Guides and Tips
Design and Pre-Press
The Department of Print Services operates Macintosh computers supporting a variety of software packages. Most MAC and PC word processing files can be brought into our system.
The Print Services staff is available to help you make your printing decisions, but it's a good idea to have several basics in mind before you bring in your print request. To place a job or to obtain an quote, you will be asked about:
- The number of copies you want to have printed.
- Photos and artwork to be used.
- The account number to be charged.
- The type of paper to be used.
- How the project is to be finished and bound.
- When completed project is needed.
The Department of Print Services has hundreds of styles available. If you are using a special font, please make sure to include it in your files.
All jobs must be proof read by the customer at least once, and the proof must be returned with its signed and dated proof ticket before work can continue. Even those jobs you submit electronically need to be reviewed. While we try to identify problems, the volume of pages produced daily makes it impossible for staff to thoroughly check your proof for you. This important stage marks the last chance to identify problems and fix them easily and inexpensively.
(See How to Read a Proof.)
Here's how our proof reading system works:
- When a proof is ready, the individual listed on the printing request will be notified. The customer should pick up the proof and return it within 24 hours. Any time lost at this stage may be added to the time needed to complete the job. Proof reading times for larger jobs, such as academic journals, books, and catalogs will be scheduled with the customer when the job is placed.
- Every effort will be made to contact the person whose name is on the printing request when the proof is ready. If that person is unavailable, a message will be left with the department. Contact dates and times are noted on the proof ticket, and we will try again to notify you after two or three days if the proof is not picked up.
- The proof ticket attached to your proof should be signed and dated, with the appropriate box checked to indicate your preference:
- Okay, ready to print (no corrections)
- Print with corrections
- Revised proof required
- Once a final proof has been signed and released by the customer, Print Services is responsible for corrections noted on the final proof only. The customer must check to be sure any errors noted on previous proofs have been properly corrected. Errors that appear on the finished job, but that were not noted on the final proof, are the responsibility of the customer.
- A proof reading checklist is provided on the How to Read a Proof page. It is especially important that you use this or some other checklist if you are producing a newsletter, journal, or other large printing job.
How to Submit the Perfect File
Adobe PDF is the primary file format of our shop. You may submit other types of files, just make sure to include all requires support (images, fonts, etc.)
You may submit your file via email, Google Drive, or any other large file submission service. Of course you can always drop them off at our office as well on a portable drive/device.
- Include all fonts used in your document and only the fonts that are used.
- Collect fonts from the same computer used to create your document.
- Send the entire family of fonts (e.g. bold, italic, bold italic, etc.)
- Don’t forget to send us any fonts you have used in any of your supporting elements.
- The page dimensions (in your document set-up) should be exactly the same as the final trim size of your piece.
- Bleeds should extend a minimum of 1/8" beyond the edge of the page in any direction that should bleed, including background images, graphics, or other elements that run off the edge of the page.
- All type and graphics that do not bleed should be a minimum of 1/4" away from the page edge to avoid any trimming.
- A tri-fold brochure requires a layout/margin adjustment in order to fold properly. Print Services can assist you with this if needed.
- Remove any objects, elements, or layers not used.
- Include all original photo files, graphic files, and illustration files when submitting your job.
- All photos should be saved as JPEG, or PSD files. GIF's and PNG's are web graphics and are not intended for quality printing.
- All photos should be 300 pixels per inch (ppi) and sized close to the finished size.
- Web graphics/photos are low res (72-96 ppi) and are not acceptable for printing. Such photos/graphics to be pixelated.
- Black and white photos should be saved as grayscale, not RGB or CMYK.
- Color photos/art should be saved as CMYK not RGB.
- For full color printing (four-color), color images/ photos/text should be supplied in the CMYK color space. Please convert all RGB or Lab color to CMYK.
- If your job is spot color, create your document using the correct PMS colors. Make sure all placed images/ art are also the correct PMS colors.
- For black and white or grayscale printing, make sure all text is specified as black and not a build of colors, and that all photos and art are saved as grayscale.
Charges and Payment
Quotes are our best-guess cost for your job based on the description you provide. To obtain an quote, we will need to know:
- Number of copies to be printed
- Number of pages and/or versions
- Finished size
- Type of paper
- Design/Typesetting needs
- Finishing/binding required
- Date needed
Because of the changing cost of production materials, quotes are good for 60 days only.
Charges and Payment Procedures
There are two methods of payment for services rendered by Print Services:
- Internal billing: to an active Office of Business and Financial Services account number
- Direct payment by cash, check, or credit/debit cards.
When your office, department or organization has an active account with the Office of Business and Financial Services, your printing is charged to that account. All academic departments, administrative offices and a number of student and professional organizations have accounts. Please provide your account number when you place your printing order. Charges billed to university accounts are sent to the Office of Business and Financial Services bi-weekly. Unless your print job is charged to a current university account number or arrangements have been made to be billed, payment should be made prior to production.
Permission to Spend
If your department requires a Permission to Spend form before you place a print order, please bring the form with you or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org so your order will not be delayed.
Pickup and Delivery
When a job has been completed, the individual who ordered the job will be called or e-mailed at the number listed on the printing request. You may want to list both your private extension and the department number so that we may reach you quickly when your printing is ready.
You may pick up finished print jobs at Print Services, or you may have your job delivered. If you would like to have your printing delivered, please designated this on your printing request or tell the staff member who notifies you that your printing is ready.
The following are the standard turnaround times for typical printing requests:
- Digital: 1-2 working days* from final approval. Allow extra time if the job requires design work, hand bindery, folding, etc.
- Large Format: 2-3 working days* from final approval. Allow extra time if the job requires design work, hand bindery, folding, etc.
- Offset printing: 7 working days* from final approval. Allow extra time if the job requires design work, hand bindery, folding, etc.
* Working days are defined as Monday through Friday.
Checking the Status of Your Job
You will be given the date by which your job is expected to be completed at the time you place the order. To check on the status of a job in production, call our Customer Service Coordinator at (678) 839-3096.