File preparation can sometimes be the vast territory separating the graphic designer from the printer. We've given it some though and have simplified the process into an easy to remember acronym - FIBS. This stands for Fonts, Images, Bleed and Spellcheck. Let's quickly go over these four points.
We need these to make your artwork look like it does on your screen. We do have quite a lot of fonts, but when we start replacing them, weird things start to happen. Your best bet is to either include the fonts with your job if you are submitting a packaged file from InDesign or Quark. Normally, the program will go and fetch all these extraneous items for you. If you don't want to or can't include the fonts, just outline them in your program so we won't need them. Doing this comes with it's own set of warnings.
If you are designing in a program like Photoshop, you probably won't need to worry about this. However, if you are using InDesign or Quark just be sure to use the "Package" or "Collect" command.
If you have a color head shot and the color extends all the way to the edge, you will need to configure bleed on your artwork. In this example, the headshot, the color -whether it be a background color or image or a border, actually extends about 1/8" further on all sides. So a final sized head shot of 8" x 10" will actually measure 8.25" x 10.25". Why is this necessary you ask? Due to inconsistencies in the printing and design process, tight tolerances are not realistic. Bleed ensures that no unprinted edges show after trimming. The image at the top of the page shows a lift just after trimming with the bleed being the excess waste.
Unless we are typesetting something for you, we will not spellcheck your design before printing, so please do it before you send it to print!