Home Project Preparation Design It Yourself File Guidelines
File Guidelines

We support both Macintosh and Windows Platforms.

Following these file preparation guidelines will ensure your product is produced quickly and efficiently. We are happy to make alterations to your file if necessary, however, we hope to minimize the need for changes to your file or additional charges for those changes by providing these file preparation guidelines for your reference.

Accepted Media
Accepted Software Applications
Scanned Images
Naming Your Files
Flattened Images vs. Layers
About PDF Files
Tips on How to Avoid Common Mistakes
How Do I Check For Proper Imposition or Backup?


Accepted Media

- CD Recordable
- DVD Recordable
- FTP Site*

*For a copy of ftp instructions or assistance with the ftp site, please contact your
Printing Consultant. Please compress all files for transfer to the ftp site using Stuffit
or Winzip. File sizes uploaded to the ftp site should not exceed 500MB.

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Accepted Software Applications

- QuarkXpress
- Pagemaker
- Adobe Illustrator
- Macromedia Freehand
- Adobe InDesign
- Adobe Photoshop
- Creative Suite
- Microsoft Word (text only)


Our preference is to receive print ready .PDF files. Based on our experience,
Microsoft Publisher and Corel Draw applications produce unpredictable results in the
final product. We recommend using applications other than these for preparing print

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Scanned Images

All photos and line art must be scanned at 100% of their final size. Be sure to add for bleed if necessary.

Photos should be scanned at 300 dpi and line art should be scanned at 1200dpi.

Save scanned images in CMYK (color mode) .TIF format and include all images with your layout.

Save black and white line art in bitmap .TIF format. Please note saving files as a .JPG may result in a color shift from the original image.

Scale and rotate images as needed before placing them in the layout.

Allow at least 1/8” bleed for trim when the design requires it.

We can only be responsible for color reproduction from customer supplied scans that meet industry standards as noted above. We suggest requesting calibration tools before you begin your design and a hard proof to verify color of your images where color is critical. We will gladly color correct your images at your request. If color correction is desired, the original image should be submitted with the scan for comparison. Additional charges will apply.

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We use and recommend Type 1 PostScript, TrueType or Open Type fonts.

If you are submitting a file other than a .PDF, include both screen fonts (font suitcase) and all PostScript printer fonts for all faces used in your document and all linked artwork.

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Naming Your Files

- Use only numbers and lower case letters
- Use an underscore to separate words
      For example: picture_boy1.tif

- Do not use spaces, dashes, periods or capital letters
- Do not use slashes, dollar signs, hyphens, commas, etc.
- Do not use more than 18 characters

Following these file naming guidelines will ensure that your files are processed
quickly and without error.

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Flattened Images vs. Layers

If you are submitting a file other than a .PDF, it is important that you leave your file in layers and that you do not flatten the image. Once the image has been flattened, we can’t make alterations to the file should any be required to ensure accurate printing of your product. Please do not leave extra channels.

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About PDF Files

Following are some helpful tips when submitting a .PDF file for print production:

Exclude all graphics you don’t want to print – such as score, fold or trim lines. These should be placed in another file or on the last page of the document.

Use CMYK color for pictures and all artwork

Embed all fonts

Do not downsample images

Check the ‘leave color unchanged’ box

Check the ‘compress text and line art’ box

Set registration to center and the offset to at least 10 pt.

Set paper size to custom and enter dimensions that are at least 1” larger than the width and height of your document

Set page positioning to center and orientation to portrait

Set print colors to as is or color conversion

Set your resolution to 2400 and frequency to 175

Set bleed to .125”

If you’re a windows user, be sure to check the PDF properties, specifically the font embedding tab. Be sure the “never embed list” is empty. This will ensure that all your fonts will be embedded properly.

Because we are unable to make modifications to a .PDF file, these files are printed as submitted.

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Tips on How to Avoid Common Mistakes

Create your documents at their actual size except when using PhotoShop. In PhotoShop, bleed will need to be added to the document size.

Images and color art should be imported at 100% and in the correct position. If an element needs to be rotated, that should be done before importing.

Indicate fold lines, score lines, and perforation lines on a separate page.

Check your font usage and include all screen and printer fonts used in all files.

Include all files linked to your document. Do not store files in your document when using Pagemaker, Quark or InDesign.

Keyboarded Fonts: This happens when you select the “Bold” or “Italic” from the style list instead of selecting the actual bold or italicized font. Our system will not recognize keyboarded fonts and, as a result, your type will default to a basic font.

Placement of Printed Matter: Copy or images that do not bleed should always be 3 /16” inside the trim line. If your product is saddle stitched or spiral bound keep printed matter ¼” inside the trim or gutter. If your product will perfect bind or be hole punched, allow 3/8” inside the trim and gutter. This is to ensure that important printed matter is not cut off in the trimming process.

Stored Files vs. Linked Files: When files such as images or scanned artwork are imported into your document, we will need the original file you imported.

Pagemaker: When asked, “Do you want to place picture permanently in the document?” select “No” and the image will then be linked.

CMYK vs. RGB: Colors in your layout and scanned images must be converted to CMYK process colors to print.

File Names: It’s important to follow file naming guidelines. See Naming Your Files for details.

Submit single pages in numerical order for catalog and calendar products.

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How Do I Check For Proper Imposition or Backup?

We print files top-to-top when working from client supplied artwork. Before submitting your files, we recommend you print the file first, placing pages back-to-back. Do the front and back appear correctly when folded? If not, the back page may need to be rotated in your file. The best way to insure correct placement of front and back panels on any folded piece, is to include a folding sample with your order.

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