Delivering Files to Your Service Bureau

Send proofs and disks

To ensure that what they print looks like what you intended supply a laser-printed copy of your file. This can help technicians immediately spot obvious font differences, missing graphics, or changes in layout. Other items that you’ll want to include are additional artwork, font lists, and any special instructions not previously conveyed to your printer.

  • Send a PostScript laser proof of each color separation.
  • Make sure you generate a proof after making any changes, otherwise your printer may see differences between his output and your proof as errors which can delay your job.
  • If you can’t send your proof at 100% size then mark it to show the percentage size at which you printed it.
  • Send original artwork or photographs to replace FPO (for position only) placeholders, if any, in your digital file.
  • Include a list of all fonts used as well as a list of all the files that appear on your disk.
  • You may also need to include a dummy or mockup of your finished project to show how it is to be cut, folded, or bound.

Always talk to your service bureau or printer first before sending anything.  

They may have specific requirements and suggestions that will may your project go more smoothly.

Delivering the File
Once you know what files to send you have to get them to your service bureau. You’ll need to find out from them what formats they can accept. Some options include:

  • 3.5 inch disks. These are suitable only for small files or files compressed (such as with ZIP archives). If you compress your files insure your SB can uncompress them or send self-executing archives.
  • ZIP, Syquest, etc. ZIP disks, Syquest cartridges, Bernoulli cartridges, and Magneto-Optical Disks allow you to send large application files and their accompanying fonts and graphics without compression.
  • Electronic Transmission. Some printers will accept files as email attachments or by modem transfer via their own bulletin board system or over the Internet. You find it necessary to compress files into an archive files first to speed the file transfer.

As obvious as it may seem one common error is forgetting to clearly and completely label the disk. Include your name, address, phone number, and if you have a job number assigned, put it on the disk as well. Another good measure, include a ‘readme’ file on the disk that also includes this same information.

No matter how beautiful your design or how carefully you’ve prepared your files, if you don’t include the necessary files and non-digital materials you jeopardize your project. Avoid last minute surprises and wasted time by making sure that you’ve included all application files, fonts, and graphics in a format that your printer can use.