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Prepping my design for professional printing

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Elizabeth Gilbert
Prepping my design for professional printing
on Jun 17, 2012 at 5:32:10 pm

I am working in Illustrator CS2, on a Mac and I've designed a postcard that I am having professionally printed.
I uploaded it as a pdf to Vistaprint.
I received my order, but there was a vertical, white line through the back side of the postcard, not there in my design.
The customer service at Vistaprint said I needed to flatten it before I sent it to them, but it looks horrible when I do that.
She then suggested I just upload a jpg, which is stupid.
Can anyone suggest how I should get this file ready for print?
This is for me to hand out to potential customers and I really want it to look good when I pass them out.

Thanks!
Liz

It won't let me upload the image. But it's got a purple background, a couple vector watermarks, and white text overlayed.


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Vincent Rosati
Re: Prepping my design for professional printing
on Jun 17, 2012 at 11:21:30 pm

I would rasterize the art as a CMYK TIF with LZW compression.
It is hard to say why you would be having an issue with rasterizing.. 'looks horrible'.
Consider that, if you aren't able to rasterize your artwork to an acceptable level, why would they be able to. It sounds like there might be an issue that hasn't been identified.
You can export right out of Illustrator, but I usually open my AI files with Photoshop when I need to rasterize.

Vince

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adolf witzeling
Re: Prepping my design for professional printing
on Jun 22, 2012 at 2:23:15 pm

one more thing to remember. Before flattening make sure colors used in your design must be converted to CMYK, don't leave any spot colors or RGB based swatches in the file.
Then go to EFFECTS...DOCUMENT RASTER EFFECTS SETTINGS...and change it to high resolution (i.e. 300dpi)
Then you should have no problems to flatten the image. Then export from AI to pdf using PRESS QUALITY SETTING. Open the pdf, zoom in to 100% and turn PREVIEW..SHOW OVERPRINT on.
You should be able to see if the white line is still there.
If it's still there then open the image that creates the white box, in PS, make sure it's CMYK and use a clipping path, save as psd and bring it back into AI.
Give it a shot...it should work.
And yes, never send out unflattened images to the printer, because they just send the file to the RIP and that's where the flattening problems occur, due to the variety of output devices. Some RIPs won't have a problem to flatten correctly, but some do....but that's a different story.
Cheers,
Addolf



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Kendra Harrington
Re: Prepping my design for professional printing
on Nov 6, 2012 at 1:16:28 am

Can you help me out with this? I am trying to load to vista print as well and this is what it looks like when I get a digital print from them. I am using CMYK, flattened image. Please help! These are for a friends wedding and they need them out asap.

Thank you SOOOOO much!

I am new to Creative Cow. Can I upload an image for you to view? Basically I drew a doll like figure with the pen tool in illustrator and then pasted the heads of the couple that I cropped out of a picture from PS into the AI file. Some of the shapes I drew have a white outline(looks like a stoke but there isn't one. You can see the ouline of the pants underneath the shirt that was drawn over the pants. Also, getting the wierd white line through the face of one of the individuals.


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adolf witzeling
Re: Prepping my design for professional printing
on Nov 6, 2012 at 2:24:53 am

I'll be more than glad to help you with this. Please post a picture.
cheers, Adolf



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