Artwork Tips and Requirements

Artwork Tips and Requirements

Here are some basic facts and tips for getting the best possible printing results from your artwork

Design: We offer full in-house design services, whether that involves creating an entire design from scratch, modifying or enhancing existing artwork or making simple corrections or updates. Any of this work requires a go-ahead from the client. Our standard rate is $59.00 per hour with a 15-minute minimum. For more extensive projects flat rates are available.

Accepted File Types: Preferred format is a high-resolution PDF file, set to Commercial Press Quality. Certain fonts may not work well with PDF so we require all fonts to be outlined or the file flattened before you convert to a PDF. We also accept Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, JPEG and TIFF formats. MS Word documents require extensive work to make them print-ready and there is a minimum $25.00 surcharge for any files received in this format.

Transparencies: these should be flattened and files outlined before submitting your artwork.

Resolution: All artwork must have a minimum of 300 dots per inch (DPI) resolution, except for banners, which should be 100 DPI. Images with less than 300 DPI will reproduce poorly on the press, causing the image appear fuzzy and pixilated. We cannot be responsible for any imperfections due to submission of a low resolution image. You should not use any images from an Internet website, because the Internet displays images at 72 DPI, which is low resolution and may result in loss of quality. You should also not try to increase the resolution from a low resolution image to a higher one by increasing the DPI. This too will create a loss of quality.

Dimensions: Your dimensions should be the exact trim size plus a .125 bleed on each dimension (e.g., a 2 x 3.5 business card would be 2.125 x 3.625). You should not have more canvas size than required. The safe area for text and graphics is exactly 1/8″ inside of the trim area. This safe area is for important text and artwork since the trim may shift during the trimming phase of production.

Templates: These are these are available for many products on our website. You can find these at Templates. If a template is available we highly recommend using it to create your artwork. Please remove the template before submitting your artwork.

Color: All artwork and images must be provided in CMYK color mode (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) for all color side(s) and in grayscale for the backside (if it is just black). You must convert all of the images from RGB to CMYK before sending them to us. We can make this conversion for you upon request, but please note that conversion to CMYK may cause colors to shift, though we do our best to closely match the colors in your order. However, we cannot guarantee that the colors in your converted file will exactly match the colors of the images that you submitted to us in RGB format and will not be responsible for any imperfections deriving from images being sent RGB format.

Rich Black: Extensive areas of solid black can lead to complications if designed using 100% black rather than a CMYK mix (known as rich black). For example, it may cause UV to not apply well or cause your printed piece to appear splotchy due to improper drying. To prevent this we recommend using a rich black mix of 50% Cyan, 50% Magenta, 20% Yellow and 100% Black. This does not apply to black text, which should simply be 100% black with no other color mix.

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True Blue:The color blue is a color combination of Cyan and Magenta values. The higher the Magenta value, the higher the risk of your blues turning purple. To avoid your blues from turning purple make sure the Magenta value is at least 35% lower that the Cyan value. For example: 100% Cyan and 100% Magenta equals Purple. Although this combination looks blue on your computer screen, it will print purple.

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Borders: We accept but do not recommend placing borders around artwork where they come close to but do not touch the edge of the page. If a border is too close to the cut line the spaces beyond the borders may appear uneven on one or more sides. Even though cutting machines are computerized and may be perfectly aligned to the paper, shifts may still occur during the trimming process and can throw off the look of your piece if the tolerances have been made too tight. It’s always better not to invite trouble unless there are compelling reasons why the piece must be that way.

Grayscale: If a grayscale image converts to CMYK a color shift will occur in the final printed piece. Always check the color values of your grayscale images in your final document to ensure there are no other color values than black. This will prevent a color shift from occurring.

Spot UV, Foiling or Embossing: When creating a mask you must create a separate file along with your regular artwork. This file must be at 100% black (no other colors, gradients, or shading) and white. The black will represent where the foil or embossing will be placed almost like a template over your artwork. Anywhere white will not be foiled or embossed. If you have foiling with UV please keep the foil 1/8″ from any UV. If UV is placed under any of the foiling it will tend to flake off so please check your artwork carefully.

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Banners: Artwork must be done at actual size. When submitting a rasterized image please have it at 100 DPI. No additional bleed space is required for banners.

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