How to Prepare Files. (Please read this. It is important.)
Resolution is also known as dpi (dots per inch) or ppi (pixels per inch). It indicates the number of colored dots or pixels that make up one image. The higher the dots per inch/pixels per inch, the greater the resolution and the clearer the resulting final print will be.
In order for an image to print correctly, all file formats must be submitted at a minimum resolution of 350 dpi at 100% of the final print size. When file resolution is lower than 350 dpi, the final print will have a substantial drop in the image quality. For signage, please submit files with a minimum resolution of 150 dpi.
Our Designs in our Design Studio are at a high quality of 450dpi minimum. Most are 720dpi.
A resolution of 350 dpi means 350 dots per every inch in the design.
High-quality images can be obtained from:
- High-resolution stock photography
- High-quality scanned images
- Digital cameras with a high quality of 2.4 mega pixels or more set at highest quality.
- DO NOT take any images from the Internet, because most images you will find on the web are protected by copyright laws, and these images are not high resolution
Monitor resolution is much lower than the resolution of printers, so just because an image looks sharp on the screen, doesn't mean it will print well.
If purchasing an image from a royalty-free website, please make sure that you choose a high-resolution image of 350 dpi or greater.
What are embedded fonts?
Embedding a font means storing your font information in the file so that when your file is opened on a different computer, the fonts do not vary in appearance. If your fonts are not embedded, a different font may be substituted for your document. To prevent these variations, embed all your fonts in PDF files.
How do I prepare my fonts and files?
The Bleed Zone is the extra margin on a print product that is meant to be trimmed off when the product is trimmed to its final size.
The Cutting Zone, or the trim line, is where the product will be trimmed to its final size.
The Graphic Zone is the area where all the critical elements (text, images, logos, etc.) must be placed, so that they are not trimmed off when the product is trimmed to the final size.
Utilize our Templates when creating your designs as they have all the correct Bleed Zones, Cutting Zones and Graphic Zones already on them.
What about borders on my artwork?
Borders are not recommended due to cutting shifts. If your product is not trimmed exactly on the trimming line, borders may appear uneven. We don’t want that for you so why risk it.
Most people are surprised at how well their job matches what they see. But because of wide differences in monitor calibration and the different technologies used, some printed colors may not exactly match the colors on your specific monitor.
For people who are uploading your designs:
We require that you provide us with print-ready digital files in CMYK color mode. Provide all black and white artwork in grayscale color mode. We do not accept any other color mode as they will not produce optimal printing results.
You will have more control over the appearance of your printed piece if you convert all of the images from RGB to CMYK before converting to PDF and uploading them to us. We want you to be happy, so please, take the time to prepare your file properly. We cannot be responsible for colors when your upload is not converted. Even though monitors always use RGB to display colors, the colors you see on your monitor will more closely match the final printed piece if you are designing them in CMYK.
How to switch to CMYK mode on your computer:
Photoshop - Convert RGB files into CMYK in Photoshop by simply clicking on Image > Mode > CMYK.
Illustrator - Convert RGB files into CMYK in Illustrator by simply clicking File > Document Color Mode > CMYK Color.
How to set your CMYK color Profile for optimal results?
For optimal printing results you should select the CMYK - GRACol2006_Coated1v2.icc color profile to ensure your final printed product matches your design.
Photoshop - Edit > Color Settings > Set to Coated
Illustrator - Edit > Color Settings > Click Advanced Mode and set CMYK to Coated GRACol2006.
What is grayscale color mode?
Grayscale color mode, also known as black and white color mode, is composed of two colors: black and white. It is used to reproduce an image with different shades of grey.
What is Rich Black?
A computer monitor represents only one form of black. In print, there are several ways to represent black, including "rich black". Rich black is a darker, deeper black that combines a percentage of all the four CMYK inks. The values to create rich black for coated stocks are: C = 30, M = 30, Y = 30, and K = 100. The values to create rich black for uncoated stocks are: C = 20, M = 20, Y = 20, and K = 100. For gray densities, we recommend that the file have the following color values: C=10, M=10, Y=10. For the K value, anything under 100 would be considered a gray.
How to match color in our Design Studio to color in your Logo or any color you want?
It’s pretty simple really. What you need to do is open the logo in your design program and sample the color you want from it. Transfer the CMYK settings to the advanced color section for any of the items you want to change the color on. (Such as: Text, Shape, Background, etc…) It will save it so that you can use it for the rest of your design.