Colour Type.

Problem 10: Not thinking about saddle stitch creep when designing

Take 50 sheets of paper and fold them in half, have a look at what happens. You will find that the inner pages will extend or creep further out than the outer pages. And all that has extended or crept out gets trimmed off. Depending on the number of pages and paper stock, you could potentially lose 2-3mm of artwork, or even more! It is important to have an open conversation with your printer when designing saddle-stitched books so avoid making this very costly mistake.

Thank you

Many thanks to our generous sponsors supplying us with prize giveaways: Adobe, eDocker, Markzware, Peachpit, Copy Captain, Stocklayout and InDesign Magazine. Congratulations to our five lucky winners!

And a big shout out to RMIT, Aquent and Firebrand for their commitment and support to the InDesign User Group.

A special thank you to our volunteers, Trever, Peter, Melissa, Alex, Christine and Ashling for making each meeting as successful as they are.

Comments from attendees

- Very useful! Learnt very helpful tips on how not to upset my printer, by looking stupid!

- Very informative as well as entertaining. Great that I can save time and money. Excellent! Thanks!

- Very relevant. Very worth my time. So helpful!

- Interesting. Touched on a few topics that I didn't know about. Very clear.

- Surprisingly, very very useful! Acrobat as a design tool - who knew! As a teacher, very useful to update information information in lesson plans for design students. Really insightful to hear about issues that are raised after InDesign and easy ways to prevent.

- Interesting, helpful in the real world.

- Extremely useful - would be good to hear the next 10 tips! :)

- Fantastic! Really informative. Full of information which will impact my workflow. A lot of the information given went into greater detail than what has been taught in the past.

- AMAZING!!! The most useful yet. I'm doing things wrong I had no idea about - sorry pre-press guys! Every designer should be taught this straight out of Uni as it is essential in our industry. Excellent information. Shame it has taken so long for me to learn it. Together, we can make pre-press guys' lives easier!

Next Meeting

Topic: What's new in CS5.5?
Date: 24 August 2011 (Wednesday)
Time: 6.30pm - 9.00pm
Venue: RMIT University, 25 Dawson Street, Building 514, Auditorium