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Helpful Tips

Printable version

Following are a few tips on getting the best looks for your printing. Ads made for newspaper not only need to be creative to look good, but need extra creativity to look good on newsprint. Clean ads look clean!

Spot Colours

Instead of using the actual spot colour required for the design, substitute magenta or cyan for the colour. On the press the cyan or magenta will be replaced with the Pantone ink colour required. The printer does not carry every Pantone ink colour and it may be replaced with the closest colour that they do have. Monotones and duotones should always be created as a CMYK file and if you’ve use cyan to represent a Pantone colour, then cyan should also be used throughout the rest of the design to represent the Pantone colour.

Reverse Type

Close registration is always an issue while printing on newsprint. Reverse type DOES work well if it is reversed out of only ONE colour, ie cyan, magenta, black. Spot colours can be a little harder to get good quality as we sometimes print them in cmyk format or sometimes in the pantone ink colour. We only have a set number of pages which can be printed in Pantone colours and a set number of pages that can be printed in CMYK and to satisfy everyone’s colour needs we sometimes need to juggle how ads are printed. Reverse type will rarely register well if it’s in a CMYK colour that is made up of more than two of the colours. Bold type works better than light type. Thin coloured type on a black (dark) background is not likely to register well.

Registration of Colour

Newsprint by it’s nature is a weak and stretchy paper. While going through the press, registration depends on the roll tensions, wobble, ink tack and other various factors. By contrast, printing sheetfed on stable and strong paper can keep accurate register.

Newsprint will vary in register. Keeping the ads so that they are not 100% register depended will add to the quality look of the ad.

Black text should always be only black and not all the colours as using “registration” or some sort of rich black. Avoid using any colour areas, strokes, keylines and text that has over 3 colour components ( Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) to get better registration.

Supplying PDFs

Black will always overprint other colours that are underneath them which means that the colours under the black will show through.

Do not subset fonts but supply all fonts. Do not resample colour or grayscale images less that 200 dpi.

Colours that Look the Best

Clean colours such as green, blue, red, orange print better than browns and other colour made up from more that two of the process colours. Large solids are difficult to keep even from top to bottom. Splashes of colour are better than large areas of solids.

Before Submitting Files

If you change computer platforms, application programs, the style of your publication, or the manner in which you supply materials we require the submission of test files.

What is a test?

During a test, we will preflight your files and output page proofs. At your request, we can also impose the pages to film and create a set of proofs. A test disk should consist of eight to sixteen pages with representative graphics, fonts, and settings used in your job preparation.

The pages you submit need not be in order or paginated in sequence, but they should include some of your more complicated examples, especially process colour and spot colour pages.

Submit this test as if it were a live job. Fonts, graphics, ads, page proofs, etc. must arrive for the test. When we receive the test files,

we will conduct a series of checks. You will receive an oral report of the results of your test, along with suggestions that may help you avoid many of the pitfalls that could create delays or increase costs. Submit tests if you change your equipment, procedures, or software, or if you are new to Horizon Publications’ Electronic Prepress Department.

File Naming Convention: Use Publication Name and folio ranges for File Names. To assist us with your files, please create file names that will be easily recognized by our EPP department. We suggest using your publication name and folio ranges as document file names. For example, MypublicationSigN08-16.

What is the difference between RGB and CMYK?

Confusion between RGB and CMYK causes one of the most prevalent problems associated with files when we begin to preflight. Even though results may look very similar on screen, RGB and CMYK colours are from two different colour space systems and are not interchangeable.

RGB: Red, Green AND Blue

RGB is the colour mode used in the Additive colour system on your monitor. In the Additive system, red, green and blue light are added together in various amounts to create all colours. Mixing equal amounts of red, green and blue light produce white, for example. RGB is the colour mode used by most desktop scanners AND digital cameras. However, RGB colours will not image on a high-end imagesetter as colour. RGB colour monitors, therefore, do not accurately represent the colour printed with ink on paper.

CMYK: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black

CMYK is the colour mode used for printing on an offset press, in four colour process. The printing process, which prints with CMYK inks, uses subtractive colour. This system uses cyan, magenta, yellow and black filters to subtract light reflected from the substrate; subtracting all colour equals black.

Naming/Selecting Colours

When specifying colours as “spot” colours rather than as CMYK equivalents of a spot colour, be sure to identify the colour by its specific PANTONE number, and to identify it in exactly the same way each time it is used. “Pantone 300cv,” “Pantone 300 cv,” and “pantone 300 cv” will be recognized as different colours and, if used together within the same file, will result in the output of three separate pieces of film. To correctly identify colours, use the following format: “PANTONE 300 c.”