You have spent hours on your design shown it to friends printed it out on your desktop laser inkjet printer, you love the colour and have chosen the perfect typeface for all your text. How can you be sure what you get back from the CD Duplication Company will be the same as what you see now.
Unfortunately you cant, unless you go to the expense of asking for a proof of your job before running the whole job. Everything is usually a last minute rush and time may not allow for a proof to be produced but there are things you can do at the design stage to minimise the risks.
Fortunately for you, many digital printers and CD duplication houses using digital technology can relatively quickly and inexpensively produce proofs of your work for you. A digital proof will be exactly the same as the finished item and gives you the chance to have one final check that everything is as you want it.
With modern digital technologies such as the HP Indigo digital press printers are able to print just one copy of your job prior the printing the whole quantity, without too much difficulty. This gives you peace of mind before you commit to the whole print run.
If you do not want a proof there are certain steps that you can take to minimise the risks. Always include with your artwork files a copy of any fonts you have used, most professional design programs have a function for doing this very simply. You might imagine that a font like Helvetica or your computer would be the same as the Helvetica on the CD duplicators computer. Unfortunately, these days one version of Helvetica does not have to be identical to another.
When you submit your artwork without the fonts attached, the computers at your CD duplication company will substitute their own version of the font for yours. This can result in text re-flow, making lines of text fall of the page. Not a pretty sight.
Before you submit your CD artwork for duplication or printing you should also ensure all images are in CMYK format and not RGB format. Otherwise when your CD duplication company converts these images the colours will change and may no longer look as you expect them to.
Difficulties can occur if you have used spot or pantone colours in your design. A litho press will be able to use ink that exactly matches your specified colour; however, the digital process will re-create this colour by mixing the CMYK colours. Though the pantone matching technology of modern digital presses is very advanced this may not provide an exact match.
Keith McGregor is a partner of Strawberrysoup, a web design agency with offices in Chichester and Bournemouth. Strawberrysoup specialise in creative web design, content managed websites, search engine optimisation, search engine marketing and graphic design