First I am a Marketing Assistant and part of my job is creating our advertisements. However, I do not have any advertising or graphic design background, my knowledge is pieced together as I go.
The majority of the publishers we work with accept PDF's, so I'm creating ads in InDesign and exporting as PDF's (as either Press Quality or High Quality Print). It all looks, and prints, fine on our end. However, for some publications, when we receive the actual publication some parts of the ad are missing. Namely the block, which is transparent, behind my contact information is gone. This doesn't happen with all publications, only a couple so far. In my research it seemed that was a transparency issue.
When the PDF is preflighted there are many transparency errors. I thought I found a solution in changing the PDF Preset to [PDF/X-1a:2001]. Again it looks fine on my end, preflights ok. But I haven't seen the final publication come out yet, so I'm just assuming it worked since it preflights fine.
My most recent ad revision, using an AI image/vector downloaded from Adobe Stock, doesn't look so great, on screen, when exported with the PDF Preset as [PDF/X-1a:2001] . It seems to print fine and except for a CMY plate warning it preflights fine. When using this new AI file, as the background image, and exporting in any way that allows me to use a transparency flattener, it seems to show the background through my logo, badge and social media icons.
If I open that AI file in photoshop and save it as a Photoshop PDF and use that file than I can save it and all seems well. However doing so loses some of the clean crispness of the image that the original file maintained.
Yes, it is so slight of a loss that the average person, who isn't looking for it, would not notice. I just feel that I should be able to use the AI file and have that super crisp image. I would think they should play well together.
I have linked to the ad saved with the PDF Preset to Press Quality or High Quality Print (can't remember which it was) and one set to [PDF/X-1a:2001].