Category Archives: Digital File Formats

Optimizing common office programs for print output.

Printing from any design tool is easily accomplished if the printer has the same application, same version of the application (i.e. Release 1 vs Release 2) and is running on the same platform/operating system. (i.e. PC vs Mac or Windows 95 vs Windows Vista) Any discrepancies in any of the three above areas can cause problems when opening a native file for printing. To avoid things moving around on the document or missing fonts, the best thing to do is save your print file as a high resolution PDF. PDF stands for “Portable Digital Format”, and when saved in this format everything is frozen into place and fonts are irrelevant. It creates a WSIWIG situation when printing. (What You See Is What You Get). This ensures you get exactly what you send to the printer. There is a urban legend circulating the planet that a PDF degrades the quality of the final product. I can assure you this is an urban legend and has no substance as long as you specify High Resolution when you generate your PDF. The common preferred file format for printers of all nature is the PDF.

-Tom Lane


Digital printing vs offset

The criteria for deciding whether a job is more cost effective being produced on a digital printer vs. an offset press is changing as the quality, cost and speed of digital printers continue to improve. When I first started producing digital prints years ago, job quality was marginal and price limited the size of the jobs to about 1,000 double-sided sheets to be competitive with the price of offset printing. As technology improved in the last five years, the cost, speed and quality have advanced to the point where we have increased our maximum job size to 3-4 thousand double sided sheets and still be price competitive with offset printing rates. Digital printing is becoming cost and quality effective and reduces the turn around time for jobs of this size. As we move into the future the offset presses will still be necessary but they will be used for larger jobs that demand complexity and the highest print quality. Honestly, offset printing may have it’s place, but I feel (with the rate of advancement) the future is bright with digital.


Typography gymnastics

Cool tool we found for use on your blogs, avatar, or websites. I Wordled together this text cloud from a variety of bits. Enjoy.

What will the Web look like in five years?


Google CEO Eric Schmidt envisions a radically changed internet five years from now: dominated by Chinese-language and social media content, delivered over super-fast bandwidth in real time. Figuring out how to rank real-time content is “the great challenge of the age,” Schmidt said in an interview. [Source: ReadWriteWeb]

If there is this fundamental shift towards user-generated information, then people will listen more to other people than to traditional sources. What does this mean for education and the relevancy to information taught? [View Google CEO interview]

-Sean de Luna

What file type is that again?

files types

We’re in the business of printing. But we’re also in the business of optimal product outputs. File types have an important influence on the final printed product so we often help our clients (especially if they are not designers) navigate the sometimes confusing file terminology. The good news is that though there are very many types of graphic file formats on the market today, many of these can often be used for exactly the same thing. Many formats are interchangeable in their usage. Here are a few file types supplied as standard with many design and printing firms.

[read more]

-Sean de Luna