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The File Won't RIP!

(May 2007) posted on Tue May 22, 2007

The interaction between image files and your RIP system can leave your clients impressed or your prepress staff distressed. Mandel explains how you can improve the relations between these two critical elements of digital imaging.

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Our clients are sometimes the source of these variables. They have many options when creating an image file. Each choice our customers make can profoundly affect the final digital print, whether it’s the way they create blends, the resolution of the graphics, their use of layers, and so on.

As a consolation, the more we run into roadblocks, the more experience we earn. And part of developing this experience is recording the solutions we uncover; otherwise, all our pain and suffering is for naught. At my company, we have an intranet Website in which we catalog all the problems we’ve experienced and the solutions we came up with. The subjects may be categorized by software program, output device, network issue, FTP, etc. Any person in the company can access this valuable database when a problem arises.


Those who understand RIP technology can skip a few grades in the school of hard knocks. Anybody who works with RIPs should learn from the manufacturer or vendor how the RIP will react to the multiple variables common in digital imaging. This knowledge should be accumulated during RIP installation, not when a shop wants to impress a new client. Knowing which file formats are most compatible with our RIPs can save hours of misery.

Building a shop’s knowledge base also involves employees immersing themselves in the RIP software. To prevent interruptions in production, we can load a laptop with the RIP software and allow staff members to take it home. Learning about the features and functions of any software just takes time and curiosity. We simply need to feed the interest of those who show hunger to learn new things.


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