Color Book Specifications

Reference Template PDFs

Perfect Bound 24 up to 320 pages.

Saddle-Stitch: 8 up to 48 pages.

Wire-O or Plastic Coil: 8 pages up to 320 pages.

PDF COMPLIANCE: Files must be PDF/X-1a:2001 or PDF/X-3:2002 compliant. The PDF/X-1a:2001 setting is found in the Professional versions of Adobe Acrobat 6 or above (listed as PDF/X-1a in Acrobat 6 Professional). The PDF/X-3:2002 setting is found in the Professional versions of Adobe Acrobat 7 or above.

Some of the reasons this setting is the most efficient to use when creating PDF files for print:

  1. Requires all fonts to be embedded. With PDF/X-1a:2001 or PDF/X-3:2002: if a font cannot be embedded, the PDF file will fail to create (unless default preferences have been altered). This should immediately tell the creator that the first issue to check is fonts (and the log should list the reason). A common reason a font will not embed using PDF/X-1a:2001 or PDF/X-3:2002 is due to licensing restrictions with the font.
  2. Converts RGB images/page items to CMYK. This is a critical check. RGB is how monitors handle color, but it is not intended for printing. If a file is sent as RGB, and prints as is, the shift that it goes through during the rip process may be significant enough to cause the customer to be dissatisfied with the final output creating extra time and costs for the book to print satisfactorily. A CMYK file will result in a truer representation of the color BEFORE a file is submitted.
  3. Trapping settings will be corrected. This is an issue with how colors interact with each other that generally preview correctly on screen, but can cause a problem when the ink is printed on the paper.
  4. Transparency will be flattened (no live transparency). Layering/special effects such as drop shadows should be rendered correctly so that there are no unexpected results when a file goes through the rip process.
  • SADDLE STITCH BOOKS, WIRE-O or PLASTIC COIL: no gutter margin required; items can be taken completely to the bind edge. 
  • PERFECT: 0.125" (3 mm) gutter margin (no-ink area) required on the bind side of the interior. These are bound with glue, and the area is designated so it can adhere to all pages (see reference templates for example). Crossover spreads (images/color intended to straddle a spread) may be used as long as the gutter margin is placed in between where the images/color would normally meet.

    It is impossible to guarantee 100% color accuracy. However, you can maximize color quality by ensuring that all submitted files are in CMYK color mode and that the correct color calibration is set for the desired color match. When these four inks (collectively known as CMYK) are combined, they can produce millions of different colors. Changing the percentage (screen) of one ink can dramatically effect the color. Black (K), the fourth process ink, is often used to darken the colors created by the other three process colors CMY.

    When color fidelity is critical, KD Press recommends that you order a hardcopy color proof. A hardcopy color proof is the only way to ensure the color accuracy for your print job.

  • SPOT COLORS: Please convert all spot colors (PMS / PANTONE) with/without transparencies to CMYK, (even in supporting .eps files). These may produce unexpected color results when printing. Any dissatisfaction with color shift will be the publisher’s responsibility to correct.
  • SPREADS/FORMAT: Please do not send files in ‘spread’ format. Files should be sent as a combined single-page PDF file to process correctly in our workflow. Files sent as spreads will be rejected for a corrected submission.
  • CROP MARKS: Please do not include crop / printer / registration marks in a file.
  • BLACK/RICH BLACK/DENSITY: We recommend a rich black with CMYK values = 60% Cyan / 40% Magenta / 40% Yellow / and 100% Black. CMYK total value should not exceed 240%. Elements should not be built in ‘Registration’ (100% of all colors). *Files sent with densities higher than 240% may be rejected for correction.
  • Review your PDF file for accuracy

    This is a very important – yet often overlooked – step in the process. Please open and review your newly created PDF to insure that all elements are present and properly represented in your PDF prior to submitting it for printing. Incomplete or incorrect digital files will put your project behind schedule.