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  • Using PDF files for offset printing

    I know very little about PDF files and their capabilities for printing. I need to send a PDF file of a saddle-stitched brochure that was designed in InDesign. The finished size is 8.5" x 5.5". The brochure has bleeds, but I'm not sure how I'm supposed to include the bleeds in the PDF file. When I open the PDF file I saved out, it only shows the artwork within in the page size and not the bleeds. What's the correct protocol here?

  • #2
    Call the printer.

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    • #3
      ^ no kidding.

      Every print shop does things a little bit differently. Best to get your information right from the source to avoid headaches and misunderstandings down the road.
      "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot

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      • #4
        If they know you want bleeds, you have to include them in the pdf. Anyway to do it when you export as a pdf from InDesign and when the Export pdf window comes up select "marks & bleeds" in the left column. Then enter how much bleed you want in the bleed section at the bottom. You need at least .125" surround however I guess it varies on which printer you use. I usually use .25" surround. One time a printer required .5" so yes you should call the printer and find out.

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        • #5
          Yikes! A half inch bleed? I wonder why?

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          • #6
            I like 1/2" bleed.
            On prints over 36" square...especially if being mounted to a substrate.


            For a billboard or stage wrap I might ask you for 6" bleed.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by The Digital Man
              Yikes! A half inch bleed? I wonder why?
              Can't hit the paper?
              People tell me "Have a Good One!' Hell, I already have a good one, I just need a BIGGER one! - George Carlin

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              • #8
                I work at a print shop and I really encourage pdf's make from adobe applications. They're great...when they're sent to me correctly. Like said above, make sure that you create the pdf with the bleeds in the print settings.

                Also make sure that the pdf is "color correct" before you send it. For instance if it's 4 color it's in CMYK. If it's 2 spot colors make sure that it ONLY contains 2 colors. Print the seperations out first just to make sure.

                Also in InDesign it gives you the option of saving it as a PDF X (great pdf file format for printing) and add all the crop marks and bleed marks before you send it (again, call the printer to see what they want on the press sheet just to make sure)

                Hope that helps!

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