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Preparing the Artwork

Below are some tips and tricks to use when creating graphic files for printing purposes. 

  • Specify page sizes in the document as the finished size.
  • For multiple page documents or booklets, artwork should be created as single pages and kept in the correct order in the file. (Ex: Front Cover, Inside Front Cover, Page 1, 2, 3, etc., Inside Back Cover and Back Cover.) Please refrain from creating two pages (or spreads) as one page in any layout software.
  • Bleeds must be included if elements on the page touch the edges of the page where it will be trimmed to final size.  Standard Bleed size is 1/8" (Ex: Final page size of 8.5" x 11" must have bleed extending an extra .125" on all sides.)
  • Image resolution that will result in the best quality photographs is 300 ppi (pixels per inch). Lower resolution (200 ppi) images may be acceptable when printing on a digital press.
  • Convert image colors from RGB to CMYK.
  • Acceptable image file types are TIFF, PSD, EPS, AI, PDF and JPEG (saved using Maximum Image Quality). GIF image files are for use in website design only.
  • Spot colors should be converted to process colors when printing as full color (4-color process).
  • Colors printing as Pantone spot colors on press, should be set using the layout software's color palette and choosing the correct ink color. Make sure the color swatch is set to "Spot". (Ex: The final printed piece will be Black and Red. Choose a Red color swatch such as Pantone 200 C for all red elements.)
  • If a deep or "rich" black color is desired, use a mix of 15% Cyan, 10% Magenta, 10% Yellow and 100% Black. This will result in a very pleasing rich black that will dry quickly and not delay the printing process. Please Do Not use "Registration" color for any elements in the document. Use of "Registration" color will result in 100% Cyan, 100% Magenta, 100% Yellow and 100% Black, which is entirely too much ink density on the sheet of paper, resulting in a type of INK SLUDGE that will not completely dry.
  • When creating a PDF, choose the PRESS READY setting which will maintain the resolution of all images. If there are elements that bleed, choose to keep bleeds and crop marks when creating the PDF.
  • PDF files should always be submitted as single pages instead of spreads.
  • Include all images, graphics and fonts when submitting Native files for printing. This can be accomplished in InDesign by going to the FILE menu and choosing PACKAGE and in Quark XPress by going to the FILE menu and choosing COLLECT FOR OUTPUT. This will result in a new folder that includes all elements used to create the document.
  • Compress files and folders by Zipping before transmitting electronically either by email or ftp. This will protect files from corruption rendering them unusable. PDFs are the exception since they are considered cross-platform files that can be shared without need for further protection.

​We hope this information is informative and helpful to you. Please contact our graphics department or your CSR if you have any other questions or need further instructions.