Over the next few pages listed are a few of the most common faults and the solutions.
Problem RGB colours set to print
Solution Convert colour to CMYK or PMS equivalent
Problem RGB Images
Solution Convert colour mode to CMYK or PMS or Duo Tone (on PMS jobs only)
Problem Image show through under black or coloured panel
Solution Black or coloured panel will be set to overprint. Change to knockout.
Use a heavy black or super black instead of just black.
Problem White text has not printed
Solution White text is set to overprint. Change to knockout.
Problem Some text has disappeared
Solution Check artwork for text overflow. Check H&Js (hyphenation & justification) have not changed.
Double check font's usage is correct.
Check to see if image run around has been activated.
Check to see if text links are still active.
Check fonts are embedded Correctly into PDF.
Problem Cards have incorrect backs
Solution Check PDFs have been named correctly.
Check the correct PDFs have been sent.
Check artwork was in correct orientation.
Check if correct template was used.
Problem Images are pixelated
Solution Check resolution of original image
Check 100% size file was output.
Check PDF resolution settings
Problem Images are blurred
Solution Check resolution of original image
Check 100% size you output.
Check quality of original image.
Problem Images are dark
Solution Check if original image was in RGB format
Check to see if image was set to overprint or multiply
Check quality of original image.
Check to see if a colour profile has been used.
Problem Pantone colour converted to CMYK doesn't match previous sample
Solution Pantone may have revised the colour split, always use CMYK colours chosen from the colour finder.
Problem Part of an image fails to print
Solution Is the image a duo tone image? If it's on a CMYK run it will fail to separate correctly.
Problem Logo prints tint of grey instead of PMS blue (on two colour job)
Solution This is a common problem where artists fail to recognise that the logo they are using is process rather than PMS separated.
Only the black separation will print.
Problem Part of a text looks trapped while other part is not.
Solution If you have text overlapping an image bounding box and it is on the same layer as the image in InDesign, what can happen when you create the PDF is that half the text is converted to a bitmapped image while the other half remains a vector path. When the file is ripped the automatic trapping program will treat the two halves of the text in different ways. To get around this, simply place all text on a layer above the background images.
Problem Black text is blurred or smudged on print.
Solution Check that the artwork was not set up in registration rather than just black.
Problem Part of watermark image has disappeared
Solution Please make sure that the artwork does not contain tints lower than 3%.
Tints under 3% can be lost during the plating process.
Problem Printed job has border that is unequal
Solution Never ask for an equal border on a job unless the border is 4mm or bigger.
Trimming a business card with a 1mm equal border is almost an impossible task.
Problem White lines are running through my images on printed job
Solution When images are supplied RGB rather than CMYK, the RGB crop guides we use as positionals on our proofs can knock out of the RGB image. All colour images must be supplied in CMYK format.
Problem The characters of a font are different from PC to Macintosh
Solution If a font has been converted from PC to Mac or Mac to PC in a program such as Fontographer, the keyboard character map has to be set up correctly. In some cases you may get a font where this has not been done and certain characters will disappear or appear as a different character. Solution: use licensed font set.
Problem Spot colour in process job comes out completely different colour.
Solution Check that the name of the colour is logical and not something generic like 'Colour Swatch 1'. What can happen is that PDF files can be supplied from different sources but they have the same name used on different colours. When we combine these jobs on a ganged up sheet, the program can only use one set of values for that colour name. Solution: Simply make sure all colours are converted to process before uploading to the CPD.
Problem A cutter guide or image fails to print
Solution Check to see if suppress printing has been activated on that image. In InDesign view the image attributes. In Quark open the Picture Usage dialogue and check to see if the print option is ticked or not ticked.
Problem Printed job does not match colour the provided proof
Solution Each output device will have its own specific colour set up or profile. Colour will vary and that the only way to get a true match is to adjust the artwork to match our printing presses. Free colour test swatches are available when colour matching is crucial.
Problem Printed job does not match colour of previous printed job
Solution When printing a job in 300lpi HD printing the colours will be different to most printers who use standard 175lpi screening. Check the screening under an eye glass or linen tester to see if the sample you have is printed in Worldwide High Definition or has it been printed elsewhere. If you've selected a colour that has two values that are very similar eg: Blue made up of 70% Cyan and 60% Magenta. With only a small amount of variation the colour can change from a blue, blue to a red blue. When possible select colours where one colour has much more dominance. Eg: 90% Cyan and 40% Magenta. Check values in the old and new PDF files. In most cases the artwork will be different. Make sure the colours are not RGB.
Problem Mono images are very dark compared to the original colour images
Solution When you have a colour image CMYK or RGB and the final job is only black the images have to be converted to a greyscale image. There are several ways to do this. If you simply create a greyscale PDF or convert a colour PDF into greyscale, this conversion is usually pretty flat and dark in the midtones and almost black in the shadow areas depending on what conversion profile you use. The most accurate and attractive way is to open each image in Photoshop and adjust the brightness and contrast of a colour image before you convert the image to greyscale. Once converted you can tweak the file so that you end up with a image that has white highlights and clear midtones. You should still be able to see detail in the shadow areas of the image.
Problem Black bitmap (black & white only) images appear pixelated or blocky
Solution When you save an bitmap image it should be saved with a minimum resolution of 1200dpi. This is a lot higher than the standard 300dpi that is recommended for CMYK or Greyscale images.
Problem Colour Vignette (blend) prints out banded
Solution Check to see if the PDF was saved as an RGB colour file. The vignette will appear banded as the conversion from RGB to CMYK can be unpredictable. Check the resolution of the blend if it has been created as a bitmap vignette. Lastly make sure the PDF has been exported directly from InDesign rather than distilling a EPS, PS or PRN file.
Problem Metallic Foiling has white border
Solution Unlike PMS jobs, metallic foiling should be set up so that the metal foil overprints the background beneath. If you leave the foil as knock out and there is a little bit of movement on the foil blocking machine you will end up with a white edge around one side of the image.
Problem Scan has slight background colour
Solution When you scan an image and it has a white background you must check that the background is actually white. Many monitors will not display very light tints that will actually show up in the printed material. The best way to do this is run an eye dropper over the background image in Photoshop or Acrobat. Quite often you'll find patches of 1 and 2% colour that are not noticeable on screen. Simply lasso these areas and fill with white or delete the background completely.