Most book printers prefer professional page layout and desktop publishing programs such as Adobe PageMaker ($499), InDesign ($700), and Quark Xpress ($835). These programs are designed for creating documents for commercial printing. They have the capability to handle fonts, graphics, color separations, indexing, master page formats and other essential pre-press operations.
Book printers usually do NOT accept the following programs: Ventura, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Excel, Corel Draw, Publisher and Word Perfect. These programs are designed to perform in the office setting and fall short in providing the crucial pre-press operations and page layout features. However, you can use Adobe Acrobat software to convert these files into pre-press compatible PDF files, providing that your book will print in one color (usually black). Or, you may submit camera-ready laser prints. Please note that this process is being phased out, and many printers no longer accept laser prints.
To create a PDF file of your document you will need to purchase the Adobe Acrobat software program that includes the “Distiller” module for approximately $220. Note: The plug-in called “PDF Writer,” included in Microsoft Word 2000 for Windows program is a limited version of Acrobat Distiller. Do not use this to make a PDF file for your printer.
Cover designs or interior layouts using 4-color process inks or PMS color inks will need to be done in one of the professional page layout programs or Adobe Photoshop ($600), Illustrator ($385) or Macromedia Freehand ($360). You will not be able to use any of the other programs because they will not output color separations properly. Use Photoshop to scan and retouch your photos and use Illustrator and Freehand to create graphics. To save money, you can purchase the entire “Adobe Design Collection” that includes InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat for $1200.
If you are uncomfortable learning and using these high-end design programs, you may use Microsoft Word or WordPerfect to type up your manuscript and give your file to a designer to lay it out. A good designer will create attractive book “packaging” with trouble-free files for your printer. A professional-looking cover and interior layout will grab attention and give your book a higher perceived value.
Discover critical elements that make your book grab the attention of book buyers. What if YOU could know the secrets of a 1st class graphic designer that would help you create amazing marketing materials in a few hours, would you want to know how?
Using the proper graphic file format and resolution for the job can mean the difference between a professional-looking document and one that looks blurry or is missing graphics. Graphic file formats for the Internet and offset printing are totally different animals. Do not interchange them!
Low-resolution raster graphics are used on the Internet. These graphics are made up of thousands of pixels (squares of color). Internet browsers will read JPG and GIF graphics, which are best scanned or sized at 72 PPI (pixels per inch). Because of the limits of screen resolution, anything greater will result in larger file sizes and longer download times than necessary. All Internet graphics are limited to a special palette of 256 colors.
Scan your photos using RGB colors to the JPG file format. JPG file sizes are very small and compatible with nearly every graphical browser. This format is best suited for photographs and any image that contains a complex mixture of colors.
The GIF format is best suited for images with a limited number of distinct colors and graphics that have sharp, distinct edges (most logos, menus and buttons). A special GIF89a file format gives you the option to make the background transparent so you don’t get a white rectangle behind the graphic.
Did you know:
According to US News and World Reports the following are the top 2010 National Schools offering Art majors
1. Yale University – New Haven, CT
2. University of Chicago – Chicago, IL
3. Northwestern University – Evanston, IL
4. Brown University – Providence, RI
5. Rice University – Houston, TX
If you are interested in the Best Graphic Design Programs, you may also be interested in finding more information on the Best Interior Design Programs, Good Industrial Design Programs, Good Fashion Design Programs and the Best Photography Programs. Feel free to browse these art school profiles and securely submit your information to request information.