Prepress Setup for Newspaper Ads?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by bluetooth, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. bluetooth macrumors 6502a

    bluetooth

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    May 1, 2007
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    Toronto
    #1
    Wondering if anyone here has any experience in prepress setup for newspaper ads?

    I am creating a couple ads and the client is asking me to ensure that the screening is correct.

    To avoid sounding inexperienced (which I actually am in newspaper ads), I am wondering if anyone here can shed light as to what this term means and also if they have any links or articles regarding prepress terms and settings for Newspaper Ads.

    I created the ad in InDesign and exported via Acrobat on "Press Quality" Settings.

    The ad is B&W.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ethernet76 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    #2
    Don't use those settings ever.

    Contact the newspaper and ask them to export their settings and email them to you.
     
  3. ac6789 macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2007
    #3
    That's your best possible route. Always contact the production department before you design to ensure you meet their requirements.

    As far as screening goes, I've never had to "ensure it was correct" since, as far as I know, that is the responsibility of the newspaper pre-press department, you shouldn't have to worry about it. Screening is really dependent on the machines/RIP settings they use so to ensure it's correct will be difficult to do. Unless the newspaper needs/sends you specific instructions to set your DPI and LPI then I probably wouldn't concern myself with this.

    If you're sending a print quality PDF (try to use the PDF/X standard, not 'Press Qualty') or high resolution TIFF file, the newspaper should take care of the rest.

    Link to explanation of screening and halftone: wikipedia
     
  4. PupnTaco macrumors regular

    PupnTaco

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    May 29, 2007
    #4
    ^ Likewise, the line screen is set at the rip. Just make sure your ad doesn't use any images scanned from existing printed material and you will be fine. Set it up at the correct size and send them a PDF.
     
  5. bluetooth thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluetooth

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  6. SwiftLives macrumors 65816

    SwiftLives

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    #6
    Just a suggestion here....

    Newsprint is two or three steps above toilet paper in terms of paper quality. Ink is going to bleed. This is called 'gain', and you can usually expect gain anywhere from 15-35%.

    Rule of thumb - if you're printing a B/W ad in a newspaper with a lot of grayscale, lighten it by about 30%. If it looks a bit too light on your screen, don't worry - the ink will get darker. (If it looks normal on your screen, then worry, because the ink will get darker).

    If it's just solid black on solid white, you don't really need to worry that much.
     
  7. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

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    #7
    Wouldn't it be great if Adobe included previews for lots of various types of paper/finishes? So you could pick the combination of paper/inks/finishes and get a rough idea on-screen of the different results. I know there would be differences due to screen setups and all the anomalies that occur at the printers, but a still would be nice.
     
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #8
    I knew a designer who insisted the newspaper run the ad he designed with a 150 line screen for "better quality". So they did. And the dot gain on the web press ensured that the entire ad turned out solid black. The designer had to pay to run the ad again, this time with the low line screen frequency the newspaper had specified in the first place.
     
  9. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

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    #9

    So in the options in Acrobat or when setting colour profile you can set dot gain 10%, 20%, 30% – is this compensating for the ink bleed for you. Making the image lighter by these amounts?
     
  10. bluetooth thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluetooth

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    #10
    What exactly does that mean - what is a 150 line screen? Again, this is usually something the Newpaper will determine once they receive the ad, correct? The designer does not usually dictate the line screen number?

    thanks...
     
  11. ac6789 macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2007
    #11
    150 line screen is also known as LPI (Lines Per Inch). This determines how many half-tone dots are in a linear inch. A higher LPI results in more dots and printed closer together to achieve a high quality more "solid" image; which on newsprint this isn't such a good idea as CanadaRam indicated.

    When talking about newsprint, as was mentioned before, the paper is very absorbent and when printed at that high a resolution, the ink dots will spread (this is dot gain) and potentially merge, leaving you with a black mess on your hands. In newsprint a low LPI of around 85 LPI is enough, you'll be able to see the dots on gradients & images (just pickup any newspaper) but you avoid the issue of the dots bleeding into each other. This is also why reversed text on newsprint should not go below 10pt, anything lower and you risk the individual characters being obliterated since the ink can bleed into the characters.

    The LPI is taken care of by the newspaper since this is a machine specific setting.

    Another Link: Halftones & Line Screens
     
  12. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

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    #12
    Agree about LPI, disagree about text - I set newspaper display ads for over seven years. You can go down to 6 or 7 point as long as you use a sensible font - something plain and sans serif like Helvetica or Futura will be fine as long as you don't start reducing horizontal scale or using the condensed versions of the face.

    The classified ads in the same publication were readable as far down as 5.25pt in plain Helvetica, and this was in the days before PDF workflow and CTP, so the negs were generated at the press by camera-ing hard copy laser output.

    As a rule of thumb, a 70% grey tint or higher will come out solid black, we used to do everything in the 10%-50% range to be on the safe side ...

    Cheers

    Jim
     
  13. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    Manchester, UK
    #13
    Visually there are ways to ensure the ad looks good when it goes to print - use of black, shaftlining images to avoid washout etc.

    But the newspaper will use your PDF/EPS within Quark and then output it to the correct LPI and setting they use. If they relied on their customers getting the ads right, the newspaper would be a real mess every week!

    Don't worry, the newspaper will sort out the actual output.
     
  14. bluetooth thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluetooth

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    #14
    So for the newspaper, a rule of thumb would be the higher the line res, the lighter the images should be due to greater bleeding potential which can cause darker images etc.?

    I am dealing with 2 papers, they have both indicated 65 and 85 lines per inch.

    So you think I will be ok with standard grey scale images in the ad?

    The client asked that I ensure/correct line screens because the last ad they did turned out really dark (image wise).

    Thanks again for all the info as well as the links.
     
  15. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

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    #15
    A rule of thumb that has served me well: double the screen frequency (LPI) to get the maximum useful DPI. You don't actually need to worry about the DPI of your grayscale images - as previously noted, the RIP will sort it out, but it will end up dumping a load of unnecessary detail.

    I reckon with these, you could knock your images back to 150dpi and no-one would see the difference between that and a 600dpi image.

    So, to summarize:

    Don't worry too much! Try to use solid black and white, or grey tints in 10% increments up to 50 or 60%. TIFF images won't need to be more than 150dpi.

    Keep your fonts clean and above 6 or 7 point.

    The LPI will only come into play when your document hits the printers' RIP. If you follow those very basic rules, it'll come out just fine.

    Cheers

    Jim
     
  16. bluetooth thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluetooth

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    #16
    ok great - thanks for the info Jim.
     
  17. rxse7en macrumors 6502

    rxse7en

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    Jacksonville, FL
    #17
    Just watch your fingertips when cutting that Lino!

    God, can't believe how much that sucked. I'm 38 and have been in the industry for 20 years now and only have 6 full fingertips left. Maybe I should start a thread about how easy we have it today. :D

    B
     
  18. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

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    #18
    Arf. Yeah ... I was a paste-up monkey when I started, chopping up artwork and sticking it onto boards with hot wax.

    My immediate manager at the time remembered hot metal, and the arrival of the first Mac in the entire publishing group.

    Cheers!

    Jim
     
  19. Popeye206 macrumors 68040

    Popeye206

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    Location:
    NE PA USA
    #19
    With all this said (and you've gotten some great information from others) just be sure to read over the newspapers prepress spec sheet carefully. There are color restrictions, fonts, bleeds and other factors (sometimes trapping) to make sure you consider. Most are simple and straight forward... but I'm sure your client got burned in the past by poor design or prepress and that's why they mentioned the line screen frequency to you. Good luck!
     

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