Ai Prepress Checklist.

Ai Prepress Checklist.


Publishing tip #10: Get it proofed and approved

Series iconThis article is published as part of the exclusive AG blog series Avoiding 10 Illustrator Publishing Pitfalls

The last tip in this series – which we hope you’ve enjoyed and found of use – simply contains two main points (you’ve read enough, we’re sure!)…

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Publishing tip #9: Synchronizing duplicate images


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Synchronize images title

It is common for Adobe Illustrator documents to contain multiple instances of the same raster image. Duplicating artwork (including vector) features an inherent danger; if all instances need to be updated in a synchronized manner, there is a risk that one or more instances are forgotten and the integrity of the document is therefore damaged.

This article reveals several approaches to handling multiple instances of raster images within an Illustrator document and how to avoid incomplete artwork revisions.

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Publishing tip #8: Excessive ink coverage

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Ink coverage title

Do you remember when as a young child, you played with poster paints and liberally squirted the tube of runny paint all over the cheap wall covering paper ripped off from the roll? Now they would call it art and hang it in the Tate Modern, but back then what mainly resulted was a soggy mess as the paper screamed its surrender at trying to cope with so much liquid paint being thrown at it.

It was all fun then. But the same really applies to offset printing with professional inks, applied via a professional press and on professional paper. And with a professional charge when it all gets too much for the paper as is starts to crinkle and ripple due to excessive ink being applied.

This article covers the topic of over-inking. As in most professions such as mechanical engineering, the majority of production and cost implications are set at the design stage. Armed with Adobe Illustrator, you have the power to make the right design… or a costly and mushy mistake. It would be advisable to read on…

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Publishing tip #7: Grayscale conversion and desaturation


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Pure and warm gray title

A common requirement for designers and publishers is to convert artwork into pure grayscale, or “greyscale” if you’re on our side of the pond. This process may at first glance appear to be simple and fool-proof using Illustrator’s native Edit » Edit Colors » Convert to Grayscale command introduced in Illustrator CS3. (Sorry Illustrator CS2 users; the Filter » Colors » Convert to Grayscale is not as advanced, disallowing certain objects including gradients to be converted.) But this simple approach does not always produce the best results. Other native Illustrator methods are available, which will be discussed.

The other major aspect of this article, as indicated by its title, is the production of “warm” desaturated results as catered for with the Desaturate tool found in the Phantasm CS range. Technically, true “grayscale” artwork only exists in the black separation, using only black ink (or any other single ink at output stage). However, it’s sometimes more suitable to produce artwork which appears to be monochrome like grayscale, but contains a mix of inks to add some perceived warmth.

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Publishing tip #6: Black not set to overprint


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Overprint black title

Overprinting black text and other objects can ensure quality print jobs. It’s often the simplest way to ensure crisp results and is a age-old work-around for the issue of mis-registration on a print press – a topic discussed in the previous article, Rich black strokes and text. Here, we’ll describe methods to set objects defined with black ink only (“pure black”) to overprint using both native methods and tools as well as the overprint black option found within Phantasm CS.

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Publishing tip #5: Rich black strokes and text


Series iconThis article is published as part of the exclusive AG blog series Avoiding 10 Illustrator Publishing Pitfalls

Rich Black title

No – it’s nothing to do with a color’s financial status. “Rich black” refers to a deep black defined in CMYK using a high levels of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. Wikipedia features this page to describe rich blacks.

Isn’t black ink on its own enough? Well, not really. The trouble is that all inks are semi-transparent to different levels. It’s accepted that you can see right through yellow ink and that it only displays a low level of opacity. But neither is black completely… black.

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Publishing tip #4: Over-complex live Effects


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Over complex effects title

The joys of personal experience. Somehow life manages to dig out a series of problems thousands or millions of others have already discovered to their cost, yet keep some apparently new situations just for you. So this lighter tip comes from AG’s own personal journals.

Live Effects are such a wonderfully powerful tool within Adobe Illustrator. If you want convincing, this earlier AG blog video tutorial shows the creation of a completely editable text effect – simply by using the power of live Effects. But what this tutorial also displays is the vast level of complexity such a stack of live Effects can conjure. And with that comes the spectre of annoying your local printer and delays to your job!

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Publishing tip #3: Linked artwork perils


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RGB title

Adobe Illustrator can contain two forms of artwork:

  • Embedded: the most common type and by default anything drawn directly within Illustrator using, say, the pen tool is technically embedded and an integral part of the document
  • Linked: an artwork file stored elsewhere on the computer or network that is represented in an Illustrator document but remains linked and therefore can be updated externally

It is commonly know that images such as TIFFs, JPEGs and Photoshop PSDs can be linked and placed within an Illustrator document. But did you know that it is also possible to link and place a PDF, EPS and even another PDF-compatible Illustrator .AI document?

The advantages of linking artwork include:

  • Being able to store a master artwork image such as a logo to ensure its integrity
  • Larger images linked do not inflate an Illustrator document’s file size, making saving quicker
  • Layered Photoshop files can be used, maintaining the layer information as a single entity

However, linked files also present some clear dangers to the unwary designer and operator. This article covers some major potential pitfalls, especially the color aspects.

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Publishing tip #2: Last minute embedded image editing


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Embedded image title

Images can be either linked (ie. external) or embedded in Adobe Illustrator documents. Both methods have their pros and cons, but embedded images are common and often have to be adjusted.

It’s a strange fact that Adobe never endowed Illustrator with a method to allow users to edit or access embedded images. Whereas linked images are provided with an option to edit the original linked file, embedded images are normally locked in. This can cause huge issues when a last-minute adjustment is required that only Photoshop can perform.

This tip shows how to overcome this obstacle and save heart-ache when the deadline is fact approaching.

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Publishing tip #1: Banish overprint white


Series iconThis article is published as part of the exclusive AG blog series Avoiding 10 Illustrator Publishing Pitfalls
Overprint white title

What better place to start this series of tips on avoiding publishing pitfalls in Adobe Illustrator than one of the most common: “overprint white”?

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