Generally accepted file types: PDF, TIF, EPS, JPEG, QUARK, INDESIGN, ILLUSTRATOR
File types accepted only for flyers, posters & leaflets: TIF, EPS, JPEG only
The newest version of Adobe Indesign, and EPS files we can accept is currently 4, but we prefer 2. The newest version of Quark we can accept is version 8, but we prefer 6. Later versions are not compatible with most currently available prepress machinery.
Firstly, let us explain why we do not accept PDFs for printing items such as leaflets, flyers or posters (batch printed items): The simple answer is that PDF’s are themselves perfect for printing from but once they have been dropped into a batch run in Quark it’s anyone’s guess how they will turn out. We have from a reliable source been told that a PDF dropped into Quark will “either work or it won’t”.
Here comes the science part!!!
A PDF is postscript file which has already been “ripped” and contains Postscript print settings. This means that it is ready to print as is. By dropping it into Quark it then has to be run through Postscript again in order to rip it and print it, this means that the existing Print Settings within the PDF get mixed up and convoluted with the new print settings.
The only solution to the problem is to provide alternative print ready files if possible. TIFF, JPEG, EPS (with fonts converted to paths).
PDF’s can just as easily and more reliably be saved as EPS’s with the fonts converted to paths (or outlines).
We do however, still very much accept PDF’s for all other jobs.
As mentioned above, TIFF, JPEG and EPS files are also acceptable.
TIFs and JPEGs are bitmap format files – they store the information of all data as small dots. So when you expand the document, the dots expand and the perceived resolution drops. Both formats have inbuilt compression – this will reduce the quality of your documents gradually, so try if you use JPEGs to keep the compression set to maximum. TIFs LZW compression is usually not a problem, but if concerned, save your files as uncompressed TIFs, and burn them to a CD and post them to us.
While we obtain good results printing from these formats for posters, flyers, leaflets and other single-sheet print, if you are producing a brochure or other document with multiple pages, EPS, InDesign or Quark files are preferable. These formats contain bitmap format, but also contain vector data – data that contains paths or expandable curves, straight lines and angles which will remain razor-sharp at any sizing. Be sure to include your fonts with Quark or InDesign files. Alternatively export to EPS with the fonts as vector data, or EPS pages with the fonts converted to paths.
NB There is a £25 export charge from Quark / Indesign for flyers