production process and quick turnaround times depend on getting
print quality, correctly prepared files from you. Failure to
guidelines will result in delays of printing and shipping of
your printed materials while we contact you to correct any
to follow these guidelines could also produce incorrectly printed
pieces, resulting in extra charges to reprint your materials.
Minimum Standards for Print Ready Files
If you read nothing else, please read this section!
Click on any topic below to view details.
color and grayscale images must be 300
dpi at the final size used, All bitmap
images must be 1200 dpi at the final size
files must be saved using CMYK for color
images. (grayscale may be used for black
and white). RGB, Indexed color, or Spot
color images are not acceptable. These
images must be converted to CMYK.
you see on screen and ink jet proofs is
not necessarily what you will get on your
final printed piece.
image file formats are: tiff, eps, and
formats to receive print ready jobs in
are: tiff, eps, and pdf**. (Hi-res jpg
format is also acceptable.) This is an
MUST for CorelDraw and Publisher users,
as well as other unsupported software.
native application files are: QuarkXPress,
InDesign, PageMaker, Illustrator, FreeHand,
sending native files, do not forget the
fonts and images you used to create your
an image or graphic is meant to print to
the edge of your document, don't forget
to include bleeds in your file.
you are using a drawing program, such as
Illustrator or Freehand, convert all your
text to paths or outlines.
solid black areas using a "Rich Black," consisting
of 30% Cyan, 30% Yellow, 30% Magenta and
100% Black, rather than black only.
use unique file names to clearly identify
your files such as front or back.
both sides are to print the
same, please make sure to
let us know so your job isn't
delayed while we look for
a second file.
all unused elements from the pasteboard
area of your documents.
- Please ensure your folds are correct on your
document, and that all copy is at least 1/8” away
from all folds, perfs, and cuts.
- Files not conforming to these standards may not
pass our Quality Control checkpoint and will be returned
to you for repair and re-submission. This will delay
your print job.
Submit ONLY high resolution PDF (.pdf)
The following are a general guidelines that should be adhered to when saving your
- When saving from an Adobe program (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator), select "Press
Quality" from the Adobe PDF Preset dropdown list
- Compression - Select either "Do Not Downsample" or if the images in your layout
are unusually high resolution, include Bicubic Downsampling set to a minimum
of "300 pixels/inch", Compression set to "JPEG" and Image Quality of "High"
- If your file includes elements that 'bleed' outside the borders of your page, Bleeds
must be set to a minimum of 1/8 (0.125) inch
- Output color should always be "CMYK"
resolution of raster or bitmap image files should be
set to 300 dpi at the final image size in your layout.
If you enlarge an image, you lower the resolution, if
you reduce an image you increase the resolution. We do
not recommend enlarging an image in your layout program
more than 125%, or reducing more than 30%. Images with
a resolution of less than 250 dpi will reproduce poorly
on press, looking fuzzy, choppy or pixilated. Resolutions
higher than 300 dpi will not appreciably improve image
quality, just make for a larger file size, which increases
your upload times and our imaging times. Images captures
off the web are only 72 dpi. (With the exception of online
stock photography) They are not suitable for printing.
Images created in Paint are only 72 dpi, and not suitable
are two basic color spaces used in graphics and printing.
One is RGB (Red, Green and Blue). Scanners, monitors and
digital cameras use a combination of red, green and blue
light to display and create your images. The combination
of red, green and blue light can create more visible colors
than the combination of cmyk can.
other space is CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black). Printing
presses, color copiers and most inkjet printers use these
four ink colors to create your images. This is also known
as 4-color printing, and is how most magazines and other
color materials are printed.
You See Is Not Necessarily What You Get
of differences in how colors are viewed, how good your
monitor is, how hold your monitor is, and how well your
monitor is calibrated, what you see on your monitor is
not necessarily what you will get in print. Once you have
received samples of what we printed from your files, we
recommend that you adjust your monitor to match the final
printed output. That way the next image you create will
look more similar on screen and on paper. We also suggest
that once you like the way your image looks on screen,
lighten it slightly, especially in the midtone area, as
it will most likely darken slightly when printed due to
the nature of printing.
applications will give you the option to work in either
CMYK or RGB color mode. It is fine to begin working in
RGB, there are some filters in Photoshop that are only
available when working in RGB mode. Just remember to convert
to CMYK before submitting your images to us. Keep in mind
that it red, green and blue light create more colors than
cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks do. Therefore, your
image may look a little different in RGB than in CMYK.
If we must do the conversion here, we are not responsible
if you are not happy with the conversion results.
save all bitmap images (like those out of Photoshop) in
either tiff or eps format if you will place them in a layout
program. If it is for final printing, tiff, eps or jpg
with maximum quality format is acceptable. we cannot print
gif, pict, dcs, ping, psd, cds, etc. formats. Please do
not save your images with LZW compression. Placing an unacceptable
format in an acceptable format does not make it usable.
has taught us that, more often than not, when
people send native application files, they forget
fonts and placed images, forget to convert images
to cmyk color, include spot colors, use low-res
images,and make other assorted errors. Some reports
conclude that 78% of files sent to printers are
not ready to go to print without some kind of
fix required. To eliminate fixes and ensure quality
and fast delivery, the best way to send files
is in TIFF, JPG, PDF or EPS format. Done
correctly, these formats eliminate the need for
you to upload fonts or images used in your files,
and also decreases your upload time. See the information
following for specifications on how to save files
for different applications. If your files are
not prepared properly, fonts or images are missing,
or your files need any significant repair work
in order to be printed, your order will be put
on hold. We will contact you with the option to
re-submit files or give you an estimate of charges
to let us correct your files.
Native Application Files
you must send a native application file, we support
current versions of the following software on either
Macintosh or Windows platforms: Photoshop, InDesign,
PageMaker, Illustrator, QuarkXPress and FreeHand.
sending native application files, you must also include
all fonts you used to create the document, as well
as all the images you placed in the document. We do
not recommend embedding images, it increases file size,
and if there is something wrong with the image, (i.e.
is rgb, not cmyk) we cannot quickly fix the image and
update it. Never copy and paste images into a document
from your clipboard.
documents for returns or spaces in text areas that
may have a font attached that isn't used anymore. It's
easy to miss a space somewhere when experimenting and
changing fonts. Even if it's in just one space, we
will need the font or need to find that one space and
change it's font before we can image the file.
we own and use an extensive list of applications, we cannot
be expected to own or know the intricacies of each one.
If you are using any programs other than those listed as
supported above, you must check your documentation for
how to save or export your files to tiff, eps, hi-resolution
jpg, or hi-resolution pdf format.
research any software prior to creating documents to
be sure it is capable of high-resolution output. (Minimum
300 dpi at the final size)
cannot assist you on how to save files for print in any
applications other than those listed above. If your files
do not appear to be saved correctly, or you send a file
from an application we do not support, the printing and
delivery of your job will be delayed while we contact you
to fix and re-upload your files.
software, including word processing programs and other
applications not listed above, cannot be submitted in native
file format. Examples are MS Word, Word Perfect and Excel.
However, if you can save these files in pdf, eps or tiff
format using the guidelines listed for the other programs
as an example, we can accept your files. If your files
are not prepared properly, your job will be put on hold
until we get correctly prepared files from you.
Bleed and Safe Area
is an extra 1/8" of image or other elements that
go beyond the finished trim size of your project, allowing
us to print your job slightly larger than the final
size. We then cut it down to size, giving the appearance
that the image 'bleeds' off the edge of the card rather
than having a border. Because cutting is done in large
stacks on machinery, it may vary slightly from the
top of the stack to the bottom. Although the automated
cutting machines are state of the art, you must allow
some tolerance. Please see individual application info
for how to include bleed in your files. Keep all important
information a minimum of 1/16" from the edge of
all printed pieces so it doesn't get inadvertently
trimmed off. You wouldn't want to have the last digit
of your phone number trimmed off your business cards!
not create borders around the edges of your cards smaller
than 1/8" wide. This is to allow for some tolerance
in the cutting process as noted above. The smaller
and thinner the rule, the more noticeable it will be
if it is not perfectly even.
Fonts to Paths When Possible
possible, convert all text/type in your documents to paths
or outlines, eliminating the need to send fonts you used
with your files. This is easily done in programs like Illustrator,
FreeHand and CorelDraw. When using Photoshop, flatten files
before submitting, which automatically rasterizes all fonts
used. While we have an extensive font library, we cannot
be expected to have every font or version that is out there.
a 'Rich Black'
solid black areas with a "Rich Black" rather
than black only. Rich Black is made up of 30% Cyan,
30% Magenta, 30% Yellow, and 100% Black. This will
keep solid black areas from looking gray, and should
be used for larger solid areas or heavy type over 36
point. For normal body text, use 100% black, do not
use Rich Black. Do not use 90-100% of each color to
create a rich black. This will cause problems on the
press due to too much ink getting put down in one spot.
Unique File Names
use unique file names that will clearly identify your files.
(i.e. yourname_pc_front.pdf and yourname_pc_back.pdf, rather than
card_a.pdf, card_b.pdf) If you must resubmit your files,
change the file names to reflect that it is a new, different
file (i.e. 2-yourname_pc_front.pdf) Whenever possible, have
the file name and job name you assign when ordering the
same or similar. This helps us match up your files with
your job orders. Also try to keep your names a short as
you can while still being descriptive.
Image on Both Sides
your postcard or other piece will print with the same image/file
on both sides, please let us know. We will hold up your
job while we look contact you for a second file when you
only intended to send one. If you send two files that are
the same, we may think there was an error and hold up your
job to contact you and verify that both files were meant
to be the same.
Your Pasteboard Area
sending native files, remove all unused elements sitting
around, do not leave them sitting in the 'pasteboard' area.
Graphics on the pasteboard can generate errors and stall
production of your job if they are not available to link
to. Problems can also crop up if a font is missing from
the pasteboard or in a graphic on the pasteboard.