PDF Shenanigans

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by SwiftLives, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. SwiftLives macrumors 65816

    SwiftLives

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2001
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #1
    We recently submitted an ad to a publication. It was strictly a text-based ad. It consisted of a large headline, and three smaller lines of text at the bottom - all against a white background.

    When it was published, the first two of the three lines at the bottom disappeared. So we were left with a large headline at the top of the ad, and an incomplete sentence at the bottom of the ad. Grrrrrrrr.

    Here's what I'm attempting to figure out. How is the %$@! did those lines of text disappear? They were the same font and color as the line that remained. But that's irrelevant since I converted all text to outlines before submitting the PDF!

    Does anyone know of a situation when a PDF drops out simple vector art? I exported the outlined PDF directly from InDesign CS3.
     
  2. design-is macrumors 65816

    design-is

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    London / U.K.
    #2
    Sounds like the the art department at the publication have screwed it up to me...

    ...unless its a strange case of file corruption?
     
  3. UTclassof89 macrumors 6502

    UTclassof89

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #3
    You didn't mention which version of PDF you created (1.4, 1.5, 1.6?). The likely cause is that you used a newer version than the printer's software supports (this setting is in the PDF Export dialog in InDesign)
     
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #4
    The PDF wasn't layered? No other funny business? No spot colours by mistake or even Pantone referenced CMYK splits? What version PDF did you use?

    For simple work that doesn't involve layers or transparency, I'll always send a PDF out at the lower versions just to be on the safer side like PDF 1.3 or PDF/X-3 (Acrobat 4)... or even ridiculously more on the safer side, I've sent one-colour classifieds to magazines and papers like The Guardian, rasterised at 900ppi as TIFFs, before they implemented QuickCut workflows. Difficult to screw that up.
     
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    I have seen entirely too many raster graphics screwed nine ways to Sunday in newspaper ads for me to ever believe that.
     
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #6

    Maybe I've been only dealing with pre-press people in UK national media, that happen to know what they're doing especially with accounts they don't want to annoy.

    Besides, to ensure that responsibility lies in the right place, a signed and approved proof or PDF in return puts the entire question to rest. When in doubt, regardless of the size of the job, insist on it.
     
  7. efxgraphx macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Sugar Land, TX
    #7
    The News Papers here locally require save my files as a ps then run them through Distiller in which they send me the settings for. As far as what happened, sounds like it was a error on their part. I normally get a phone call if something gets whacked out, font missing, etc. Can you post the PDF here? Or link?
     
  8. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    #8
    I've usually been told to use PDF/X-1a (PDF 1.3). Always works for simple art. But it does strange things with transparencies and other effects. The finished product ends up correct, but the pdf I view on screen has lines that shouldn't be there. Is there a standard Preset for more complicated work?
     
  9. SwiftLives thread starter macrumors 65816

    SwiftLives

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2001
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #9
    Whenever I export a PDF, I set it to Acrobat 5, as I like to play it really conservatively. And I also thought Acrobat 6 was a steaming pile of excrement.

    No layers. No funny stuff. All CMYK. The PDF was set up properly on our end.

    I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but the only way I can conceive of this happening is if the printer somehow dropped out the text. And I'm having trouble figuring out how that was done accidentally or negligently. Honestly, I'm trying to cover my bases here so when it comes time to have a um...conversation with the publication, I'll be prepared.

    The latest line that the publication is feeding me is that the file, when emailed to the printer, looked fine in their outbox, but not in the printer's inbox.

    Personally, I think that's a load of Acrobat 6.

    By the way, this was a full-page ad on the back page of this publication. We're not happy.
     
  10. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #10
    What you're seeing on-screen is the stitching lines where transparencies are flattened. They should not render on plate or film. However, using PDF X-3 2002 is what I tend to use for work with spot colours and any RGB work that's going to an ink or bubble jet, for instance, display work.

    PDF/X-4 2008 fully supports transparency but is probably too new for many pre-press places and print shops.


    Use Acrobat 4 (1.3) wherever possible. Some of these places that take in work can be antiquated.


    It happens. I won't bore you with the full details of the folder/boxes, cutters and all, I designed that returned missing the type on two of surfaces just three days before a national conference. Had to do a new overnight run of 2000, get them folded and glued up and delivered the day before for the temps to stuff with inserts, for which they had to be paid overtime. And this was after proofs had been signed off and mockups sent. :rolleyes:
     
  11. Kwill macrumors 68000

    Kwill

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    #11
    After your "um...conversation," they should see clearly the discrepancy between the PDF and print. Therefore they should rerun the ad in the next publication at no charge. Now if this ad placement was based on a time-sensitive event, satisfaction will depend upon your "um...conversation."
     
  12. SwiftLives thread starter macrumors 65816

    SwiftLives

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2001
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #12
    Thanks for the explanation, BV.

    Kwill -- They have admitted it was their fault, but I want them to be specific about what happened so as to ensure this doesn't happen again with this or any other publication. That's primarily what my "um...conversation" is hopefully going to determine.
     
  13. efxgraphx macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Sugar Land, TX
    #13
    Well, they did the right thing and thats good to hear. Not to mention all the stress you went through trying to figure out if it was on your end, lol.... Trust me, been there.... done that!!! Its not a good or pleasant feeling.... just glad things worked out. I would ask them for a pdf proof back on all designs submitted from this point forward... that way you can C.Y.A.
     
  14. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    #14
    A few publications that I send pdfs to REQUIRE a hard copy proof. It's a pain, but can avoid problems as long as they actually compare my proof with the printer's final proof.

    At my publication we print out the pdfs of submitted ads after the print company has done prepress, and then compare with the final printer's proof. Occasionally something does get screwed up. I just looked at the ad on our most recent back cover to make sure it wasn't missing any type. ;)

    Good to know. Thanks.
     

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