General Technical Specs
Here at Ka-Blam we’ve tried to make the readying of your files for our printing process as simple and as painless as possible. While each different product type has a few specific requirements, there are FIVE basic things that apply to almost all the products. Just five simple things you need to get right.
1. File Format
If you’re comfortable building print ready PDFs then you may send us a print ready PDF. Just be SURE that your PDF is compliant with all technical specifications — size, dimensions, compression, etc. Also, be sure you’ve converted all fonts to curves.
If you’re not quite ready to build your own PDF, then we can do it for you. You’ll just need to supply TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) files for each page.
Be sure the files are flattened (no extra layers or channels).
Be sure they are saved using LZW compression. LZW compression is lossless, meaning that there is no loss of image quality. Uncompressed files are much larger (often 400% larger than uncompressed files) and will take a lot longer both on the upload and the download. There is no benefit to sending uncompressed files. There is only the downside of increased upload and download times.
NEVER save files intended for print as JPGs or with jpg compression. JPG compression is destructive by design. It prioritizes smaller file size over image quality integrity. If you’ve already saved your files using JPG compression, then some damage has already been done. If it’s possible for you to start over from a master copy we recommend that.
Color files are best sent in RGB mode. If your files are already in CMYK, then leave them that way. Don’t convert them back to RGB. You’ll only distort your colors by doing that.
Black and white files should be in Grayscale mode.
Your files MUST be 300 DPI (dots per inch).
300 DPI is the optimal resolution for our system.
If the resolution of your files is less than 300 DPI, your print quality will suffer. If the resolution of your files is greater than 300 DPI you will not see any discernible improvement in print quality, your files sizes will be larger (much larger in some cases), and you may actually slow down your turnaround time.
Screen-sized images (72 DPI) and formats (jpgs, gifs, pngs, etc.) are UNPRINTABLE in ALL cases.
Simply put, this is the height and width (in inches) of your comic book pages or non-comic book product. Each product has its own required height and width.
4. Name your files properly!
Sorry, but this is a big issue with us and one that causes way, way too much confusion and consternation, not to mention lost productivity and even a few reprints.
Here’s a simple naming scheme that works terrifically –
Name your cover files like this –
Name your interior page files with a three digit numerical scheme, like this –
001.tif, 002.tif, 003.tif etc.
The first page of the comic is always 001.tif. The second page is 002.tif, etc. It doesn’t matter if the first page of the comic is an introduction page or a credits page or a special thanks page or a dedicated to page while the story proper begins on the second page or even the third page. The file that will be the first interior page of printed comic is NOT intro.tif or thanks.tif or credits.tif. It is 001.tif.
There’s no need to send a pagination guide, or a page order resource file, or any special instructions on how to assemble the book. Just name the files properly.
By the way, the important part of this is the numbering. Feel free to include the prefix of your choice in the file name. For example it doesn’t have to be just 001.tif, it could be KungFuMonkey_001.tif or KFM001.tif. Including the proper page number in the file name is the key.
5. And lastly … Zip it Up!
After you’ve got all of your files whipped into shape, then please, please, please, archive them into a single downloadable file! You can use winzip or WinRaR or StuffIt or whatever else you’ve got so long as we get a single downloadable file. It’s less trouble for you in the upload and far, far less trouble for us in the download.