File Preparation

File Types

We prefer that you send .PDF files with outlined fonts. These files are easier to handle and will likely speed up your turn-around. Remember to add crop marks and flatten your files before uploading.

File Uploads

When uploading your file(s) it's extremely important that the files are clearly named either Page-1, Page-2, etc. Or that you name them Front and Back, as to clearly distinguish the files.

Color Mode

If you send us an RGB file, there is a chance that a color shift may occur and you may not be satisfied with your job. You should always start and finish your designs in CMYK color mode.

Resolution

Low resolution files may be printed as is or will be placed on hold until we receive new files, slowing your turn-around. We only recommend 300 dpi files and no less.

Bleed & Crop Marks

Bleed must extend past the cut-line and will be trimmed from the product during the final cutting phase. When the image is required to extend all the way to the edge, bleed is needed to preserve the finished look and the quality of the final product.

Please keep all text at least 0.125" inside the cut-line.

- The bleed for Standard Products is 0.125".
- The bleed for Booklets and Presentation Folders is 0.25".

When sending an .eps or .pdf, make sure you include crop marks so we can cut the job correctly.

Transparancy Issues

Any transparency issue can be resolved before saving your file. To prevent this, never use shadows, glows, or any other transparency (image or otherwise) on top of a spot color. Always convert your spot color to CMYK and flatten before sending.

Shadows, Glows, and Transparency - All of these effects will cause transparency problems.

Overprint

Primarily used to intentionally overlap inks for a number of reasons, overprint can cause unexpected results. We suggest that you turn all overprint objects off before submitting your files. Unexpected results may occur if you have accidentally set certain objects to overprint. Always check logos and other artwork before submitting.

How to Avoid Blues Printing Purple

When using a blue in your design, always make sure to leave at least a 30% difference in your Cyan and Magenta values. Blue is close to purple in the CMYK spectrum. Remember, use a low amount of magenta whenever using high amounts of cyan to avoid purple. Example: C-100 M-70 Y-0 K-0 When exporting from any program such as Indesign or Illustrator, use these settings to make sure your .PDF files export correctly.

Properly Export .pdf Files

Export settings for .PDF files

Adobe PDF Preset is set to: Press Quality
Preset

Compatibility is set to: Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3)
Compatibility

Compress Text and Line Art is set to: Off
Compress

Grayscale Images

Grayscale images that are converted to CMYK will have a color shift in the final print. That shift may be green or yellow. Always check the CMYK values of your grayscale in the final CMYK document. If there are other values other than K in your grayscale image, there is a chance that the color will vary. To eliminate all values other than K, use your Channel Mixer (adjustment layer) in Photoshop, then click "Monochrome" and adjust accordingly.

Using a Rich Black

If you print black alone as 100% K, the resulting black may not be as dark as you might like. Rich black is an ink mixture of solid black, 100% K, with additional CMY ink values. This results in a darker tone than black ink alone.

We recommend using
C 60 M 40 Y 40 K 100
This will give you a deep, dark, rich black.

Do Not Send Files with Pantone Colors

There are three different ways Pantone colors can affect the way your job prints.

The first is by object effects, such as shadows or glows, on top of your Pantone colors. Here is what the effects will look like on screen:

Here is what the effect looks like after printing:

As you can see, when a Pantone color is under these object effects, transparency issues show up during printing. To avoid this, convert all your Pantone colors into CMYK before submitting your order.

The second way Pantone colors can affect your file is when you use transparent images. Here is what a transparent image looks like on screen:

Here is what a transparent image looks like after printing:

You can see the image is no longer transparent on top of the Pantone color. These white areas will show up during printing. To fix this issue, convert all your Pantone colors into CMYK. If you need to have a Pantone color in your art, for example when doing a silver 877c job, you must create a clipping mask around the image so the white area will not show up. This must be done before submitting the order.

The last way Pantone colors can affect your order is the color conversion between a Pantone color and CMYK. All of our normal printing is done in CMYK unless you specifically order a Silver, MU, or Custom job. If you use Pantone colors in a job that will print CMYK, your job might print with undesirable colors.

Here are some examples of what the Pantone color looks like in the Pantone color book and what the CMYK print will look like:

If you send in a job with Pantone colors, the CMYK conversion will change the Pantone color. Before sending your order, make sure all Pantone colors have been converted to CMYK.