Michael_affeld 2007-09-04 10:50:18
My new printshop (who I just started working with, and is conveniently located right down the street) is convinced that although I sized my .ai document artboard to the dimensions of a business card… what HE looks at is a small business card within a 8.5 X 11 document and when it goes to print- it is going to print out the entire 8.5 X 11 dimension, and waste all of the excess. Responses to my earlier post say that document size doesn’t matter, and nothing will be wasted, but because I am fairly new to “the game”, I am not really sure on how to convince him, and am now looking for answers or alternatives because he “ain’t” going to waste all of the excess. I have Acrobat, should I just convert it to pdf and send it off, or should I turn it into a photoshop document, again, lose the vector, but be able to show him a canvas size of a business card? Do you notice frustrations??
Does anyone else run into these problems, and what do you do?
Thanks again for any assistance or info!
Dee holmes 2007-09-04 10:50:26
In AI, do File/New. A winow pops up. Where it says Window put in your width and height dimesion. Then go to your art docutment and copy all your art. Go to the document that you just sized and paste that into it.
Does that help any?
Dee holmes 2007-09-04 10:50:37
You’re kidding, right? They’re going to charge a prepress fee for just setting up the file how they need to print it?
Wow! The company I work for needs to get more money. Unless you’re talking art time (including wrong separations), or plate charges, or color matches, I don’t think the customer should be responsible for setup.
Gary_newman@ad 2007-09-04 10:50:39
Your printer is gooing to print on 8.5 by 11 stock. If you give him artwrok for just one card, he should be able to gang them so that more than one card prints on a sheet. But that’s work for him to have to do, and he’ll charge you for it. Better for you to do it. Saves you money, makes life easy for your printer, and keeps control of the job with you, where it belongs. Depending on the size of your card, and whether it bleeds, etc, you should be able to fit 8 or more cards on a single sheet of 8.5 by 11, complete with with crop marks.
Dee holmes 2007-09-04 10:50:42
That’s not my point.
Wade_zimmerman 2007-09-04 10:50:46
They usually print four up would you like a template?
Gary_newman@ad 2007-09-04 18:48:04
Some printers prefer to do the setup themselves, but they will all charge whatever they can. Apparently Michael’s printer doesn’t do setups.
I, for one, take responsibility for the setup because I want to. It’s part of the design process. And I can help avoid such things as wrong separations, wasted paper, and overcharges.
Scott_weichert 2007-09-04 18:48:06
Most printers will gladly tell you how they would liek a file set up. All you need do is ask. If you don’t ask, yup, they’ll set it up how they need it and charge you.
Wade_zimmerman 2007-09-04 18:48:48
Actually this printer is being an idiot anyway. Of course they persist in playing the fool then just draw a box and use Object crop area command and only that area will print and the size of the film being outputted has nothing to do with the size of the document that is entirely control by page set up.
I would tell them off and to stop giving you a hard time and print the d*** card.
If that doesn’t work then let him know that if they don’t start acting like a professional your just going somewhere else, because down the block or not this is not convenient.
Doug_katz@adob 2007-09-04 18:48:55
AGAIN, set up the ARTBOARD (which is functionally equivalent to the
CANVAS or PAGE) to the EXACT dimensions of your business card (just
as Dee suggested). Place your art on that CARD SIZE ARTBOARD. Hand
your printer the file.
Essentially, your printer is telling you he doesn’t “get” how to make your
business cards from an 8.5 x 11 artboard because he knows that a business
card is s’posed to be 2 x 3 (or whatever). Crop marks will probably confuse
him too. So you can “teach” him about artboards and crop marks, or you can
give him what he wants. You’re not harmed by giving him what he wants.
You MAY be harmed, however, by working with what Wade has so aptly
referred to as an idiot.
Michael_affeld 2007-09-05 01:46:30
Actually, because I am fairly new to this (not necessarily illustrator, but printshops), I thought it was interesting the way that he had me send it, and was wondering if this was common. He, (actually his website), had me download an item which automatically loaded a new “printer” into my computers “print center” so when I was ready, I was to just print to this new printer and my job now actually went to his printer, and was then converted to PDF and printed. (question: Is everything converted to PDF before printing? If so, I will just convert the job to pdf myself and send it that way). Anyways, just trying to learn, so input is all appreciated. Thanks.
Doug_katz@adob 2007-09-05 01:46:34
Definitely a movement in the direction of PDF workflows at print shops.
Some of those on the cutting edge of this workflow are right here on the
This also explains (a little bit more) why your printer wants the “canvas/
page/artboard” to be the size of the business card rather than the size
of a standard (8.5 x 11) page. He may very well have some of his process
automated, and therefore he needs files that require no special, custom
size manipulations. (Maybe I’m making excuses for him.)
If you decide to deliver PDFs to him, just be sure you know how to make
press-ready files (through Acrobat Distiller or right out of your graphics
application). Many people here can help you with that… both the methods
and the pitfalls.
Michael_affeld 2007-09-05 01:46:34
Would this have an advantage over my creation of a page in ai with 6-8 cards? If not, and I create a pdf right from illustrator, will it (the pdf) be the size of the artboard or the size of a8.5 X 11 document?
Wade_zimmerman 2007-09-05 01:46:39
Well in this case which is a different scenario then we originally had the matter is more academic he has a work flow that is automated you send him in this case exactly what he asked for it will then be sent probably a template and automatically ganged.
Now he sounds professional to me and I misunderstood the circumstances.
For your information the reason he does not want a letter size canvas or document
is if you send him the card on a 8.5 x 11 artboard it will file into the 8.5×11 spool folder and and print out on an 8.5×11 plate. If you send an artboard that is 3×2 then it will file into the business card spool and automatically gang on the film and output to plate as a gang.
You should know without knowing all the specifics such as you are downloading to a FTP server over a website etc. that it did not make sense. You should always give all the details so one can picture the circumstance clearly. If you are not thorough it is difficult to really know what is going on.
Anyway you actually seem to be in good hands. I also like this work flow myself and work with printers in California this way and I am in New York.
Gary_newman@ad 2007-09-05 01:46:41
As always, it’s a good idea to actually TALK to your printer. Ask him what he needs and get him to explain it. These things always work better if each party has an understanding of what the other is doing.
Dee holmes 2007-09-06 09:58:43
But, If you’re dealing with a distrubtor…that’s anthor story.
We have no idea what they are saying to their customers. We try to relate the info to them, but something seems to get screwed up. (Like the old rumer trail)
Michael_affeld 2007-09-07 01:58:57
Let me express my thanks to all of the input I have received (in this case and others). Although I have worked with graphics all of my life, (yes, back in the old days when we actually used paint. Does this show my age?) I moved into computer graphics, but other departments worried about the prepress/press. Now however, I am out/going out on my own and I have tried to prepare myself for the ability to create work correctly. The knowledge I found on the forums has been abundant, and the advise to myself (and others) is such a helpful tool because it can streamline answers to specific questions. In this current question, I didn’t say anything about my printers printshop being downloaded directly into my computer because I had no idea that this made any difference regarding the ai file I was sending him. It was created correctly (I think), and formatted into a business card sized artboard. I guess this is the best way to learn, just jump into the water and dogpaddle until you learn the backstroke. Thanks again.
Wade_zimmerman 2007-09-07 20:48:05
It is a good work flow and something perhaps for all of us to look forward to more and more.
Thanks for posting.