Faqs Prepress

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Click a question to find the answer!

1. Why choose TSE Worldwide Press for my printing needs?

At TSE, we take pride in our creativity and ability to attend to details and problem-solving! We specialize in handling complex, high-end, and innovative projects with precision and extreme care throughout the whole process. In the end, when it comes to the products and services, we will always come through to you and your clients, no exceptions!

2. Can TSE help with custom template designs or other design needs?

Absolutely, TSE has an in-house design team ready to help with design of templates and more.

3. Can TSE help with ideas, creative, and marketing?

That is what TSE is here for. You can count on us to work with you in developing the most productive marketing/advertising plan to fit your needs and budget.

4. What is considered a “reprint” of a Title?

Reprint of a Title consists of a reoccurrence of a printing project using identical data integrity from the previous print-run. This also includes minor changes (e.g. year, edition or price) such as those made on the cover case; dust jacket (if any) and the imprint/copy-right page.

5. What does Print-Ready mean?

Print-Ready is a term we use which means the submitted print file (PDF) meets the following criteria for print:

  • Convert all RGB images into CMYK color.
  • Check if the final image has enough resolution (300 dpi minimum at 100% size including the bleeds).
  • Check if all text pages have enough bleed (1/8 inches).
  • Check if cover has enough bleed for wrapping (0.75 inches).
  • Check if a barcode has been placed into the layout.
  • Check if barcode is in single one color black or 100% black.
  • Check if the manufacture location (Printed in China) has been inserted onto the layout.
  • Check if the trim/crop marks; center marks; page info are included in the PDF file(s).

6. What does Production-Ready File mean?

A Production-Ready File is a print ready file that we have processed and flight-checked for offset print production. This usually involves changing the attributes to the Print-Ready file to ensure accurate printing and print program compatibility.

7. What is the minimum resolution?

The minimum resolution for a print job is 300dpi with the image size being at 100%. For example, a page at 8.5 X 11 inches will become 8.75 X 11.25 inches after 0.125 inches of bleed is added to the four stages of a page.

8. What formats of files do you accept?

We print from PDFs, but we also accept formats from Adobe Illustrator; Photoshop; InDesign & Quark. File format conversion from files other than PDFs will incur additional charges.

9. Which graphics program should I use to create Print-Ready files?

Although choosing a program is based on personal preferences, the programs listed below are commonly used to prepare a page layout:

  • Adobe Illustrator (up to the latest version in the market, fonts Outlined & saved as a PDF with printer marks)
  • Adobe Photoshop (up to the latest version in the market, fonts Flattened & saved as a PDF with printer marks)
  • Adobe InDesign (up to the latest version in the market saved as a PDF with printer marks)
  • Quark (up to the latest version in the market, saved as a PDF with printer marks)

10. What are outlined fonts/flattened fonts?

Outlined fonts in Illustrator are text that has been converted into vector objects thus removing their editing/typing capabilities. This process ensures that font substitution will not occur.
Flattening in Photoshop is similar in the ways above except Photoshop makes the text part of the raster image instead of vector objects.

11. What is Raster & Vector?

Raster is a pixel-based image such as one from a digital camera or one created with Photoshop. The image is made up of many little colored squares or rectangles. A vector graphic is one created from graphic applications such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. They are mathematically graphed images & effects.

12. What is a PDF Binder/Package?

A PDF Binder/Package is a PDF, which contains multiple pages (usually 16pages in a signature).

13. How do I put together a Binder/Package?

A PDF Binder can be compiled in many ways. Please see an example below.

Go To:
FILE > Create PDF > From Multiple Files > &/and follow the onscreen instructions from there on.

14. Can I request the processed files TSE uses for print?

Yes, we offer the option of providing Production-Ready files prepared by us. We will provide you with the production files in PDF format. Charges may apply.

15. Does TSE offer virtual examples of our artwork on your covers for visual purposes?

Yes, virtual samples and layout design are services we can offer to you at a fee.

16. What does Proofing mean?

This is the step of looking over the entire book or a project to ensure everything is correct and in the right order before it is proceeded to mass production. Every detail from the editorial, photo quality to page order will be reviewed by the client before it is proceeded to press. There are 5 Proofing Phases.

17. What are the Proofing Phases?

There are 5 Proofing Phases:
1) Client-End Proofing
2) Soft-Proofing
3) High resolution Proofing
4) Blue-Line Proofing
5) Advanced Copy Proofing

18. What is a Soft-Proof?

A Soft Proof is a low-resolution version of your Production-Ready file and in PDF format. It is provided to you as a proofing measure to ensure that there has not been any data corruption in the transfer of the files to us (via FTP; Email; CD; etc,) or data corruption during the Production-Ready processing phase.

19. What is a Wet-Proof?

A Wet-Proof is a printed proofing page of your file/s. It is printed on the actual paper that will be used on your project; with the actual inks that will be used on the final press run. It requires special set-up on press and special plate output which makes it a pricier proofing option. However, this type of proofing process yields the best color proofing result. Wet-Proof is an option especially recommended on projects that are critical on colors. This includes art books; museum quality projects and photography books.

20. What is a HRD-Proof (High-Resolution-Digital-Proof)?

The HRD-Proof is output after the Soft-Proof is reviewed and approved by you. The HRD-proof is different because it is printed on chemically based proofing paper using a color matching profile. A HRD proof mimics the colors from a press run; however, it is not printed on the same paper stock and ink type used on a Wet-Proof.

21. How do you send me the Soft-Proofs, HRD-Proofs or Wet-Proofs?

Soft Proof (pdf file) is sent via email or sometimes as a download link depending on the size of the files. HRD-Proofs & Wet-Proofs are sent via: Postal Services; UPS; DHL; Fedex or other Courier.

22. Can I use website images for print ready art?

Website images do not meet Print-Ready file criteria. A website image normally has a resolution of 72 dpi while the minimum Resolution requirement for offset printing is 300 dpi. However, if a website image is all you have, then we will gladly take that web image, recreate it for you or give you suggestions how to optimize the quality.

23. What is Resolution?

Resolution has a unit of measure of DPI (dots per inch), which refers to the interval amount of space that comprises an image. In offset printing, 300dpi is a minimum requirement.

24. What resolution is required for a good print?

300dpi minimum.

25. Can I use Microsoft Word type documents for offset-printing?

Microsoft documents are not acceptable file types. These documents do not usually embed fonts for print production, which will cause font substitution on a computer other than the native computer without any warnings. Font substitution from Word documents are not easily resolved & can cause additional issues such as reformatting if the file is not opened with the native program and on the native computer.

26. Can I use the print files I sent for one job on a reprint?

Yes, if the exact same printing is desired on a new print run, the previous file(s) can be used assuming that there are no changes on any one of the components. If there are changes or adjustments are needed to be made prior to the print-run, system charges will incur.

27. What is an Offset Printer?

It is a large-scale industrial printer for larger quantities.

28. What is Offset Printing?

It is the large scale printing process that is commonly used to print projects such as books, magazines, brochures at a larger quantity which is not cost-effective through print-on-demand. It has many benefits and advantages over other methods such as color consistency; quality, and speed.

29. What is Tolerance?

Tolerance is the amount of movement and variance that occurs with the printing press, cutters, etc. This occurs during conversion & sometimes in the application of special treatments such as Spot-UV; flocking; etc.

30. What is Pagination?

It is the order of the pages

31. What is a Press Sheet?

A press-sheet is the printed sheet in a larger format which perfectly fits a signature of 16 pages provided the trim size is at 8.5 X 11 inches.

32. What does it mean to convert/conversion/converting?

This is the step in the production process that involves cutting and folding to create the final product. For instance, all pages of a book including the covers are lay-out on press-sheets as signatures. When they are converted, the press-sheets for the pages are cut, folded, and paginated into signatures. The Covers are also cut and folded before being bound with the signatures of the text pages as a bound book.

33. What is the Bleed?

The Bleed is the print that extends beyond the cut line of the edge of a page. This ensures that the conversion tolerances do not expose a white area on your page & usually on the edge. The page cut line is depicted by the crop-marks/trim-marks/printer-marks.

34. What are Printer-Marks?

They are the additional lines/marks included in your print-ready file (PDF) showing the file setup such as the crop-marks; trim marks and the center marks located around the four edges on a pdf file. These printer marks are usually printed outside the printable or image area.

35. What are Crop-Marks/Trim-Marks/Center-Marks?

These marks are usually printed outside the printable area.
The Crop-Marks and Trim-Marks are the same. They indicate the exact location where the page will be cut. The Center-Marks show the center point on the horizontal and vertical parts of a print-ready page. These marks are usually printed on the top, bottom, left and right parts of the page and are outside of the printable area.

36. What is RGB; CMYK; & 4-Color Process +?

RGB is made up of Red, Green and Blue and it is the color schema used in computer monitors.
CMYK is commonly used in offset or web printing and it is short for Cyan; Magenta; Yellow; and Black.
?4-color process is the printing with the CMYK inks.

37. What is a Signature?

Assuming the trim size of a page is 8.5 X 11 inches and the press is 40 inches. A signature composes of 16 pages (from the text) that get converted from single pages onto one large press sheet printed on both sides.

38. What is font substitution?

Font substitution happens when there is a change of the text/font-style in a file. Sometimes, it is caused the computer system that is used to open the file not having a font that the native computer had when the file was first created. It also happens when the fonts are not embedded into the pdf files or unlicensed fonts are used.

39. What is Flight Checking?

This is a program-based checking of a print-ready file which provides the printing details and catches any errors of a file being prepared for press production.

40. What is a Native File / Native Computer?

A native file is the editable file created. This file is the one used to output the print ready PDF.?
The native computer is the computer used to create the native file. This computer usually has all the fonts used in the creation of the native file(s).