Prepress | Preflight Your Files

Preflighting is the process of putting together all of the necessary elements of your design, reviewing them, and sending them to the printer. This is an extremely important part of any job, because it is 100% up to you to make sure that your files are perfect. Before ever printing a job make sure that all of your fonts and graphics are exactly how you want them to be, because having a prepress department fix it for you is expensive. If you’re worried about sending your files correctly to your desired printer, ask for a preflight check list. This will give you all the information that you need to know about what needs to be done before your files are sent off. Some desktop publishing programs have a preflight feature that can help, but it is best to go off the check list from your printer. If you are unsure of your ability to make your files perfect, tell your printer and arrange for them to preflight and correct them. If you choose this option always request a proof. This will cost more than if you prepare and preflight your own files.

Before you hand over your files

Before sending your files, be sure you and your printing company agree about who will be responsible for what.  Different printers prefer different things, one might prefer to work with your the application format file from the application you used to create your design.  Some will go through your design, and convert it to a print format file themselves, while others might assume you already prepared the file. This is why it is so important to know what your responsibilities are, as well as the printer’s.

Sign off on your proofs

After your files are done and prepared, you will typically be asked to review and sign off on a proof before it is printed. The final proof should look nearly identical to the final printed piece. You’re responsible to check and recheck all of your proofs thoroughly, and once you sign off on that proof you have assumed responsibility for the design itself. ?This is very important for you to understand. If there is something as simple as a wrong digit in the phone number, or a misspelling, your approval of the proof can legally hold you responsible for the final outcome of the project.