Monday, August 31, 2009

Essential Fonts and Font Folders for Mac OS X

Mac OS X has multiple Fonts folders to organize the fonts on your computer. Where you install a font determines when and who can access it. Mac OS X has at least four Fonts folders, depending on software installation and number of users. This article will distinguish the essential folders and fonts for you.

Installing Fonts

Many fonts will be installed by the Mac OS X Installer and other applications. You can also install fonts by copying or dragging font files to any of the standard Fonts folders in Mac OS X, including your User Font folder.

Font Security and Usage

The various Fonts folders follow the overall Mac OS X security design. The folder in which a font is located determines who can access and use the font.

Font files for use on an individual computer are set apart from those for use on a network. Additionally, on an individual computer, system software files are set apart from those under the control of a user or Admin user.

So for example: If a user installs a new font at ~/Library/Fonts/, the font is available only to that user. If a root or Admin user installs the same font at /Network/Library/Fonts/, all network users can use the fonts (assuming that the network is set up for sharing).

Font Activation

Changes to Fonts take effect when an application is opened, a user logs into the account or computer, or some font management software activates it. Duplicate fonts are resolved based on the order of precedence defined for the standard Fonts folders from highest to lowest priority shown below.

Font Folders and Locations

User (~/Library/Fonts/ - the tilde character (~) represents a user's Home, which may be local or remote)
Each user has complete control over the fonts installed in their Home. These fonts are available to that user when they are logged into the computer. Fonts installed here are not available to all...

Read more Essential Fonts and Folders for Mac OS X at PrepressX.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Excellent Resource Websites | Newsletter

I’d like to share with you some excellent resource websites that I’ve found useful and informative. Checkout and bookmark any of these sites, along with, to include in your searches for printing and graphics information. These and other valuable resources are listed in our PrepressX Directory.

Graphic Arts Online

Graphic Arts Monthly is widely recognized as the most authoritative publication covering applied technology for the printing industry.

Flexographic Technical Association

A leading technical society dedicated solely to the flexographic printing industry. Promoting the advancement of flexography is our prime directive with an emphasis on developing and maintaining standards of quality throughout the flexo process.

All Graphic Design

All Graphic Design Portal is a Graphic Design education directory with resources & articles for Graphic Designers & Web Designers including a Design forum, blog, graphics software tips, graphic design jobs, advice for new designers and more... where creatives go to know

If you're a creative professional in search of information, education, inspiration, or communication with other creative pros, you'll find it here.

CreativePublic offers graphic designers and Web designers a one-stop resource and information site to help designers be more successful in business. Whether you freelance or own your own firm, CreativePublic has the products to fit your business needs.

Creative Latitude is a worldwide community that unites various creative disciplines for collective promotion, education and ethical business practice.

The site is designed to provide high-quality information for designers to help them choose the best software and to make the most of it. Design is an online neighborhood of hundreds of helpful experts, eager to share their wealth of knowledge with visitors.

The Design & Publishing Center is about the exchange of information, news, reviews, and all things revolving around the broad topics of design and publishing. Here you will find all kinds of resources relating to graphics, layout, design and typography.

Please submit any suggestions here that you would like to share with others, we always appreciate your contributions!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Digital File Preparation Guide | Newsletter

This week we showcase three unique articles describing various perspectives for preparing digital files for press. Check out these articles, and more, at

Digital File Preparation Guide

Use Page Layout Programs such as InDesign or Quark

  • Create your document in the exact size of the final trimmed piece. For example, if you are creating a letter size multiple-page document with facing pages, your page size would be 8.5x11, not 11x17.
  • Use the master page to place common items such as page numbers in the same location on multiple pages.
  • Create multiple-page documents in reader’s spreads.
  • Extend images that bleed off the document page by an 1/8” (standard).
  • Delete unused colors in the color palette from EPS and page layout files.
  • Images that cross-over facing pages should be divided into two separate picture boxes and aligned on their respective pages.
  • Scale bitmap images no more than 10% up or down from their original size. A drastic enlargement will cause loss of detail and a drastic reduction may extend imaging time and delay your job.
  • Link images in your Illustrator and FreeHand files. Do not embed them.

Tip: Remember to include any special Quark Xtensions you may have used to create your document.
Tip: Creating files in drawing programs such as Illustrator, FreeHand or Corel Draw can sometimes incur additional...

Prepping Pre-press Files to Avoid Printing Problems

Any changes made to a job once it's arrived at the printer is going to cost you money! So, avoid the common pitfalls found delivering pre-press files to the printer. Making changes once a document has gone to the printer can be a costly mistake. Sometimes costly changes can't be avoided like when you have a finicky client, but that's his or her dime so we won't worry about that. Most problems come from the pre-press part of the print process. This is where, we as designers, need to make sure we take the time to make sure our ducks are all in a row. My policy is "check it twice - pay once." Following the simple guidelines below should eliminate the majority of simple problems that can cause...

The Pre-Press Checklist for Notepad Printing

Before finally sending the designs to the notepad printer, you must first go through a pre-press checklist on notepad printing. This checklist will check if the outputs you would be coming up with are free of errors.

You do not want your errors to be duplicated hundreds of times in your custom notepads. Since you will be using them as stationeries and for official work, it is important to have everything correct and spotless as you produce them.

In this article, we are going to share with you a simple seven step pre-press checklist for notepad printing. This is a standard checklist, which you can use. Still, it is possible to modify this for your own purposes...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Color Palette Considerations for Press

The Swatches/Color palettes available in Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress can provide you with many choices for applying color in your document layouts. At we will review some of the default colors as-well-as the many useful custom colors combinations and demonstrate how they are used in commercial offset printing.

Default Colors

The default colors on the Swatches/Color palettes are a list of all the document colors that you have available when you create a new document. We would like to take a quick at these colors, and review their significance to you when creating a layout for commercial print. Shown below are just a few palettes, however, the base color intent for most applications are...

Process Colors

All color images like pictures and photographs are printed on an offset press with the four process color inks Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (CMYK -- K represents Black so not to be confused with B for Blue in RGB). These colors are also referred to as process colors, four color process, and even four color printing. These four process colors are combined on press...

Color Builds

You can create millions of unique color build combinations with CMYK. Each color can be defined as a percent from 0 to 100. So for example C=25, M=52, Y=89, K=11 would represent the percentages for each of the four process colors. Each color build definition will be treated as a unique color in the color palette, and you can create basically as many as you like. When color separations...

Spot Colors

Spot colors are specific individual colors that can be used alone, or in combination with other colors, including process colors. Each spot color used will be printed with the appropriate color ink on press. There are many different spot colors and color libraries to choose from. The PANTONE® Formula guide color libraries are some of the more widely used...

Rich Black

While printing with process colors you have the extra ability to better control the use of black in your designs. By default black overprints, meaning that it is on top of everything and for the most part is unaffected by the elements that surround it. Then again, there is one situation that can destroy its look, and that is when black is on top of two different...

Knocking Out Black

The use of a knockout for black is similar to a Rich Black in that if the color black crosses over two or more different backgrounds, the results can be undesirable. To prevent different value blacks in your design, in this example we will change the color black from overprinting to a black knockout with the use of a custom Knockout Black...

Bindery Mark Colors

There are many types of bindery marks used in a pressroom, but lets limit this topic to marks for die cutting, scores, folds, and perforations. I’ve selected these four because they are required marks that many bindery and finishing services need to accomplish their tasks. What this basically means is that it is necessary to create the appropriate marks in your...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Evaluating Color by the Numbers | Newsletter

Have you ever adjusted at an image based on how it looks on your computer screen only to find that it prints differently on press? You can always tell how well an image will print on press by looking at it’s numbers. What numbers? The numbers that I’m referring to here are the percent values for each color that are measured using most any image editing program.

Evaluating Color by the Numbers for Press

For decades color separators and scanner operators have been evaluating color by the numbers to determine it’s correctness. With the advent of desktop scanners and automated image editing software the art of color evaluation is being lost. Creating an image is easier, but knowing what to look for to establish color accuracy is disappearing.

Evaluating color by the numbers is a far more reliable and consistent method for making decisions on how well an image will print. We are going to take a look at some important color concepts, number values, and relationships to help improve our understanding. Once you know what to look for, evaluating your images will become a whole lot easier.

Click the title to read the entire article...

Color Theory Basics for Press

To help us understand how process color imaging are handled in offset printing let us review some basic concepts of colors and how they are reproduced.

Additive and Subtractive Colors

There are two different color gamuts, or spaces. First being the visible light spectrum, RGB (Red, Green and Blue). This color space is made up of light, and when all three RBG colors are added together they result in white. This makes up what we call the Additive Color Space.

The problem with light is that you can not print it on paper. Light is used extensively in photography, scanning, computer monitors, and television. But it is never used on press, because combining Red, Green and Blue inks on press only result in black. Therefore the opposite ink colors Cyan, Magenta and Yellow are used instead of Red, Green and Blue. When combined in various combinations they produce Red, Green and Blue, but more importantly when all are subtracted they produce white. Thus the name Subtractive Color Space.

Now if you add black to CMY to help define details and support the other color you end up with the basis of all full color image reproduction in offset lithography. These four colors go by different names, but they are all the same; process color, four-color, four-color process, and CMYK. The letter K is used to represent black, not to be confused with B which represents Blue.

Click the title to read the entire article...

Latest Directory Listings

Visit the latest website entries in our PrepressX Directory. You can also promote your website by listing for free -- with SEO friendly links. Check it out today!

Queensboro - Custom Logo Apparel and Accessories
Digital Printing and Embroidery with a low 4-Piece Minimum and a 10-Year Uncoditional Guarantee.

Printing Equipment Leasing - Pinnacle Funding, Inc
Equipment Leasing and Financing options for all types of printing equipment and software.

Graphic Systems, Inc.
Large format digital printing.

PacBlue Printing
Full service digital printing company, offering small format printing, large and grand format printing, reprographics services and a full service sign shop.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Protecting Your PDF Files | Newsletter

Many of you may already know about the features in Adobe® Acrobat Pro® that provide document password protection for restricting viewing privileges. In addition to this, did you know that there are also password protection options to limit the printing and editing of a PDF document? This is available to us in the Document Properties of every PDF document.

Password Security For PDF Printing and Editing

As graphic artists and commercial printers all over the world move business and personal data from place to place using PDF files, many of us want to protect ourselves from unauthorized access, editing or alteration or these files. Stories of formulas, government secrets or sensitive personal data falling into the wrong hands is the stuff of headlines, bestsellers and movies, but when it occurs in real life it can become a horror of legal hassles or even worse. So what is the best way to secure a PDF?

Let’s first take a look at how to apply password protection to a PDF document using Acrobat Pro to help make them more secure. After that we will show you how to verify the password protection in any PDF file. We will also discuss a when you might want to apply password security.

Click the title to read the entire article...

Boon For Creative Professionals-Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro

Written by: Elliot Harvey

Adobe Acrobat 9 professional creates refined Portable Document Format (PDF) files, facilitates PDF portfolio creation, improved color conversions, and extremely accurate document comparison feature. Among the thousands, few features which gives a good reason for spending your hard earned money on purchase of Acrobat 9 pro comprises, electronic document reviews, enhanced 256-bit encryption, new native flash support and improved forms.

On top of it all, the new features haven’t affected the speed. In fact, Adobe Acrobat Pro 9 is sleek & faster than ever.

Click the title to read the entire article...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Press-Ready Settigns in Acrobat Distiller 9 | Newsletter

This week I updated the Adobe Settings section to include Adobe® Acrobat Distiller® 9. Just like the previous versions of Acrobat, this article describes how to create a custom Press-Ready PDF setting for use in converting your PostScript® files to press-ready PDF files.

Even though there are a number of steps, the settings are basically the same as the Adobe PDF/X-1a:2001 standard subset. However, I prefer a more relaxed version of this standard. There are two changes that I like to make for creating a Press-Ready PDF subset.

The first has to do with the a change in the Color window pane, under the Color Management Policies section. I like to change the option from Convert All Colors to CMYK to Leave Color Unchanged. This leaves all images alone, without any conversion. Normally, I don’t mind this because most prepress professionals prefer to manage image color. This also preserves RGB images for use at digital and inkjet printers.

The next change is in the Standards window pane, under the Standards Reporting and Compliance section. I like to change the Compliance Standard: field from PDF/X-1a (Acrobat 4.0 Compatible) to None. This feature limits your output to one intent only. I like to have a little more versatility, for multiple workflows.

By making these two simple changes to the PDF/X-1a:2001 subset, you will be able to create looser Press-Ready PDF files that follow the PDF/X-1a standard. To see the entire article, check out Adobe Settings / Adobe Acrobat Distiller 9. Or, if you need additional constructive information on how to prepare your files for press, checkout

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