SOME HELPFUL Q AND A’s


Q.   What file formats do you accept?
A.   CC West accepts all industry-standard graphic file formats; PDF, TIFF, EPS, and JPG. We regularly work with native file formats; Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop. When sending native files, it is advised to also send images and fonts.
Microsoft Office suite files (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) can be used, but they do not offer control of color or image quality.
     
Q.   What is CMYK mode?
A.   CMYK mode is the method used to print full color on a printing press. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black inks are combined to produce color images. When printing, the colors are aligned, or keyed to black, this is where a "K" comes from. CMYK is also know as; process color, four color or 4/0.
     
Q.   RGB mode vs CMYK mode - does it matter?
A.   RGB & CMYK are two completely different ways to make color; RGB (red, green & blue) is colored light, and CMYK is colored ink. Your computer display uses RGB light to make colors; when you combine red and green you get yellow, combing all three makes white. All printing presses use cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) ink; yellow and blue make green, and combining equal amounts of cyan, magenta and yellow will make gray or black. This is important because when you convert between the two color spaces, changes happen; a beautiful vibrate blue in RGB mode will convert to surprising dark purple in CMYK. When you convert a RGB file to CMYK it will become slightly muted in color. Color press technology has come a long way, most photos print very well in RGB mode on digital or wide-format press. Page layout programs (e.i. Indesign and Illustrator) don't convert as well. This is why it is very important for you to make the conversion before sending CC West the file.
     
Q.   I'm ready to print, which files do you need?
A.   A PDF with .125" bleed, will work 95% of the time. It is best to convert the file to CMYK mode and convert fonts to paths, before sending. In order for CC West to make changes, we will need your native file without the fonts converted to paths, and all the parts you used to create the file. If you are using a vector based program like, Adobe Illustrator, you will need to manually collect the image files and the fonts. Most page layout programs, like Adobe Indesign, have a “Package” or “Collect for Output” feature, which will do this for you.
     
Q.   My files are RGB, what should I do?
A.   Change to CMYK mode. All design programs have a way to change color modes, usually in one of the first two pulldown menus. Switching color modes often causes color shift, it is important that you make these changes, this will allow you to adjust any colors your are not happy with. We can make the mode change for you, but this will require you to approve the change, adding time to the process. It is important to note that switching the color mode multiple times (RGB to CMYK to RGB)will alter colors and is not reversible. It is very important to keep your original file and only send us a “Save As” or duplicate copy of the file.
     
Q.   What is a PDF file?
A.   Adobe created the Portable Document Format (PDF) as a way to preserve the exact look and content of the originals, complete with fonts and graphics. You only need a PDF reader to view this file, not the program the file was created in, and a single file can be used in different ways; distributed by e-mail, shared and stored on the network or used for printing. When creating a PDF for printing you should use the “Press Quality” setting.
     
Q.   How do I change from RGB to CMYK mode?
A.   All modern design programs have a way to change color modes, usually in one of the first two pulldown menus. Consult the programs help system, search for; “Document Color Mode”, “Convert to Profile”, or “Changing Color Space.”
     
Q.   Should I include fonts and images with my documents?
A.   No, provided that you are sending a “Press Quality” PDF. If you are sending native files, from a page layout program, it is important that you include both the images and the fonts. In most cases these programs do not include the high resolution image in the file, and only “point” to it. Most page layout programs, like Adobe Indesign, have a “Package” or “Collect for Output” feature, which will do this for you.
     
Q.   Why is it important to provide fonts?
A.   Surprisedly, not all fonts are created equal, even fonts with the same name can be from a different font-house. These small changes in the way the font is created can cause big problems with complicated layered projects and can effect the flow of the text on just a few line of text. The only way to safe guard your project is to use your fonts.