CSR role: Customer Service Representatives are the common contacts for a job and should be informed of everything about your job when dropping it off at the printer.
Talking with the Printer: Usually when you go to the printer, a salesperson will be your first contact, they will ask you questions about your job and refer you to a CSR, who can handle your job.
Planning for Print: When planning for your print, always keep the dimensions, colors, and substrates of your job in mind. These can include;
Document Size, Adequate Bleed, and Internal Panel sizes.
Check Rasters/Vectors: When supplying rasters for a project, be sure that it is in the proper format for the printer, and be sure that the resolution is set correctly. Depending on your job, the resolution can be drastically different. With Vectors be sure that they have the correct colors (Pantones are a safe bet here). Also be sure to supply the proper images and fonts. This can be done by either embedding them or package the images and fonts together. The best practice is to embed the images and fonts, but also package them , as well, just to be safe.
Types of proofs: sometimes called random proofs or scatter proofs, these show a sample of what your project should look like after being printed.
Scale & Rotate in PS: Always scale and rotate any images in photoshop or some other file editing software before placing it in InDesign.
Resolution for output: Usually, 300 Dpi is the proper resolution for output. Although depending on the project a a lower resolution could be "good enough", especially if the project is a large banner or sign.
Color Space in PS & AI: Always convert images to Pantone or spot colors. This way the printer can match the color exactly, and it will look correct, no matter what.
Flatten or layered: The choice of using a flattened image or a layered image depends on two things, the user and the printer. If the user is skilled, then they may be able to use layered files efficiently, and if the printer allows for it, layered files may fly, but if either of them don't work well with layers, then flattening is the way to go. Just be sure to save an extra copy before destroying some part of a project.
Transparency: Transparency is the amount of alpha in pixels. Something between 1 and 0. The less alpha a pixel has the less visible it is.
Creating a Path: Paths are created by drawing a shape on top of an image and choose create clipping mask. This path will show through like a window in whatever shape the path was in.
Duotones: Duotones are images that are comprised of 2 colors, usually black and a spot color, although, sometimes black can be traded for another spot color, depending on the designers specifications.
AI Artboards: This is the imaginary "paper" that a designer can use to create vectors in Adobe Illustrator.
Bleed Settings: Bleed Settings in Ilustrator apply to all sides, they can not be custom shapes. They can be up to one inch in depth.
AI Simplify complex art: The simplify command in ilustrator "modifies" an image by reducing the number of points used to make a vector image.
AI Clean Up: Clean up deletes all points outside of the current work.
AI Effects & Clipping Mask: Effects in illustrator either alter the inside, the outside, or both, of a vector path. Clipping Masks however, "punch out" parts of an image in the shape of the mask.
AI Transparency: While Transparency may look similar in Photoshop and Illustrator, they have key differences. One of the main differences is that Illustrator will overlap 2 spot colors, which are then converted to CMYK to accommodate the transparency.
AI Linked & Embedded image: You can either link or embed images within illustrator files. If the images are not packaged properly, they can be re-linked. This is of course assuming that the designer still has access to the original image.