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Unfortunately anything newer than PDFx1a will be a headache for most prepress/print vendors... You'd be surprised how many imagesetters/RIPs are still postscript level 3.... Composite PDFs are both a blessing and nightmare for most printshops as they can just throw up their hands and say "well this is what you gave us" and we don't have a prepress department didn't you see our spec sheet we only accept PDFx1a. At the end of the day the printing press is entirely analog and the press operator only care about ink densities... transparency and blending are all RIP issues at the end of the day the plates on the press are positive negativ whether your print one color, 4 color or any pecialty ink mixes. Find a printer that cares about ink separations and prepress because thats a ahop tha turns out quality products... The PDFx1a has hurt specialty print more than helped.
I used x-1a for years ... decades ... but recently a few printers have suggested just Press Quality with trim, bleed and output set accordingly. I'm the same; if a printer has a preference, I prefer to go with that.
No problems at all with numerous printers and jobs from biz cards to billboards. And not seeing all the weird PDF artefacts before sending is definitely better.
If they can’t be arsed to give you legit specs even if you ask, start with the High Quality Print setting and set any crop and bleed marks. It’s hard for them to totally fuck it up if you are still reviewing proofs. I haven’t worked directly with a serious printer in awhile though.
I normally do the same, hans.
The caveat is that I've found (especially in the newsprint business) that there's a healthy dose of "we've always done it this way", so some printers are painfully slow at adopting new things.
Thanks for your input.
i always check with the printer's specs and match those. new standards are all very well, but utterly useless until they're taken up by everyone.
I've been using PDF x-1a for a long time now for press ready print exports. The newer standards are intriguing because they remove those annoying white lines and handle transparencies better.
I've been getting pushback from a newspaper printer on using newer export standards like PDF x-4. A recent export was rejected for using LAB colour instead of CMYK.
They would know better, so I'm deferring to their knowledge. I'm looking to you lot to see what your thoughts are and what you've encountered as positives and negatives of using a newer PDF standard.