Turning a design into printable formats

I use fireworks for all my graphics and A client has asked me to do a poster. How do I get my fireworks png files ready to send to them for print?

You may not be able to
Did you do everything in vector? Otherwise you can’t. In FW or any other program. Once something is rastered ( or contains raster elements) you really cant up the resolution. So unless you planned ahead and made your document at a large enough resolution for print in advance (~200-300dpi), you are stuck.

IF you have your original FW PNGs ( not the optimized output) AND all your work was shape based/text ( no brushes or pics), you can go Modify>Canvas an input an appropriate DPI. Ask your print shop what their requirements are; they usually range from200dpi~300dpi. Also ask if they can work with RGB files. IF they say no, well you have run into another limitation of FW, but this one is easy to fix. Save the file a NATIVE FW PNG, then open it up in PS and change the color mode. Save again. Do note, that once yo do this IT WILL NO LONGER be a FW native file.

Hope that helps.

thank you for that information. I have the template which is an eps file, I think I may open it in ai and start from scratch - how then do you send it to the client?

The easiest way is usually to convert it to PDF, unless you think your client will be able to read EPS files (which is pretty rare).

so will it loose any quality once converted to pdf?

You should be able to choose the settings to preserve maximum quality – PDF gives you the flexibility to create a hi-res output (for print) or a lower-res output (for the web).

Ah I see, so I have a few more questions, I did everything in AI and I saved it as an AI PDF ( so I’m asuming that’s hi quality pdf ) so if a client wants to print their design in a print shop how do you deliver the design to the client?

A PDF is a PDF, it doesn’t matter what software was used to create it, so you can just send that PDF file to the print shop.

That’s easy done then? Just send them a pdf of the poster. I thought there would be a load of files that you need to send to them. Is there a typical list of files that you would send to a client for printing or do you just send them a pdf and how do you know what size to make it if thay want it for a4?

The easiest thing would be to ask the printers what formats they accept and recommend, and if there’s anything else they need – different companies may work in different ways. A4 is 210×297mm – it’s common when printing to create an oversized page where the graphics and background colours extend maybe 5mm beyond the page edge, and then use crop marks on the corners to indicate where the paper needs to be cut. This is useful when you are printing right up to the edge of the paper, to ensure that the colour does go right to the edge. But again, the best thing to do is to ask the print shop that you’re using for advice on the specific document you want them to print.

210x297 is far different from my template which opened in 122x50 in. If I try to reduce that to 8.3 x 11.7 in it goes so small you can hardly see it and distorts everything ( I thought vectors could be resized without loss? ) Am I doing something wrong here?

[font=verdana]Vectors should be able to be resized without loss – are you sure you haven’t got any bitmaps in there as well? Either way, PDF allows pages to be scaled to fit when printing, so you can create one at native size and then just scale it when printing – although if your original is too detailed then it might not scale well, because you’re going to lose a lot of resolution there. You also need to think about the aspect ratio of the page – A4 has an aspect ratio of 1:1.4, whereas your template has an aspect ratio of 1:2.4, which means it is the wrong shape for A4 (too long and thin).

As I said before, the best way to answer these questions is to contact the print shop that you will be using.[/font]

ok, confusing, not something I have had to think about before but I will start learning in more detail about. Many thanks for your help