Best bet: ask your printer. PDF is probably best, but which PDF preset to use depends on the commercial printer's setup, so ask.
I have to unfortunately live with the so called professional printers, here, who simply say bring in CYMK or RGB. Beyond this they have "no idea" of what I am asking!
I am sure, or at least believe, there must be some "real" professional. But I have not been able to find one either in Delhi or in Bangalore! I have no idea how they work without this.
In a previous brochure job done on a industrial laser printer, I spent few days there to get things under control. On asking about "profiles" the guy told me... "See, each day these machines are calibrated, and then they work the entire day. For deviations in colors he manages directly (manually) from his RIP. So even if he gave a profile, it will be different each day." Now, it made some sense, but I am not totally convinced. He said just bring your PDF and we will manage to print it.
So let me try to rephrase my question:
If I want to go shopping for printers, by way of taking sample prints on their machines, what should be my Output settings in PDF?
Essentially, what destination profile should I choose from the drop down. What happens if I simply leave it as "No Conversion"?
The printer's task is to provide you with all needed information to produce the correct PDF:
- Size of the final product, page numbers.
- Output Color Space (NOT color mode!), that is color mode with color profile.
- Standard of PDF, eg. PDF/X-4, X-3 or X-1a
- Recommended minimum resolution, minimal thicknes of lines in black, positive and negative, etc.
If your printer does not know at least 1 to 4, try to get another printer.
Thanks Willi Adelberger, I am now sitting with yellow pages and asking this checklist.
(in the background I am creating a PDFx1a with SWOPv2 PDF. Assuming this would be the safest. It will first inform me the size of my PDF. I may run into GBs I think!)