FAQ > File Preparation

File Preparation

What file formats and types do you accept?

We can take any Mac or PC version of InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Word, PowerPoint, or any file output as a PDF. PDF files are preferred, but we also accept Postscript Files, TIF, TIFF, JPG, EPS and PNG.

How do I print with a border?

With ALL designed material we recommend you leave 1/4″ (0.25) from all surrounding edges of your printed piece. If you leave less than 1/4″ (0.25), we cannot be held responsible for unequal borders from top to bottom and from side to side. This is due to the final cutting process in which some “draw” or “slippage” occurs in that cutting process. This is a print industry standard.

What is bleed and how much do I need to provide?

Bleed is the color, type or image that extends beyond the trim marks on a page. To have your color, type or image go all the way to the edge after trimming, we recommend bleeding or extending your color, type or image beyond the final page size by 1/8″ (0.125). So if your final page size is 8.5″ x 11″ and your color, type or image is full bleed (extending beyond each of the 4 edges), the file submitted for printing needs to be 8.75″ x 11.25″.

How come 300 DPI resolution for my images is so important?

To achieve the sharp, bright color and image reproduction that our print presses deliver, images of 300 DPI are required. Your images need to be saved at a resolution of 300 DPI in the final size that they will be used. Some people take images from the internet in preparing their print publication. These internet images are usually only 72 DPI in order for the web pages to load quickly. Use of them will result in very poor print quality.

What are the differences between CMYK vs. RGB color spaces?

To over-simplify these two different color spaces:

RGB is a color space based on light. Used in digital cameras, computer monitors, digital scanners and some desktop printers.

CMYK is a color spaced based on ink. Used for commercial printing press projects.

CMYK stands for the 4 color process inks used offset press printing — Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow and black ( K is used so as to not confuse it with blue or cyan). Combining these colors of ink allows for reproduction of thousands of colors, and is sometimes called “full color” printing. The issue in commercial printing projects arises from the fact that the RGB color space does not correspond exactly to the CMYK color space. It is therefore possible for you to see colors on your computer monitor that cannot be reproduced by a printing press.

RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue. Color is a form of light energy that comes in waves. The visual spectrum is continuous. However, most dominant colors in the spectrum are red, green and blue.

RGB color is in fact to color as we see it. Or to be more specific, light waves, such as the ones that come from your computer monitor. Colors displayed on computer monitors and captured by scanners and digital cameras are in RGB. When designing for the Internet, RGB is the color space that you use. Many desktop color printers are designed to interpret RGB color, and translate it into ink on a page.

How should I prepare my files to be “print ready”?

The following check list will help ensure that your file is print ready:

  • We accept native files from the most common desk top publishing programs. In fact we often prefer them. If there is an issue with your file that we need to fix, there may be an extra charge.
  • Be sure that all files have been converted to CMYK color mode. We can do a conversion for you from RGB to CMYK for you. However, we do so using standard Photoshop conversion values which may or may not yield the result you are looking for.
  • All images need to be 300 DPI.
  • Text must be at least 1/8″ (0.125) inside of the cut line on all sides.
  • If your page bleeds, please provide 1/8″ (0.125) on each edge.
  • If your project is a book or catalog, leave a gutter (a gutter is the space between the text and spine of the page) between folded pages.  To allow for a quarter-inch margin on each page, the gutter will need to be a half-inch. Margins should be at least 3/8″ (0.375) on all edges of a page.
  • Outline all fonts when working in Photoshop or Illustrator, imbed fonts in other programs and flatten all layers.
  • Include all files needed to process the job: page layout files, imported images, fonts and other support files.
  • If your files are large (above 10 MB), use WinZip on a PC or Stuffit on a Mac to compress all the files into a single file for uploading.