How to prepare files for print

Achieve your desired results on press more quickly and easily.

Park often receives files incorrectly set up for print. Left unchecked, these problems can affect colour accuracy of your images (as explained in this blog on how to achieve optimal print reproduction).

Park’s colour management process is capable of converting all PDF files to the optimum CMYK colour space for the chosen substrate (i.e., a coated or uncoated paper).

It is good practice, however, to supply us with files with the appropriate profiles embedded in order to optimise the results from this system. This minimises the risk of delays and of higher costs for the client.

To avoid these mishaps, you need to:

  1. install the correct colour profiles for your chosen paper(s) on your computer, and save each file in the correct profile
  2. install the correct PDF presets in InDesign*, and export your PDFs for print.

These steps are explained on this page – or, if you’re already familiar with this information,  the files you’ll need to download are here.

*Please note, this guidance is intended for customers using Adobe InDesign since it’s the industry-standard software for creating print-ready files. If you’re using any other software, we can still process your files for print, however we’ll recommend running additional test pages in order to be certain of achieving your desired results on press.

Installing & selecting the correct colour profiles

Different paper types reflect light differently, and are more or less absorbent. This means that the same image file, printed on coated vs. uncoated paper, will reproduce differently – as this image shows.

printing profiles for coated and uncoated stock
In this image, the page on the left has been retouched using the wrong profile – US Web Coated – for the paper type. On the right, the correct profile was used for the uncoated stock. The use of the wrong profile on the left has caused the purple to have reproduced with more red, and a yellowing to have appeared in the model’s face.

This issue is avoided by using the correct ‘colour profiles’ – computer files which instruct the printer to use more or less ink depending on the paper type. This allows you to achieve true-to-life colours in your photography, and allows you to print consistent colours when using different paper types in the same production.

You should also use these profiles during retouching, since Adobe Suite will display the images differently based on the profiles you’re using.

Please download the correct profiles using these links – for coated and uncoated papers.

How to use these files:

  1. Download and unstuff / unzip both of these files
    • ON A MAC: copy the unstuffed files to the folder Library/Colorsync/Profiles
    • ON A PC: download to desktop, then right click and choose Install Profile**.
  2. Select these profiles in Adobe Suite for retouching and saving files for print.

Installing the correct PDF presets and saving these for print

There are also different PDF presets for coated and uncoated paper.

How to use these files:

  1. Download and unstuff / unzip both of these files
    • ON A MAC/PC:  within Adobe InDesign, go to File/Adobe PDF Presets/Define, then choose to load the downloaded presets
  2. Apply these settings to your files when you export for print…
    • Go to File/Export – and depending on your choice of stock, choose from either of these Adobe PDF Presets:
      • Apogee Prepress with Trims PDFX-4 COATED
      • Apogee Prepress with Trims PDFX-4 UNCOATED

**If installing manually…

  • copy the downloaded file,
  • select the Windows folder on your hard drive
  • select the folder System 32
  • select the folder Spool
  • select the folder Drivers
  • select the folder Color
  • …and paste the copied profile file into this folder.

What if my project contains a mix of coated and uncoated stocks?

If your project is a combination of coated and uncoated work, please supply separate PDFs for each stock type.

We not require a separate PDF for every single page. Where a production has a minority number of pages in an alternative stock, please supply the following:

  • text pages on the alternative stock as single-page PDFs
  • covers: please supply these as spreads, including the spine.

A common mistake to avoid…

…is the use of ‘U.S. Web Coated’ profiles.

Despite being the standard in Adobe applications, these profiles are out of date and are generally avoided by UK printers; they are in fact profiles developed for printing on US Web presses. These profiles are therefore likely to lead to inaccurate reproduction.

*

These instructions should help you produce files correctly for print, but if you have any problems, please contact your Park account manager for further information.

 

 

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