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Old 05-01-2009, 06:27 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Great Plains, USA
Posts: 271
Default PDF Printing Troubles

Some of you may have seen my threads regarding a city visitors guide and fold-out map I've been working on. We made first proofs this week and have found some problems. These revolve mainly around maps. All of the map files are PDFs which were placed into an InDesign file, which was then exported to PDF for print.

One problem is that map text, street names specifically, are showing up very faintly, as though little bits are scratched away. The maps were created with CAD software by an engineering company, but I'm able to work on them, to some degree, in Illustrator (I made a map key and can thicken the text, for instance).

Even the thin yet large letters on the border are deteriorated ("H" looks like "-" and "B" is basically "3"). I thickened the street text considerably; maybe that will solve this.

On this same map, however, some shapes, lines, and text are chopped off in ways I totally don't understand. They look as if the middle of the map were folded in twice causing elements to be hidden. This happens almost directly in the middle were the page creases (the map is the center spread of a saddle stitched book).

Another map consists of a JPEG map with lettering & shapes created on top of that using Acrobat, which makes for a PDF. The original city names are blurry in the flat JPEG version, so they added new ones on top. However, the Acrobat-rendered text & shapes do not show on the first proof. I was adviced to print with "comments" on, but I'm not sure that would help since the file is placed into InDesign.

Finally, a more minor issue is that the red border of an advertisement is vibrant on the fold-out map but is dark and bland in the visitors guide. But I used the same PDF file for both. What makes this all the more frustrating is that the first proof wasn't even printed on the press that will run the final proof, and the employees know that both printers give different results.
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