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300dpi text and graphics rejected at print shop - Why?

300dpi text and graphics rejected at print shop - Why?

300dpi text and graphics rejected at print shop - Why?

Having created a landscape, legal size, folding, four column, both sides printed, leaflet in Corel PhotoPaint 9, my customer was so pleased she decided to have the item commercially printed. I transferred it to CD and handed it in at the (traditional ink-based) print centre in the High Street. This was quickly rejected as it had "not good enough text" clarity. Strange - it looks great on my HP DeskJet printouts, I mean super-sharp, not just OK.
To 'rip' the file to film and thence to the printing machinery, I am informed, I need definition of 2400dpi - or a vector based CorelDraw image!!!
I used CorelTrace to convert to vector - my PC ground to a halt for an hour or so, then produced a blurry CMX file which I opened in Corel Draw. The file size is unmanageable. The redraw takes for ever.
With hindsight, should I have created the entire piece in Corel Draw? Surely this would have become just as huge and unwieldy as more and more text was added - four closely typed columns you will recall...
Or should I have created a 2400dpi blank image and added text and pictures to that in Corel PhotoPaint? Answer - not on my machine - even resolving one paragraph took forever.
So what is going on here - is the High Street print shop manager just being bloody minded? Why can he not just open up the 300dpi in any bitmap-based program and work from that?
Anyone had any dealings with the ink-based commercial print trade, that can let me know how to present PhotoPaint items to them or offer any advice, has my thanks in advance.

RE: 300dpi text and graphics rejected at print shop - Why?

My guess is the transfer into their printing program/process.  I have had many, MANY problems in dealing with print shops and their formats when using raster based images.  Some times they use a photo-development type process to create their plates or image originals. Some times these are expanded to larger scale and resized upon creation. Or with newer equipment, they have some type of vector imaging process (i.e. an engraved or laser cut plate for their master/original) and they will encounter the same blurry tracing results you experienced.  Chances are this is the problem.

9 out of 10 times it is almost better to export the image with texts converted to curves.  Granted this implies a start in Draw, but that is usually the only resolution.    

I think it might be best to talk to the print shop (or have them show you) why this is causing a problem.  There is probably a simple resolution, but whtout more details as to what problem EXACTLY they have with 300 dpi images it is hard to say.

BTW, did you try resampling the whole layout to 2400dpi???  Understandably this will probably take some time, but ought to be the best solution.  Also, some of the clarity may get lost as you are only dealing with a 300 dpi image just scalled to 2400 dpi quality, but should still produce quite acceptable results, and save a heck of a lot of time.

As for resizing an image in draw, it is better to start with a manageable file, get the layout suited to your taste, then upscale as the very last procedure.  This usually saves the headache of moving around gigantic images that take forever to re-render.  Since the text and images (assuming no bitmaps) are all vector based, they should scale with no problems.

Either way, the lesson to be learned is to find out what the customer wants to do with the output before creating the layout (and if they change their mind, then the price they have to pay for indecision is when you charge them to redo the job).  And as a good rule of them, when doing prepress layout, Draw is the program of choice for doing text work.

Just my 2 cents....


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