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Before starting designing process - please contact our customer support info[at]digiboxplus.ee and You'll be provided with needed templates

Here is a short description about demands for printfiles...

A digital original for printing is:


1. only a print-ready composite PDF file with CMYK or CMYK and spot colours (depending on the order) and complying to the requirements of PDF/X-1a:2001 (ISO 15930, PDF version 1.3),
2. which has been generated from a Postscript print file with the help of Adobe Acrobat Distiller 5 or 6 by using generally accepted settings and which has preferably undergone the pre-flight process;
3. with a bleed of 3 to 5 mm on the outer sides; the clean format of a printed matter or disc is centred in the middle of the PDF page either without crop marks or with crop marks that are situated 3 mm outside of the format; the resolution and colour separation correspond to the printing process; the name refers to the product name and the page numbers included in a specific file, and which has been prepared according to other generally accepted prepress requirements.

With booklets, the actual sequence of pages must be clearly marked and each page must be on a separate page in the print file.

Digital colour proofs must be complemented with a test scale (full surface and halftone and three-quarter tone screens for every colour) and information on the ICC profile used.

Digital originals are accepted both on digital data media, by mail and via FTP. Relevant FTP usernames and passwords can be obtained at info@digiboxplus.ee. As only the factory has the right to read, delete and rename the files, defective files have to be resent under another name.

Bleed 3 to 5 mm
All objects reaching the format of a printed matter or disc label must extend 3 to 5 mm over the edge so no white surface becomes visible due to folding, binding, cutting or other shifts. It is important to take the bleed into account in preparing design elements and framing images or otherwise something essential could be cut off. In the case of the bleed requirement, it is important to make sure that the essential elements on the page do not end up closer than 3 to 5 mm to the edge. Lines parallel to the edge of a page make even the slightest errors in post-processing particularly visible.

Black and overprint
To make sure that even the slightest errors in registration do not become visible around texts in black, lines and smaller objects set against a coloured background, we add overprint to all black objects (100% K) during pre-flight process. If overprint is for some reason not advisable in the case of black objects (e.g. large surfaces under which there is an image or colour that could seep through), black without overprint has to be used:

- regular black (automatic overprint will apply): 100K
- rich black: 100K-40C-30M-30Y
- black without overprint: 100K-1C-1M-1Y

Another common overprinting problem is the accidental addition of overprint to white or coloured objects, resulting in the disappearance of text or change of colour. If trapping and not overprinting of non-black objects has been used in the design or if there are other special requirements with regard to the application of overprint, you should inform the representative of Digibox LLC about this in each particular case and agree on an appropriate workflow.

Text in white against black
As a 100% K black tends to look too light on a large surface, designers often use rich black or other process colours added to black. When text in white is printed on such background (or on a dark image or colour background), even the slightest error in registration can render the text unreadable.

In the case of fonts with serif, italic or fine lines, the accepted minimum size is 10 pt, and in the case of non-serif fonts it is 8 pt. In using rich black, the composition should include 100K50C or 100K40C30M30Y, as both options ensure almost maximum density (darkness) achievable in the printing process.

In the case of text in white against rich black, problems with registration can be decreased by an outline of 0.1 to 0.15 mm, which is located behind the text and is in black without overprint (100K-1C-1M-1Y).

According to ISO 12647-2, the maximum acceptable misprint in the centre of an image with a B2 format and paper exceeding 65 gsm is 0.08 mm, in other cases 0.12 mm.

Transparency vs. clipping
Even though the latest versions of imaging, graphics and layout software provide tools for leaving a part of the image transparent, dropping a shadow to it or for using some other similar special effects, these cannot be used in the PDF version 1.3 on which the PDF/X-1a standard is based; in the case of newer PDF versions, the print results often depend on the printer or RIP and, consequently, they are unpredictable. The attempts of software to achieve transparency in printing end up in PDF files that are too large and may cause problems.

Bearing this in mind, it would be wise to avoid transparency-related effects. In the case that the design requires clipping the image from the background, this should be done with the Photoshop clipping path that is recognised in TIFF and EPS files by all common layout programmes. Proceed as follows:

- Using the Pen tool in Photoshop, surround the required object with a line (it works like the respective tool in Illustrator).
- Save the new line in the Paths palette by choosing ‘Clipping path’ from the additional menu of the palette and selecting the created line. Leave the Flatness box blank.
- Save the result as a TIFF (or EPS) file and use it in your layout.

Bright colours, sharp images
Most of the colour and image problems in print materials arise from poor image processing and/or the Photoshop colour separation parameters that have not been adjusted for the printing process: no attention has been given to actual dot gain, the paper type and Euroscale colours; the images only use a part of the colour range of the print or have been processed with a significant colour shift.

Before starting you should also check your monitor settings (by selecting Start > Control Panel > Adobe Gamma or using the applicable calibration system) and make sure that in Photoshop, Europe Prepress Defaults< (see Edit > Color settings) has been selected, i.e. the RGB profile is Adobe RGB (1998) and the CMYK profile is Euroscale Coated v2 or the profile of the actual printing shop and paper.

As the printed colour range is significantly narrower than the colours in nature – even when using the best possible papers or discs – the objective of image processing is to fully utilise available range:

1. at first, the lightest and darkest points should be determined on each image; this can be done in Photoshop with the Levels tool, which displays the tone distribution using the histogram;
2. most images benefit from a slight increase in contrast; often the image needs to be made slightly lighter or darker; the tool for this job is Curves;
3. bright colours result from two process colours; the addition of a third colour decreases the aboundness of colours, e.g. salad green is composed of Yellow (up to 100%) and Cyan (about 60%), while the addition of Magenta results in fir-green; the best tool for removing redundant colours is Selective Colour;
4. digital sharpening is required even with high-quality original images because the print screen tends to reduce the sharpness of the image; the respective tool in Photoshop is Unsharp Mask.

Naming the files.
Depending on the nature and workflow of each particular printing job, a PDF-file may contain one or several pages. The file name should refer to the name of the job and include the page number/numbers; it is also recommended to add the format,

e.g. ykstrykis_007-015.pdf, digibox_booklet_297x210mm.pdf.

Due to the different requirements of different operating systems and FTP programs, the file names may only contain numbers, characters (without diacritical marks), underline character (_) and the dot (.).

Covers are pages as well.
The best way to prepare covers is to include them the same way as the content pages of the publication, i.e. each cover on a separate page and the spine also separately – this makes it easier for the printing house to assemble the covers by taking into account the spine width/ thickness suitable for the particular material.

An alternative would be to prepare the cover design as a whole, i.e. presenting the back cover + spine + front cover side by side on one page, and the inside front cover + inside of the spine + inside back cover on another page. This method should be used, for example, when the design/image of the front cover is continued on the back. However, the precise width/thickness of the spine should be agreed in this case, because it is virtually impossible to change it at the printing house.

The names of the cover files should follow the general practice, i.e. the front cover is no. 1, the inside front cover is no. 2, the inside back cover is no. 3 and the back cover is no. 4 (naturally, they could all be included in one file). The design of the spine should be in a separate file due to the different format.

NB! The width/thickness of the spine is affected by the thickness of the paper, not its weight – make sure to determine the suitable width/thickness of the spine for this particular paper type and the number of pages!

Problems with spine.
In the case of booklets, the design should take into account and the printing house should be consulted on creep (the shifting of pages): the innermost pages are a few millimetres narrower. When there are no images which run from one page to another, the printing house will be able to compensate for this by shifting the pages in the centre towards the inside; an alternative would be a design which takes into account that a few millimetres on the outer edge of the page will be lost.


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