Commercial printing

If you use commercial printing for your print jobs, you most likely deal with a service bureau or a printing shop. These two businesses can be separate or affiliated. Some larger establishments may offer both services. The service bureau takes your file and converts it directly to film or to plates. The printing shop uses the film from a service bureau to make printing plates.

Film can be created using a camera or an imagesetter. Creating film with a camera usually requires camera-ready output that you have created on a PostScript laser printing device. Producing film in this way may save money, but do not try to produce complex color material using laser printed output because desktop printing devices are not precise enough.

An imagesetter creates film directly from a file. There are several different types of files that a service bureau may be able to use. For more information, see "Preparing a print job for a commercial press" on page 717 and ask the service bureau about your options.

The service bureau should provide you with either overlay proofs, blueprints, or laminate proofs made from the film. The type of proof you require depends on the complexity of the print job. Once you are satisfied with the proofs, the film is imposed, the plates are burned, and the printing plates are mounted on the press.

If the service bureau and printing shop are separate, you must ensure that the service bureau provides the film in the form that the printing shop requires (for example, positive or negative film, emulsion up or down, etc.). Also, make sure that the printing shop has proofs of the final product and instructions about the print job (for example, number of copies, type and size of paper). These proofs and your instructions serve as a contract between you and the printing shop.

The press operators set up and adjust the press so that the printed output matches the contract proofs as closely as possible. When color quality and accuracy are crucial, you may be asked to be present at printing time to approve any color adjustments.

For an in-depth discussion of commercial printing, see the Corel Commercial Printing Guide included with this Corel application.

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