Offset printing requires some degree of pre-press work. This can be as simple as outputting your electronic file to photographic film or as complex as actual design work and color key proofing. Our pre-press department's rate for typesetting is $50 per hour, with a 15-minute minimum. We recommend that the IMC Graphics department be used for designing offset print work. They are familiar with campus and Printing Services requirements, procedures, and timelines and will know how to best process your job. If any other designer is used, please have the designer contact our Customer Service team before beginning the design process.

When submitting electronic files for reproduction, please retain a copy in your department. Sometimes unpredictable things can happen to electronic files in transit and we do not want your one and only copy to be the one that comes up with "gremlins." Occasionally, there are complications with electronic files, such as formatting problems and color separation issues. It is best to have the original designer resolve these issues, and we will work with the designer to resolve them as quickly as possible. Production timelines are set to allow 1-3 days in pre-press. If there are complications at this stage, it can delay the original completion date.

University Printing Services supports most popular graphic design applications for both Macintosh and Windows. These are applications that are known to work well with our systems:

  • Adobe Acrobat PDFs (preferred)
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe In-Design
  • Adobe PhotoShop
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Microsoft Word

Please call if you are considering some other type of software. We may be able to accommodate that application and/or suggest ways to use the application that will mitigate known issues.

Pre-press is also the point at which you will be asked to "proof" your job. There are several different types of proofs for different types of jobs and different stages of production. The most common types of proofs are laser print, and/or blueline proof made from film. These will show all aspects of your job, except for colors of ink. You should check for overall layout of the piece, placement of photos, photo captions, and graphics. All proofing for spelling and grammar should have taken place before this stage, but, just in case, check for these things also. This is the last point to make changes relatively easily before going to print, so be sure to give it a good, thorough examination. You will be asked to sign and date a proof statement indicating that it is "ready to go," "needs corrections, then print," or "needs corrections, then proof again." No new offset print job will be printed until the "proofed, ready to go" authorization is given by the customer. If you are doing a 4-color process print job, you will also receive a color key proof. This proof allows you to see how the job will look in color.