File Guidelines

This is a color separation method which uses percentages of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black overlying each other to create a full color composite. This allows the full range of Pantone® equivalent colors to be printed using only four plates.

These are special premixed inks used instead of or in addition to process colors. Each spot color will require its own plate in addition to the plates being used for any process colors being printed.

This is a color separation method which uses percentages of Red, Green and Blue overlaying each other to create a full color composite. RGB colors are only recommended for use on the internet as their composition is designed for viewing on screen and do not separate well. We request that all RGB images be converted to CMYK in advance.

When an aspect of your design covers the entire page, or if a particular image extends past the edge of your document on any given side, that image will need to bleed off the page. This means that the image will need to extend off the edge of the page by no less than 1/8” or .125” to assure proper coverage and room for trim. Once printed the paper to cut to size, removing that extra image.

Line Screen (also known as “lines per inch” or “lpi”) refers to how many lines of dots appear per linear inch on a printed piece or negative. Common presses range from 80 to 200 lpi; higher line screen allows more detail in photos and graphics, but is often more expensive. Paper types play a large factor in determining lpi on output.

Resolution refers to the number of ppi (pixels) per inch or dpi (dots) per inch. We recommend no less than 300 dpi at the size the art is being used, anything less will not have the clean detail you may desire in your finished piece. Line art (black & white images with no screens) need a much higher resolution, we recommend 1,200 dpi. Really large line art images may need to be reduced to 600 dpi, but should not be lower.

Beware of photo images received off the web, many offer RGB images that are a small size at only 72 dpi. These images usually do not look good when enlarged.

Programs we utilize: QuarkXPress™ • PageMaker® • InDesign®

A Page Layout Program is used to compile text and graphics to create an array of documents such as business cards, letterhead, a variety of forms, and multipage magazines or books just to name a few.

A Support or Link is any object such as graphics, photographs, PDFs or other forms of art used in a document to enhance its appearance. In order for the page layout program to refer to the information in the support/link files when outputting, the supports/links will need to be supplied. Without the support files the document will not output properly.

IMPORTANT: supports/links should not be embedded, but rather linked to your document.

It is very important to collect and submit all of the Screen and Printer Fonts used in your document. We have found that given the vast variations in even the most common of fonts, the fonts we have in our Font Library may not exactly match the font or fonts you choose for your document. Mismatched fonts could result in the text of your document reflowing.

TIP: One way to assure that the most current supports and fonts are being provided is to perform a “Collect for Output”. Most page layout programs have some form of collection function. Check your operations manual to see if your program supports this function or if you are unsure how it should be done.

Please note, some page layout programs do not collect fonts, in this event you will need to collect them manually.

Just can’t figure something out?
Give us a call at 322-0611 and ask for our Pre-press Department, we will be happy to assist you.

Programs we utilize: Illustrator® 10 • FreeHand® 10 • CorelDRAW® 10

Art created in a vector program is created using mathematical formulas, which means it can be enlarged or reduced to any size and still keep its crisp smooth edges. For instance the edges of a 2”x 2” vector logo will be just as smooth when stretched 10”x 10”.

We request that all vector art be provided in CMYK not RGB, also that the preview for the art be CMYK as well.

If the image was created using spot (PMS) colors please make sure the spot (PMS) colors in the Art Program match the spot (PMS) colors being used in the Page Layout document.

If the document being printed is going to be a 4-color job, please turn all spot (PMS) colors in your vector art to process colors and remove any unused swatches from your color pallet.

All fonts should to be converted to curves, this will prevent text reflow problems.

Spot (PMS) Colors
Spot Colors are special premixed colors used instead of or in addition to process colors. Each spot color requires its own plate when going to the press. For the best color match use Pantone® colors when choosing spot colors.

Technology for the use of transparencies is getting better all the time. Please check your operator’s manual for the proper use of this effect as it can cause complications.

Please provide the linked images when linking outside images to your vector image. Missing images will prevent us from successfully outputting your document. All links need to be CMYK, Grayscale or Bitmap and at least 300 dpi.

Please export CorelDRAW® files as “eps” files with the text converted to outlines. All linked images will need to be CMYK, Grayscale or Bitmap and at least 300 dpi, and accompany file.

Programs we utilize: Photoshop® 6.01

Art created in a raster program is made up of pixels or dots. For instance a 300 dpi image will have 300 dots per inch, which is referred to as its resolution. Raster art is dependent on its resolution – the higher the resolution the smoother and clearer the image. Raster art does not enlarge successfully and should be created to at least fit the size inwhich it will be use. For instance a 2”x2” rasterized logo will not have smooth edges when stretched to 4”x4”.

We request that all raster art be 300 dpi at the size it is being used and provided in CMYK, Grayscale or Bitmap “tiff” or “eps” files.

Please do not use the ICC Color Profile option when saving the image, and also convert all RGB images to CMYK, Grayscale or Bitmap “tiff” or “eps” files.

Spot (PMS) Colors (300 dpi at least)
Spot (PMS) Colors are special premixed colors used instead of or in addition to process colors. Each spot color requires its own plate when going to the press. To use spot colors in raster art you will need to create spot channels or created Monotone, Duotone, Tritone or Quadtrone art. Artwork which is intended to use spot (PMS) colors can also be separated out and a separate Bitmap file provided for each color being used; this is a little trickier and may cause registration problems.

Multi-Color Art (300 dpi at least)
Multi-color images typically separate into CMYK (process colors), RGB (red, green, blue), Lab or Index colors; and only utilize Spot (PMS) Colors when used as noted above. Unless using Spot (PMS) Colors we request all images be converted to CMYK.

Grayscale Art (300 dpi)
A grayscale image can be colored in most Page Layout Programs; 256 levels of shading provides visible contrast in the image.

Bitmap (Line Art) (600 – 1,200 dpi)
A bitmap image is used to reproduce line art that is created using 100% black (see “Resolution” for more information). These images can also be colored any color in most Page Layout Programs.

A PDF (Portable Document Format) is a format you can save your Page Layout, Vector or Raster files in. PDFs are used to eliminate cross-platform issues when sending your document to a vendor.

We request that you do the following to all PDFs. Under “Settings” in your distiller go to the following tabs:

Choose the “Acrobat 4.0” setting. Check the “Optimize for Fast Web View” box and the “Auto-Rotate Pages” box then choose “Collectively by File” in the drop-down menu.

Choose “All” next to “Page Range”; “Left” next to “Binding”, and type in 600 next to “Resolution”. Our settings under “Default Page Size” are 8.5, 11.0 and Inches.

Use the “Bicubic Downsampling to” option with the “dpi” settings at 300 and 450 throughout. Also check the box next to “Compress Text and Line Art”. All others leave unchecked.

Check the “Embed All Fonts” box and the “Subset embedded fonts when…” box and type in 100 in the “%” box.

Choose “None” next to “Settings File”; under “Color Management Policies” choose “Leave Color Unchanged”; leave “Intent” at “Default”; and choose “Preserve” next to “Transfer Functions”.

Check the following boxes:

“Allow PostScript file to Override…”
“Preserve Level 2 copypage…”
“Illustrator Overprint Mode”
“Convert gradients to smooth shades”
“Process DSC Comments”
“Resize Page and Center Artwork…”
“Preserve Document Information…”

Using these settings will assist in the success of outputting your PDF files.