Frequently Asked Questions
- Whom do I contact with technical issues?
- To whom do I send materials?
- Why does S&T use Macintosh computers?
- Can I create an ad on my PC?
- What program files does S&T accept?
- Can I supply you with a PDF?
- Can S&T make changes to my ad?
- Why do I need to give S&T a proof?
- What are support files?
- What is a Type 1 PostScript Font?
- What is localized styling and why is it bad?
- Can I use an image from a Web site?
- What should I do if my file is very large?
Whom do I contact with technical issues?
Mike Rueckwald, our Production Manager, is the best person to contact with any technical questions relating to your ad, whether it be prior to your creating it or something that arises while the ad is processing. You can reach Mike at 617-758-0226 or e-mail Production@SkyandTelescope.com.
To whom do I send materials?
Materials can be sent to Mike Rueckwald, our Production Manager, via your preferred method of courier. We can accept digital files on CD or DVD. You can send digital transfers as an e-mail attachment to Production@SkyandTelescope.com. If the file exceeds 5 MB, please contact Mike at 617-758-0226 or e-mail Production@SkyandTelescope.com for instructions on sending large files.
Why does S&T use Macintosh computers?
We're not alone. In fact, most graphic designers, desktop publishers, and printers work on the Macintosh platform. Included in this group is our printer, who requires us to supply Macintosh files.
Can I create an ad on my PC?
Yes. The only thing we require is that you use a program that enables you to save your file as a PDF or TIFF (Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, for example). Saving your file in these formats will enable us to use it on the Macintosh platform with minimal problems.
What program files does S&T accept?
If you are working on a Macintosh we can accept your files in a variety of ways. Layout application files we accept include InDesign. We also accept Photoshop and Illustrator files saved as EPS or TIFFs.
Can I supply you with a PDF?
Yes, we accept PDF files for your ad, but they must meet a few requirements in order to be processed properly. The PDF must be saved without any image compression and font preferences set to: subset 100%. Also, all fonts must be embedded.
Can S&T make changes to my ad?
Sometimes. If the file is supplied in a Macintosh-based layout program, we can. If the file is supplied as a PDF or TIFF file, we might be able to edit the advertisement. Please remember that any alterations to a file may incur an additional charge. Also, due to strict printing deadlines, sometimes we are unable to affect a change if it is requested too late in our production cycle.
Why do I need to give S&T a proof?
In order to ensure that what we reproduce in our magazine is exactly what you want, we require a "hard copy" of each ad to accompany the digital file. Not only does this help us eliminate errors in the reproduction, but it gives the printer visual guidance while working on your ad, making the entire process run much more smoothly.
What are support files?
Support files are any of the elements brought together in the layout to make up the entire design. These include images, logos, and fonts (both screen and printer fonts are required for us to be able to view the image on-screen and to print it correctly).
What is a Type 1 PostScript Font?
Type 1 PostScript refers to the type of PostScript encoding used to recognize a font and its characteristics. Because the RIP process (see "What is localized styling and why is it bad"?) reads files by their PostScript code, a non-PostScript font is not recognized properly during this process. For this reason we will need to substitute any non-PostScript fonts, such as TrueType fonts, with a suitable matching font. Please note that this step may incur an extra charge. A good source for purchasing these fonts is Adobe's Web site, www.adobe.com/type/.
What is localized styling and why is it bad?
Localized styling is altering the bold or italic appearance of a font (typeface) within a program. For example, if you are using the font Minion in your ad and you would like certain copy to be bold, you might be tempted to simply make the font "bolded" using the layout software. The proper way to handle this is to use the font that gives you exactly the look you want, i.e. Minion Bold.
The reason we avoid localized styling is to avoid potential problems during the process of sending the final electronic files for output. This process is known as Raster Image Processing (RIP). Basically, RIP translates all elements of the file, including the fonts, per its PostScript code to enable proper press-ready output. Sometimes, when localized styling is applied to a font, the RIP software does not recognize this encoding as part of the font's PostScript code and this information can be lost, resulting in incorrect reproduction.
Can I use an image from a Web site?
Most likely not. Most images that are used on the Internet are prepared at a resolution of 72 dpi, to allow them to be loaded and viewed quickly. Unfortunately this resolution is much too low for quality print reproduction; we recommend 300 dpi. Otherwise, the image will look "jaggy."
What should I do if my file is very large?
If you are sending a large file via e-mail attachment you may want to consider compressing the file. We can accept files compressed using ZipIt (.zip) or Stuffit (.sit). Using one of these compression software options will minimize the potential for problems when we expand the file on our end. Or contact us to upload your ad to our ftp site.