I'm not an expert let me just say, so with the risk of sounding a little stupid I have a question.
I had to send .pdf and .ai files (around 100-300mb each) to a print service to have them printed on very large formats of forex.
Lately, we've had some trouble working with them. First, they asked me for "default" .pdfs from Illustrator, which usually do not have a standard color profile (SWOP or FOGRA39, etc). Then they claimed they could not open a .pdf in Photoshop and I didn't understand. I found out they do not use any RIP program, they just drag the pdf into Photoshop to raster it and then straight to the printers.
Is this a normal practise or do serious print service offices usually have RIP programs to optimize the process? How should it usually work when they receive a large format .pdf with a mix of vectors and images (120dpi max)?
Thank you for all the answers!
The resolution they require for the print is from 80 to 120dpi because these are very large graphics (16 feet wide) composed of large forex sheets placed together and they are seen from a certain distance.
I asked them for their postscript so I can export pdfs with their profile, but they didn't have one. They usually get the cut grid on .ai and the image pdf. I feel very out of control, but most importantly as Jackson mentioned, the time all this requires when they have troubles importing these large pdfs is insane.
To match a specific color they ask for a sample or a pantone as reference.
I think I will be looking around for other services just in case.