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Preflighting - what is it and why is it important?

What is preflighting?

Preflighting is a process where your artwork is professionally checked before it goes to print.

It is the process of checking whether the digital data required to print a job is present and in the correct format. Nowadays it is usually a PDF file that is checked and then sent to print.

 

When do I need to preflight?

The earlier in the process that problems are detected, the easier and cheaper it is to fix them. If you are using a graphic designer they should preflight your artwork themselves before sending it to an agency or printer. 

However, with so many creative apps in the marketplace now, like Canva, more and more people are designing files themselves. Because of this, preflighting artwork does not always happen. Even if it has been checked by a graphic designer, they are not always aware of the intricacies of the design template or the print process and this can cause issues. 

That is why it can be important to preflight your artwork before it goes to print. There are technologies available that check your PDFs for you so you can do this yourself, or you can get a designer to do it for you. 

 

What are the biggest issues with artwork?

There are many things that can get missed with a design file, but some of the more common mistakes we see are that the image resolution is too small or the document size is not consistent with the template. These issues are generally easy to fix but are best found early in the design process.

 

Based on our experience the top 8 preflight problems are:

  1. Document size not consistent with the design template
  2. Insufficient image resolution
  3. Fonts not outlined
  4. Incorrectly specified colours, most commonly not set up in CMYK format
  5. Artwork not flattened

 

 

Opt-in Preflight service

An option we recommend is to have our design team preflight your artwork for you.  This service means your artwork will be checked by experienced designers that understand the templates and the finished products, giving you peace of mind and a faster, better quality printed product. Cost for preflighting is $45 per job and includes digital proofs of your artwork for you to sign off.


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