FAQ

Fonts and Graphics

Why do I need to send in copies of the fonts I used?

We require the exact font files you used to create the document to maintain the integrity of the file. Within font families there are many different variations and these differences could cause significant reflow without opening the file with the original font. Remember when using Type 1 fonts you need to include both the screen and printer version.

What is the best way to scan my halftones?

There are many techniques but, keep in mind that you must scan roughly double the line screen you plan to print. So if you’re printing 133 line screen you should scan at a resolution of 300. Use the highlight and shadow options in your scanning software to create a highlight no less than 5% and a shadow no darker than 90%.

What line screen should I use?

133 line screen for black and white halftones. 175 line screen for color images.

What is the best way to scan my color art?

Make sure your scans are high resolution (300 or higher) to provide a crisper image. The process is the same for halftone scanning in that you double the resolution of the scan based on the line screen of the press.

When should I use an EPS as opposed to a TIFF?

These are the two file types used in printing for graphics and universally used for their reliability. EPS stands for Encapsulated Postscript and is used for line art and photos. TIFF stands for Tagged Image File Format and is primarily used for photos.

Can you accept JPEG?

Yes, but you must be aware that a JPEG will not provide the quality that you’ll get from an EPS or TIFF file. JPEG is used primarily for online images.

Can you accept GIF?

It is not recommended to use GIF images as art for printing simply because the small file size yields a much lower resolution and may not be acceptable to you. You may be familiar with GIF from internet animation. The reason they work so well in animation is due to the small file size.

What is the difference between CMYK and RGB?

CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, the four colors used to create a four color process image. It’s the standard in printing technology to create the “illusion” of a full color picture. RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue, the standard for online and television color reproduction. It is recommended that any RGB images be converted to CMYK, a process which is fairly easy in Photoshop.

Cover Page and Layout

What is a “native program?”

Refers to the original program used to create the document. In the printing industry the most widely accepted programs are Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.

Which native programs do you support?

We support current versions of the Adobe Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat) as well as QuarkXPress.

Can I set my book up in Microsoft Word or WordPerfect?

Microsoft Word and WordPerfect are word processing programs and are best suited for inputting text, not professional page layout. The best option when working with word processors would be to save the files as a PDFs. Many modern word processors allow you to save or export as a PDF. Some apps will allow you to “print to PDF”. If you cannot find any way to export your book copy as a PDF file, and you don’t own Adobe Acrobat Professional, you can go to http://createpdf.adobe.com where you can create your first five PDF’s online for free.

Does the page size on my disk have to be the exact trim size of my final book?

Yes, that is very important. In order for your files to print the way you intend them to, they must be set up the same size as the final output. The exception to this rule is if your book bleeds off of the edge of the page. In this case you would add 1/4″ to all 4 sides of the document.

Do I need to provide reader’s spreads or imposed signatures of my book?

No, set the pages up as single or independent pages with no “booklet” or pagination options. We will run your files through our imposition software to put it in the size of signatures we need.

Why do I need to send in a hard copy with my disk?

Our prepress department will need a representation of what you have on your computer to follow when going through the file on our computer. Sometimes when files go from computer-to-computer they experience subtle changes in spacing that could wreak havoc on your project. Also, before you send the hard copy take a look through it to make sure it is right because we will use that hard copy to determine whether or not there are problems with reflow in your file.

What are bleeds?

When an image extends beyond the final trim of the page we say it has “bled” off the page. In actuality, the page is trimmed at the bleed edge to provide this effect.

How much room should I allow for bleeds?

We require 1/4″ for bleeds.

Can you scan my art from a printed book?

Yes we can. We will need 2 copies of the book to have access to left and right margins after we trim off the spines. Creating digital cover art from a printed book can be done but, please bear in mind that the reproduction will only be as good as the original. There may also be additional retouch time needed to remove fold lines on the spine — depending on the art this time will vary. Please note that the two books will be disassembled for this process.

What is reflow?

Reflow affects character spacing within the fonts to add more space than intended. When it happens it usually changes the layout and spacing throughout the book. This is the main reason we require a hard copy of your inside text pages. Text can reflow for many reasons, the largest being that an element from the original file is missing from the one we are trying to open on our computer — even if there is the slightest variance. Reflow can ruin a project if it is not caught and corrected.

What are signatures?

In offset printing, the pages of a book are arranged in multiples of 32 or 16 pages per press sheet depending on the trim size. When the larger sheet is folded, the pages back up in numerical order. Each multiple of 32 or 16 is referred to as a signature. Any given book will have many signatures. For example, a 64 page book has two 32 page signatures.

What type of proofs will I see?

Once we have ensured that your file is print-ready, we will rip your file. We then will the send you a printed proof of the ripped file. This will be the final thing you see before we print your book and you should check to ensure the proof matches your expectations. If you do find issues with the proof please clearly mark the pages on which they occur.

File Formats

What is a PDF?

Portable Document Format, developed by Adobe, is a self contained file providing all the text, font and graphic information needed to produce a printed piece. PDF can be created using Adobe Acrobat Distiller software, which creates the postscript file necessary for conversion to PDF. Many new page layout programs incorporate the ability to export to PDF without purchasing additional software. PDF’s reliability has made it a favorite in online document distribution as well.

Four Color Process and PMS Colors

Pantone colors – what is the differences between coated and uncoated reproduction?

The differences are shown in the Pantone color matching swatch book. The colors designed for uncoated paper have a “U” after the number. The colors designed for coated paper have a “C” after the number. Uncoated stock reacts differently to ink than a coated (gloss or matte) stock will. Likewise, PMS 123C looks dramatically different than PMS 123U. When using a PMS ink it is understood that you are trying to achieve a more exact color match than a four color process match can provide. So being aware of the differences between coated and uncoated will help alleviate any problems.

What are metallic PMS inks?

At a higher cost, using a metallic PMS can give you a better silver or gold effect on your printed piece. There are many metallic colors available.

Where can I get a PMS color guide?

Google: Pantone color guide
On Amazon: Pantone color guide
Visit the Pantone website

How can I make PMS colors in Photoshop?

It can be tricky especially since it’s a program designed for four color process images. Try substituting one of the process colors for the PMS color you want to use. For instance, if you want black plus PMS 123, set the file up as black plus process yellow (at 100%). If there are any screens of the PMS color, use the percentage of the substituted process color. The reason this works is you will tell the printer the exact PMS color you want so that it will print correctly on the press. Also tell us when you’ve substituted a process color for a specific PMS ink so you and our prepress will be on the same page.

FTP

Do you have an FTP site?

Yes. You’ll need to gather all your files into one folder and create a single compressed ZIP file to send to us. If you need assistance, please call 877-278-2726 to get the password, and click here to go to the upload interface.

Who can I contact at Sun Graphics Book for help with FTP?

Questions about our FTP? Technical questions can be directed to our Digital Prepress Department.
email: Technical Service
phone: 877-278-2726.

Miscellaneous

Can you do a test of my files?

Yes, in fact, if you have any doubts about how compatible your files are with your system we would encourage letting us do a test. There is no cost and it’s designed to be a preventative measure if there are any problems. The test can be arranged through your sales representative and are performed in the order they’re received.

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