Identify Yourself!

As removable media gets smaller and smaller, the odds of them being misplaced become greater and greater. Any disks and cases; or removable media should be clearly labelled with your name, address, telephone number and the date it was submitted so that if they are temporarily misplaced, they can be identified easily and promptly returned. Labelling  is also important if amended files have been supplied to the printer or bureau, as it eliminates any confusion as to which file the prepress operator needs to use.

It is not uncommon for disks or removable media to get misplaced, lost, erased or destroyed at a bureau or a printer. On that note, make sure the printer or bureau is supplied a copy of the necessary artwork, and that duplicates of the artwork can be made if necessary.

Never send originals to bureaux or printers!

If sending a file via the internet, whether it is via email, FTP or a file-share service such as yousendit.com, contact the printer or bureau the old fashioned way over the phone and make sure that they have received the file. It is not uncommon for submitted files to either time-out, be eaten by the anti-spam software, become corrupt, bounce back due to max file-size ceilings or successfully upload but be misplaced/deleted by the printer/bureau’s office junior before an operator can check it.

Apart from simply sending a file over the internet, it is also important to provide full comprehensive instructions each time artwork is submitted, even if the artwork is the same thing done every week or month. Turnaround times for artwork provided with instructions are much faster than those without instructions as the prepress people will not have to contact third or fourth parties, or wait for callbacks for the required instructions. While most printing sales representatives take details so that the artwork can be quoted accurately, it is still a good idea to prevent any breakdown in communications between the printer’s sales department and their prepress section by submitting the artwork with all of the necessary information, especially if people are unavailable due to sickness, annual leave or if they are no longer working at the business anymore.

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About colmin8r
A prepress operator since 1997 specialising in Adobe InDesign.

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