Preparing Your Artwork For Print
If you are submitting your own print ready files,
the most preferred format is a PDF with the following parameters
• Fonts must be outlined.
• Flatten all layers
(yes.. your transparencies dont look as good now...but this is a closer simulation to printed material)
• Graphics should be Vector type wherever possible.
• Resolution must be at least 300 dpi on any raster images
• Color mode must be set to CMYK, 8 bit color.
• Gradients must not be set below 20%
• Bleeds must be 1/8 inch on each edge.
• Borders must be at least 1/4 inch from edge.
• Text and critical data must be at least 1/8 inch inside of the cut line on all sides.
We also accept CDR, EPS, AI with the above settings
Some Helpful Artwork Facts
WHAT IS VECTOR ART?
Vector images are shapes and lines drawn in an illustration program (like Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw) that have mathematical dimensions. This allows unlimited scalability without compromising the image quality. Images have smooth edges at all sizes, and file sizes much smaller than bitmap images. Common vector formats are Adobe Illustrator (AI), Encapsulated PostScript (EPS), and Corel Draw (CDR). TrueType, Open Type, and PostScript Font files are also vector files.
Bitmap images are made up of a series of individually defined pixels and have a fixed resolution. A 1” x 1” bitmap, at 300dpi, is 300 pixels wide and 300 high. Bitmap images CAN'T be scaled without losing quality. For printing, the higher the resolution of bitmap files, the better the image quality. Common bitmap formats are TIFF, JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP.
WHY SHOULD MY ART BE IN VECTOR FORMAT?
Vector art provides much cleaner and smoother lines and edges to the art.
CAN A BITMAP IMAGE BE CONVERTED TO VECTOR ART?
Yes, but not always easily. Depending on the complexity of the image, converting bitmaps to vector art can be simple or very time consuming. Usually, converting bitmaps to vector art requires "rebuilding" the art from scratch – matching fonts, and redrawing lines. Some art can be automatically traced by illustration programs, but the results vary depending on the design. Placing a bitmap into an illustration program and saving as an EPS or PDF does NOT convert the file.
WHY DO I HAVE TO “CONVERT FONTS TO OUTLINES” AND HOW DO I DO THAT?
A font is a collection of letters, or glyphs, defined in a specific typeface. Each letter has a description of the shape, and how that shape should be displayed. Fonts can only be displayed on computers where the font file is installed. If the computer opening the document doesn’t have the proper font installed, programs usually substitute another font. Obviously, this can cause problems. Letters in fonts are made up of lines and shapes, and as long as they are confined to a font format, they will behave as fonts. Converting them to plain outlines disconnects the font descriptions from the letters, and keeps the shape from changing. Once the type is converted to outlines, it can no longer be edited as type.
To convert type to outlines, an illustration program like Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw is required. Adobe InDesign is also capable of converting type to outlines. In Illustrator, chose “create outlines” from the Type menu. In CorelDraw, select “Convert to Curves” from the Arrange menu. In InDesign, chose “create outlines” from the Type menu.
PDF files use embedded fonts, and will print and display correctly, but if these files need to be edited, the computer opening the file must have the correct font, or it won’t display properly. It is best to convert fonts to outlines before creating a PDF file. If you cannot do this, then you should also provide the raw fonts used in the creation of your art.
WHAT IF MY ART DOESN’T MEET YOUR SPECIFICATIONS?
When your art comes in, it is inspected to try to ensure it is acceptable. If for any reason we notice the art won’t print well, you will be contacted with information about the problem. Common issues involve embedded fonts, incorrect trapping, thin outlines, too much halftoning, and low resolution bitmaps. If you are unable to correct the issues, an art quote will be provided. Please note... if artwork is provided without the fonts converted to outlines, or artwork isnt flattened, we may not notice this and print errors can occur. Although we do our best to notice these potential problems, we will not be responsible for errors in provided artwork.
I DON’T HAVE AN ILLUSTRATION PROGRAM, HOW DO I CREATE MY ART?
If unable to create your art in an illustration program, you will probably need to hire a graphic designer to do the work for you. If you would like us to prepare the art, let us know and we will give you a quote.
WHY SHOULDN'T I SUBMIT MICROSOFT WORD OR PUBLISHER FILES?
These programs, while powerful, are not designed for creating artwork for commercial presses. We can work with both of these, but errors can occur that are beyond our control. In particular, font changes and layout shifts are common when loaded on different computers. Although we will work with these, we cannot guarantee this will not happen.
If your art doesn’t meet the needed requirements for printing, we will let you know so that the art can be adjusted. If you prefer, we will provide a quote for adjusting art. Art created or adjusted by our art department is billed at $60/hour.
Please check your design for needed text and for typos. Art charges will apply if additional text needs to be added to your art. If specific fonts will be needed for additional text, please provide the font (PC format). If we don’t have access to fonts, there may also be a charge for purchasing fonts (generally $20-$50 per font.)
SUBMITTING ART ELECTRONICALLY
Size all art to 100% of the final print.
Acceptable file formats: EPS, PDF, AI (CS3or eariler), and CDR (X5 or earlier)
All text must be converted to outlines (curves).
Flatten All Layers
Files should be unsecured and editable. Text must be converted to outlines.
FILE FORMATS WE CAN'T GUARANTEE
Art submitted in the formats below require adjustments to prepare them for printing and can have unpredictable print results.
TIFF, JPG, GIF, BMP, PSD or PNG image files (due to resolution settings, image size and other factors, results will vary.)
Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, or other word processing documents must be adjusted prior to printing. Layouts created in these programs can shift from computer to computer, which we may not notice.
UNACCEPTABLE FILE FORMATS
InDesign or QuarkXPress files can not be used. These should be converted to PDF with above specs before submitting.
Open office or similar formats
Printshop Pro / Printshop deluxe or any of the little print from home type software typically purchased at box stores for $29.95. All of these need to be converted to an acceptable format. Unfortunately, due to the large number of these available, we cant tell you how to convert these, but a google search might provide answers.
Fonts that are not converted to outlines may not display or print correctly. If unable to convert fonts ot outlines, please provide the font files (PC format) or the font names. Fonts will be matched as closely as possible, but exact matches cannot be guaranteed. Font matching will incur additional art charges billed at our standard hourly rate. If fonts can not be identified, or if fonts need to be purchased in order to complete your art, additional charges (including the cost of any fonts purchased) will apply.