I recently sent a large format poster file off for printing. The file was CMYK with one spot colour. The printer just told me that their production team had to manually mask out the spot layer in order to print the job.
I'm both horrified and frustrated. Horrified that they had to do that on my behalf; frustrated that they didn't specify I needed to do that when I rang them up to check artwork specs before sending it over.
The thing is, I don't know how I would go about masking out the spot colour for the layers above and below it in the artwork. A quick google search isn't returning much (perhaps I have the wrong key words?) Can anyone advise me, or point me in the direction of some good reference material?
If I was the one doing the artwork, everything except the orange would be set to cmyk than I would set the orange so it was using the pms spot colour swatch which than effectively would be a separate layer in the pdf which could be used as a mask. If you upload the pdf you supplied to the printer, I can check to see if its alright?
@JamesB my understanding is that I had set up the artwork that way. I don't know how to upload the artwork, but I'll email it to you instead.
@Dan the fluro colours are opaque. I had a funny feeling the words overprint and knock out would come up in this conversation, but I haven't used those settings since uni *blush*. Remind me how to check that in Illustrator?
Yup, guilty as charged. I'm aware I could do better in this area, and I appreciate your and @JamesB's help with this.
I do mostly brochure work. This is only the second time I've done a large format poster and the first time I've used a spot colour. I've printed smaller format materials for this campaign with another printer and they've not come back with issues, although I can't rule out that the printers are correcting my mistakes and not telling me. I do have a good relationship with them and do ask regularly if I should be doing things differently.
In the case of the large format poster printer, I hadn't worked with them before. I did call before supplying artwork to check how they wanted me to set it up and was told to just send a high res .pdf. Once sent, they came back asking to have the spot on a separate layer, which I did and sent back to them again. It was only after the job was printed that they told me about the problems they'd had. I apologised and asked what I should research for the next time and was told 'provide the poster as a full colour image and put the fluoro on a separate layer'. Given I thought I'd done that, I'm still confused.
Yes Dan you're right - the printer is the most appropriate contact for this. But given the printer's clearest answer has been 'provide the poster as a full colour image and put the fluoro on a separate layer' I thought perhaps other designers might be able to help me with insight.
*edited to add* I believe the printer doesn't have the language/interest to help me understand how to do better, because I've asked them several times in different ways for clarification. I came here in the hope that I could get a better understanding how how to do better, because right now I'm likely to keep making the same mistakes.