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Desktop Publishing for Graphic Production – Avoid Digital Image File Problems with FlightCheck

Markzware FlightCheck User, Gregg Hammerquist, director graphic production, Candlewick Press

Desktop publishing (DTP) for graphic production uses Markzware FlightCheck preflight software to avoid digital image file problems. These issues include TrueType fonts, improper image scaling, 16-bit images, low-resolution images, transparency issues and other desktop publishing problems. Pre press software can help you to check image files for printing quality, before printing:

Gregg Hammerquist, director of graphic production for Candlewick Press in Somerville, Massachusetts, publishes outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages. He has been preflighting with Markzware FlightCheck preflight software practically since it was introduced to the publishing industry in the 1990’s.  Prior to that, he wasn’t using any preflight software, so FlightCheck has been his first line of defense to find and correct preflight errors.

Markzware FlightCheck User, Gregg Hammerquist, director graphic production, Candlewick Press

Expectations being placed on the publisher/client to
supply the printer with press-ready files (mainly PDFs)
is why Markzware FlightCheck plays a critical role
in the office/studio environment

Markzware asked Hammerquist what some of the common file problems that he encounters regularly in his publishing workflow. He shared with us some of these various document problems that often seem to happen, and which FlightCheck has found during the preflighting process: scaled images, disproportionate image scaling, low image resolution, RGB images, embedded profiles, images with Alpha channels, 16-bit images, transparency issues, images that exceed specified DMAX limits, TrueType fonts, and stylized fonts.

One FlightCheck preflight feature that Hammerquist explains and considers very important is “being able to isolate and preflight individual image file types. For example, I may want to focus specifically on the bitmaps within a file, and with FlightCheck I am able to do that with ease.”

He continues, “Our designers (both book and promotional material) pass their final files to the graphic production team.  This team will convert and assign ICC profiles, perform final color correction, complete any necessary image retouching, create any special effect plates (spot, gloss, emboss, foil stamp), and then preflight and package the final files.”

Most of the artwork and layouts that Hammerquist receives are from FTP and physical disks. He works with a variety of desktop publishing applications, so one of the benefits he finds with Markzware FlightCheck is its ability to “preflight files from various applications, i.e. InDesign, QuarkXPress and Acrobat, it is easy to use and I am able to customize the Ground Controls and user workspace.  I preflight the native files using FlightCheck, and I generally use Acrobat and Pitstop to postflight the resulting PDF.

Hammerquist, began his career as a graphic designer and then transitioned into the digital image / graphic production field, working in large and small format printing with both offset and digital printing technologies. Markzware was interested in learning what his outlook is on the future of printing within the next 10 years.

Hammerquist shared his thoughts, “I think the future of printed material is strong — even with all the digital devices that are, and will become, available. I do think you will see printed material becoming more green, as the consumer will demand it.  I also think you will see continued expectations being placed on the publisher/client to supply the printer with press-ready files (mainly PDFs), which is why FlightCheck plays a critical role in the office/studio environment.”

What are some of the most common file problems that you find creep up the most in your preflighting process? Do you mostly preflight native applications or PDFs?  Where do you see the future of printed material heading?  Share your ideas with us. We welcome the discussions and welcome you to check out the printing solutions on our Products page.

Desktop Publishing for Graphic Production – Avoid Digital Image File Problems with FlightCheck

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