I'm trying to print a postcard from a design created in Illustraot, but keep running into problems when I send a PDF file to the printer.
It says the dimensions are wrong, but they are correct in the illustrator document. It also says I need to make sure the image resolution is 300 dpi. I went to Effect > Document Raster Effect Settings & the resolution is at High (300 ppi). I exported it in high quality print.
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Document Raster Effect Settings does not affect any resolution except that of raster effects such as drop shadow.
There is no overall resolution in an exported PDF. If there are linked images, they may have a resolution however.
What should the dimensions be, and what are they?
What or who says the dimensions are wrong? How do they check the resolution or dimensions?
Okay, thanks for that clarification! How can I check that the image quality/file resolution is at least 300 dpi? I embedded the image into the file.
I'm not sure how they are cheking it. The printer is "Got Print.com", and they say the dimensions are 6.45 x 4.2. My document is set at 8.6 x 5.6 in. The dimensions should be 8.5 x 5.5 without the bleed.
In your Links panel it will show the effective PPI of any placed image... like so:
The traditional rule of thumb for printing is to have 300 ppi for images, but in reality, most people wouldn't even notice if it was half that. So, if the printer is simply "warning" you of an image below 300 ppi, you can safely ignore it if your effective PPI shown in your links panel is between 150-300. If your image has small text in it, you WILL want higher resolution, as text will not appear crisp otherwise.
You can always upsample lower-res images in Photoshop to a higher resolution, but this can come at the cost of blurring the image somewhat, which may actually make your final product look worse than if you left it alone.
As for why your PDF dimensions are reading incorrectly if you artwork is designed as a 8.5" x 5.5" artboard with bleed, I can't answer that without seeing your PDF.
Careful when making a statement like 150ppi is not noticeable vs 300ppi in print. Do some research ( Adobe's Print Publishing Guide ) into "levels of gray". Many do not understand halftone screening technologies. The printer reporting an under sized document is concerning, usually it is the other way around. They typically report an over sized document. It could be a case where their RIP enterprets a resolution problem and, in order to make 300ppi, they or it reduces the document to make that 300ppi in some sort of workaround built into their workflow.
My document is set at 8.6 x 5.6 in. The dimensions should be 8.5 x 5.5 without the bleed.
So you only have 0.05" of bleed? Just curious about that. Otherwise, I think jdanek's latest reply has the right answer.
"There is a reference to required resolution of 350ppi. That could mean that PDFs setup for 300ppi might be reduced in size to make their 350ppi requirement."
Okay, thanks for the clarification! There is one embedded image in the file. The dimensions in Illustrator are 8.6 x 5.6 in & the printer says they are 6.45 x 4.2 in
I'm not sure how GotPrint checks the dimensions and resolution. Is there something I should check before sending to them to make sure the resolution and dimensions are correct?
You can open the pdf and go to File>Properties and it will tell you the file size in dimensions under the description tab.
If you are expecting to work with outside print vendors on a regular basis, then "print" a proof before you send out the job or get / purchase a contract proof. If there is a size issue, it will show up in a hard copy proof.
I just looked over their file prep recommendations. There is a reference to required resolution of 350ppi. That could mean that PDFs setup for 300ppi might be reduced in size to make their 350ppi requirement. They also mention uploading JPGs as the preferred file transfer method. In a case like that, you would give them 8.6x5.6 @ 350ppi CMYK files. They must be using a default 175 lpi halftone screen.
I wonder if there is a stray element outside of the artboard? When you export to PDF, the artboard goes, but so too the stray element. This printer, like a lot of them out there, thing PDF is a bitmap file and assume the thing is 300dpi. Image resolution is set in pixels per inch ( PPI ). Not DPI. Output resolution for print is typically 5080dpi, enough to achieve a smooth dot when they produce a direct to plate / direct to press workflow. If you sent them a high quality print PDF, then ask them a few more questions.