Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Illustrator PDF's (Transparency Issues) Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
Search Search Module
Collapse

Advertisement Advertisement Module
Collapse

Featured Images Featured Images Module
Collapse

Mediabistro Creative Sites Mediabistro Creative Sites Module
Collapse
Latest Topics Latest Topics Module
Collapse

Advertisement Advertisement Module
Collapse

Sponsors Sponsors Module
Collapse

X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Illustrator PDF's (Transparency Issues)

    When I "Save As" PDF documents and send the file to the printer, I receive phone calls from disgruntled Prepress folk who say "You're file is corrupted" or "Your transparencies get messed up in the rip" or "What program did you use to design this ad?"

    I understand the ripping process, outlines, links, etc... but why can't my PDF that is FULLY readable on everybody's Acrobat (even Windows users) become fully readable printed material? Is it my job to make sure that the Prepress folk don't have to tweak? Believe me, I would like to make it easier on the prepress folk... But when I flatten or rasterize my transparencies, I still get errors. What's the solution? How can I simply give a PDF file to the prepress folk and not worry about a return phone call?

    I'd like someone who has more experience with this issue enlighten me.
    To my employers:
    "You can have my hands, but you'll never get my heart".

  • #2
    If you've ever worked on a publication of any size and had to deal with ad submissions, you'd probably never ask this question. I believe that the onus is on the designer to handoff files that represent minimum delay risks for the publisher. We send ads all over the world, often to presses and RIPs that are completely anonymous. You bet I don't want a call back, or worse-- a rasterized in Photoshop solution. The thing with ads is to learn how to knock things back to the lowest common denominator, which at this stage, for me, is either an EPS level 2, or PDF Acrobat 4. Flattened. If I can, I preflatten (usually a copy) of the approved ad right in AI (or Corel, where I also work). This makes for generally smaller, and more reliable files.

    How are you creating the final PDFs?

    Comment


    • #3
      The beauty of Acrobat Reader is that you can VIEW graphics clearly at a small file size.This does not mean the Ill. files are correct or the Photoshop res is correct or even your fonts are embedded. The reason the prepress people are asking you what you designed your ads in is to see if you made the PDF correctly. Acrobat does this differently with different software. For example--you print to make a PDF in WORD than optimized for press or printing--Quark 4 and 5 have plug-ins. Acrobat 7 has very good trouble shooting features built in, it's worth the price.
      Last edited by jimking; 06-10-2005, 04:02 PM.
      WYSIWYG

      Comment


      • #4
        I DO NOT want to be limited in my designing just because I have to please the printers with an "easy to understand" document. If I want transparencies, I want the ability to use them.

        After getting the look I want (I don't do any specific setting after the immediate creation of transparencies, graphics, etc)... I then save as a PDF...

        ...I have a cusom PDF preset that includes the following commands: (after doing this preset, I send the PDF to the printers). Tell me where I'm going wrong...

        General
        Compatibility: Acrobat 6 (PDF 1.5)
        Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities: Off
        Embed Page Thumbnails: On
        Optimize for Fast Web View: Off
        View PDF File after Saving: On
        Create Acrobat Layers: Off

        Compression
        Color Bitmap Images:
        No Sampling Change
        Compression: Automatic (JPEG)
        Image Quality: Maximum
        Grayscale Bitmap Images:
        No Sampling Change
        Compression: Automatic (JPEG)
        Image Quality: Maximum
        Monochrome Bitmap Images:
        No Sampling Change
        Compression: CCITT Group 4
        Compress Text and Line Art: On

        Marks & Bleeds
        Trim Marks: Off
        Registration Marks: Off
        Color Bars: Off
        Page Information: Off
        Printer Mark Type: Roman
        Trim Mark Weight: 0.003 in
        Offset from Artboard: 0.083 in
        Bleed Left: 0 in
        Bleed Bottom: 0 in
        Bleed Right: 0 in
        Bleed Top: 0 in

        Advanced
        Include ICC Profiles: Off
        Subset embedded fonts below: 100 %

        Security
        Document Open Password: Off
        Permissions Password: Off
        Encryption Level: High (128-bit RC4) - Acrobat 5 and later

        Could my problem be lie with the fact that I'm not saving as PDF 1.3, thus haulting my ability flatten transparencies?
        To my employers:
        "You can have my hands, but you'll never get my heart".

        Comment


        • #5
          Keep in mind that there are design parameters that one needs to follow when designing for printing. I can't tell you why you're having a problem with trans. There is a couple of things I've noticed --embed ALL fonts and if there are bleeds you need to place .125 bleed where needed. If you'd like, email me one of your PDFs and I'll trouble shoot it for you. I've been in the printing field for 33 years.
          WYSIWYG

          Comment


          • #6
            I do include bleeds, I do embed all fonts. I have recently had a prepressman tell me about the PDF x-1a format... I've been trying to verify documents in Acrobat, and I keep failing.
            To my employers:
            "You can have my hands, but you'll never get my heart".

            Comment


            • #7
              >>I DO NOT want to be limited in my designing just because I have to please the printers with an "easy to understand" document. If I want transparencies, I want the ability to use them.<<

              I'm not saying don't use transparency-- only learn to use them wisely, and learn to hand them off to minimize problems in prepress. And don't underestimate the return on 'pleasing the printer'. If you find a really good printer, and develop a good handoff workflow with him/her, then when the crunch times come (and we all know they do), that's the guy who's going to say yes to a super rush job because of the confidence in the files you're submitting to NOT cause delay.

              The first step is to talk to your printer's prepress manager or your publication prepress manager, if possible. Some printers actually prefer unflattened files as it allow them to make corrections/adjustment that simply are not possible with pre-flattened files. The flipside is that I prefer to know that my printer CANNOT make any changes (not without a lot of effort) after handoff. Especially the anonymous ones! Which is why I always make it abundantly clear that if the person handling my files has ANY problems, to contact me immediately to discuss.

              And yes, moving from Acrobat 5 to Acrobat 4 as the choice in output (Acrobat 1.3 level), will force out the transparencies.

              You do know to keep all objects in a file with transparency (this includes drop shadows and feathered type) on a separate, bottom layer? If you get too close with a transparent object to a vector object on the same layer, the object will be rasterized in the flattening as there really is NO true transparency support in postscript. Type is particluarly noticeable when rasterized as appearing 'thicker'.

              Yes, as soon as you select Acrobat 4 as your target PDF, provided your document contains transparent objects, you will then get access to the flattener controls.

              A note: if you use AI's internal flattener first, and then rasterize the results together as much as possible, you'll gain significant savings in file size, and processing.

              Comment


              • #8
                I've been in digital prepress for 15+ years. I have yet to understand, with high speed connections, ftp sites, even burning to a cd and taking an extra day for delivery...give me the native file and your job has a 99.9% chance of printing correctly.

                I am a professional, just like you, the designer. I am not going to screw with your file. Embed your fonts or convert them to outlines. Embed your images. Remove the 117+ unused colors in your color pallette.

                When a designer sends me a 4/4 175 line print job and it amounts to a 1mb pdf file, what's the time savings? It seems that the schools are teaching that faster is better and in the long run, quality suffers.

                A good commercial printer knows that printing is an art form and we need to treat it as such.

                My 2 cents worth.

                Rick
                People tell me "Have a Good One!' Hell, I already have a good one, I just need a BIGGER one! - George Carlin

                Comment


                • #9
                  <<You do know to keep all objects in a file with transparency (this includes drop shadows and feathered type) on a separate, bottom layer?>>

                  I was unaware of this. Thanks... Question:
                  1. Does it HAVE to be the bottom layer? If so, won't that limit my ability to place transparencies OVER a vector object?

                  <<A note: if you use AI's internal flattener first, and then rasterize the results together as much as possible, you'll gain significant savings in file size, and processing.>>

                  After using the internal flattener (under object>flatten transparency) and after using the rasterize command,
                  2. Do I still have to save this as a PDF 1.3 and acknowledge the transparencies?
                  3. Do I still have to put my transparencies on a different layer?

                  Sorry if I'm sounding rude or demanding... I ought to pay you or something.
                  To my employers:
                  "You can have my hands, but you'll never get my heart".

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    <<It seems that the schools are teaching that faster is better and in the long run, quality suffers. >>

                    Schools aren't teaching this - the business world is. As designers for ad agencies, we are dealing with many clients who use their marketing directors as their contacts with agencies. These are marketing grads who earned their degree via the schools of business. They have no training in art whatsoever, but all their emphasis in economical and timely solutions to advertising. Many simply don't understand the value of quality, practicality and true branding. Many don't have the Adobe programs, but wish they did.

                    <<A good commercial printer knows that printing is an art form and we need to treat it as such.>> I agree.

                    A good designer knows that designing is an art form and we need to treat it as such.
                    To my employers:
                    "You can have my hands, but you'll never get my heart".

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      First, Rickself. As I said, some printers (the good ones?) prefer to handle it all themselves from the native file. But that's presuming you have a number to call for the prepress prog at the printer, which ain't necessarily the case, especially with ads. It's all about communicating.... only when you can't, you have to go for security. And sure, this includes controlling your spot output, fonts, links, overprints, traps-- and anything else you think you should cover. If you can talk to the printer before packing things into a PDF, you can eliminate most, if not all of those steps. But the preflattening I'm describing is for those situations where printer talk just isn't an option.

                      Mr. Gloop:

                      >>1. Does it HAVE to be the bottom layer? If so, won't that limit my ability to place transparencies OVER a vector object?<<

                      The limitations are that any kind of a transparent object that goes over, or even within about 1/4 of in inch of another object (text, vector or other raster) will usually (depends on the flattening settings and the objects too) include these lower objects as part of the flattening process. Big headings, simple graphic shapes: usually not noticeable at high halftone screen output-- but definitely there for low screens such as newsprint.

                      >>After using the internal flattener (under object>flatten transparency) and after using the rasterize command
                      2. Do I still have to save this as a PDF 1.3 and acknowledge the transparencies?
                      3. Do I still have to put my transparencies on a different layer?<<

                      If you flatten all transparencies, then it won't make a difference which version you use. The layer pallete indicates objects that include transparency with a filled in dot on the right of the object/layer name. Or, if you start to do a test export to a PDF 1.3, if the flattener controls are grey-- that means they're gone. Note that you have to make a judgement call on the degree of flattening. A lot depends on what you have to flatten.

                      >>Sorry if I'm sounding rude or demanding... I ought to pay you or something.<<

                      Rude? Didn't pick that up. Demanding? Nope. You're just asking the sort of online questions I did when I was starting out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bad news, could not get your file to rip. Tried every trick in the book. Your PDF looks fine. I was able to print a laser out ok, ran the file through PitStop, it said it was ok. Opened it in Acrobat 7, ran a preflight, it said it was ok. Placed it in Indesign--seemed ok-but the damn thing would not rip. That means there is something in your art thats causing it not to rip, raster data, vector graphics, clipping paths, bad links, bad fonts. I think your PDFs are fine, just some art is fouling it up. The problem with PDFs for prepress people is that they do not have the raw files on hand to track down the problems, to do a process of ellimination. Did you create this in Illustrator? Give me some details of the software and the graphics that are imported into your design. It could be a graphic that you use often that may be bad or not compadible. I saw no transparency problems at all however on a older version of Acrobat (4) I did see bad transes, on version 7 it looked fine. Printed (laser) fine. Here at Nordic Press we have a Apogee 3 PDF workflow that is very stable. This is the kind of job that the printer should ask you for the raw files since no one seems to know what's going on. Another thing you could do is place your art (assuming it is a Illustror file) in Quark or Indesign and send that to the printer instead of a PDF that way they have the raw files. If the printer says all they take is PDFs---trust me, that is a lie. In a case like this, the raw files are assential and any prepress person worth his salt should and would be able to output your job. Remember there were no transparency problems with your job. I think the printer you're dealing with has a old version on Acrobat.
                        WYSIWYG

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Broacher
                          It's all about communicating....
                          Exactly. Call your prepress guy if you have any concerns. You'll make his or her day. I'd much rather talk to the designer before they get in too deep than after the fact and we're doing all we can to bail em out.
                          People tell me "Have a Good One!' Hell, I already have a good one, I just need a BIGGER one! - George Carlin

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jimking
                            The problem with PDFs for prepress people is that they do not have the raw files on hand to track down the problems, to do a process of ellimination. Did you create this in Illustrator? Give me some details of the software and the graphics that are imported into your design. It could be a graphic that you use often that may be bad or not compadible. I saw no transparency problems at all however on a older version of Acrobat (4) I did see bad transes, on version 7 it looked fine. Printed (laser) fine. Here at Nordic Press we have a Apogee 3 PDF workflow that is very stable. This is the kind of job that the printer should ask you for the raw files since no one seems to know what's going on. Another thing you could do is place your art (assuming it is a Illustror file) in Quark or Indesign and send that to the printer instead of a PDF that way they have the raw files. If the printer says all they take is PDFs---trust me, that is a lie. In a case like this, the raw files are assential and any prepress person worth his salt should and would be able to output your job. Remember there were no transparency problems with your job. I think the printer you're dealing with has a old version on Acrobat.
                            BINGO!
                            People tell me "Have a Good One!' Hell, I already have a good one, I just need a BIGGER one! - George Carlin

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm always game to try a problem file...shoot it to me and let me see what I can come up with.
                              Rick
                              People tell me "Have a Good One!' Hell, I already have a good one, I just need a BIGGER one! - George Carlin

                              Comment

                              Mediabistro A division of Prometheus Global Media home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc.
                              Working...
                              X