Print facilities say their biggest challenges to printing great color come in customer files. No matter how well a printer manages color in-house, the settings used on inbound files will always affect the quality and color of the final output.
So how should print files be set up?
Most importantly: If you have a specific print shop you plan on working with, always follow their artwork guidelines for the best color results. Following a printer’s specs will reduce the pre-press time required to prep your file for printing, saving you time and money. A printer will tell you what they need to get the best results for their process.
If you have not yet chosen a printer, your best bet is to do a little research on how the job will be printed and what settings are recommended for the ink and media type. You can easily do this by calling a few local shops for quotes, asking about how they will print your job, and requesting file set-up guidelines.
There are a few key things you should know:
- Calibrate your monitor!
- All monitors display color differently, even the same brand and model. To see accurate color you must calibrate them.
- After calibration you can soft-proof your graphics to see colors accurately before they’re printed.
- Changing color settings after creating graphics re-interprets color. This is bad.
- Color re-interpretation leads to less reliable color.
- They know what is best for their workflow. Trust them.
Great printed color starts with a great digital file. Optimize your results with a calibrated monitor, the right file settings, and a color savvy print vendor. You’ll get great color every time.