PMS stands for Pantone Matching System, sometimes referred to as Spot Color or just Pantone. I bring this up because I find myself explaining to clients why their job is not separating into the appropriate spot colors.
Before I get into this subject, I want to tell you that the objective of a new campaign we are starting is to work with and educate our customers on some fairly new tools that will speed up the print process, make it more accurate and less expensive.
Over that last couple of months we have been very busy working in the “Back Room” here at Oregon. By Back Room, I mean the part of our process that you really don’t see, but is a huge bottleneck in any printing company. Thats called the Workflow, or in other words how we handle your print file once you hand it over to us untill it actually prints. That area includes:
- Pre-flighting (making sure your file is built correctly)
- Proofing (Sending the customer either a hard copy or a soft PDF proof)
- Imposition (putting the job on the sheet correctly, putting books in right page order and so on)
- Trapping, Postscript generation (and a bunch of other technically boring stuff)
- Sending on to Plate Making or Digital printing, confident that everything is correct
Traditionally, these processes were performed step by step, which was time consuming and left plenty of room for errors. But as things have become more digital, a lot of printers are using software packages called “Workflows” that automate the whole process. These are incredible software packages (and expensive) that perform all of these processes, but they really streamline getting a job to print.
So why is this so important? The biggest challenge(s) we face today is have 3 parts
- How can we get jobs done quicker?
- How can we maintain accuracy (Don’t make mistakes)?
- How can we cut the cost of your print job?
Good questions and I have 1 good answer. Work with us to learn to maker proper Print Ready PDF’s. If we can work with and teach our customers to provide us with correct PDF files, we can seriously work on the 3 above mentioned items. It’s just incredible how much easier and faster a job that originates from a Print Ready PDF goes through the shop.
Creating a PDF (Portable Document Format) is relatively simple and the best type of file to send to us. A well prepared PDF file will overcome many of the traditional problems we face with native files (the files generated by whatever program you are designing in). Native files tend to be large and cumbersome and often are missing fonts or graphics. This creates all sorts of printing problems and delays. PDF files avoid these concerns as they contain all the necessary fonts and graphics, are smaller files, and are platform, application and device independent.
The important part was the “work with us” part. Here are a couple of resources on on PDF creation:
- We have our own guidelines on our website under Expert Advice
- And straight from Adobe Press (A little more technical)
As I stated in the beginning, we will be working hard over the next couple of months to take this message to our customers. The biggest challenge we face today is that Speed, Cost and Accuracy thing, and with the latest & greatest workflow in place, sending us a well built Print Ready PDF will go a long way to getting there.