My images are only 72 dpi, not 300dpi, can I use them in my file?
Images less than 300dpi are not commercial print quality, therefore we recommend you do not use any images or graphics at a lower resolution than 300dpi. Images from websites are usually 72 dpi, not 300 dpi. In addition, Microsoft® Office applications have a general resolution of 96 dpi which are still not commercial print quality. When you increase the dpi of an image you decrease the actual size so it is possible to resize your object to 300 dpi as long as your original image is large enough.
If your image is only 72 dpi but you want to use it anyway, please be aware that the end result will be fuzzy, pixilated and the edges will be jagged. If you want to place an order with us and know that images are 72 dpi but want to proceed anyway, please note that when submitting your files.
Can I just convert my images from RGB to CMYK?
Files that are converted from an RGB color space to a CMYK color space will see a distinct shift in color values. Photographs will be less noticeable than blocks of color but depending on the image there will be color variations.
How can I be sure that my file is print-ready?
If you’re not sure that your file will work, just send it to us and we’ll look it over. If we discover anything that will keep us from producing the printed piece you want, we’ll let you know. Please remember, we will only look for print-specific problems in your file. We will not make design suggestions, check your spelling or correct your grammar. The customer is responsible for proofreading all documents.
What is the difference between the RGB and CMYK color format?
RGB refers to the primary colors of light, Red, Green and Blue. RGB is the standard format used for video monitors, television screens, digital cameras and scanners. CMYK refers to the primary colors of pigment: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These are the ink colors used in “4-color process printing”, commonly referred to as “full color printing”. RGB and CYMK are not compatible formats. RGB files must be converted to CYMK before printing can occur. It is physically impossible for a printing press to exactly reproduce colors as seen on a computer monitor.
What if I found a mistake in the artwork?
As a customer, you are responsible for the accuracy of your artwork. You are encouraged to carefully inspect the positioning, copy, and design elements in your art files before submitting them to us. Any changes after final approval may incur additional charges.
What are bleeds?
In printing parlance, a bleed is a piece that is printed right to the edge of the paper. We don’t really print to the edge-we print the piece .25″ larger and then trim it down to the finished size. If you want your piece printed right to the edge, be sure to design it from the beginning with an extra .25″ beyond the finished dimensions. For instance, if your finished piece is 8.5″ by 11″, layout your document with a size of 8.75″ by 11.25″. After printing, we’ll trim .125″ from all sides.
What is meant by “image resolution” and what is best for my print job?
Digital images are made up of small dots that combine to form the overall picture. The number of dots making up an image is known as its resolution. Resolution is stated in dots-per-inch or dpi. A typical website image has a resolution of 72 dpi. Images with a resolution of less than 250 dpi will not reproduce well on press, resulting in images that are fuzzy, choppy or grainy. Likewise, a resolution in excess of 300 dpi will not noticeably improve the quality of the image but will definitely increase the size of the file. The optimum resolution for printed images is 300 dpi.
It is important to set the image’s resolution to 300 dpi at the final image size of your printed piece. If you enlarge an image, you lower the resolution since the number of dots remains constant and the size increases. We do not recommend enlarging an image in your layout program more than 125% or reducing more than 30%.
How well will my job match what I see on my monitor?
People are often surprised at how well their printed pieces resemble what they saw on their computer screens as they were designing. However, because of the wide variance in monitor calibrations, and more specifically, the incompatibility of the video (RGB) and commercial printing (CYMK) formats, printed colors typically do not exactly match the colors on any specific monitor. If your project is color sensitive, consulting a Pantone Matching System (PMS) swatch book is your best means for seeing how the colors in your artwork will look once they have been printed.
Do I need to send fonts with my print job?
Whenever possible, convert all text/type in your documents to paths or outlines. This eliminates the need to send fonts with your files. Most page layout software can easily do this conversion.
Note: once the text is converted to paths, it cannot be edited.
If you are sending files in their native application format and do not convert the text to paths or outlines, you must include each font that you have used in your project. Please zip or stuff the fonts accordingly before sending.
Can I use colored text?
It’s best not to colorize small text. All printing presses have a little bit of variance in the positioning of the various color plates. This is called misregistration, which simply means that the cyan, magenta, yellow and black portions of the text characters don’t line up exactly. The result is small colored shadows around the characters. Colored text on large headline type suffers less from misregistration. In fact, misregistration is hardly noticeable down to about a point size of 12. Below that, it becomes very obvious. The same thing holds for reverse text-white text on a black or colored background. Misregistration is a noticeable problem on point sizes smaller than 12.
Why shouldn’t I use the font style settings-bold, italic, etc.-in my software program?
Selecting a font style-bold, italic, underline, shadow-from your application’s font palette will give you a nice result when viewing your project on a monitor and will probably look great when it comes out of your desktop printer. Unfortunately, those font styles will not print correctly on a high-resolution press.
Most mainstream fonts will include fonts specifically drawn to a bold or oblique style. For instance, the GillSans font family includes GillSans, GillSans Condensed, GillSans ExtraBold and GillSans Light. Using an italic or bold font rather than a font style will ensure the proper output on our devices.
Is it necessary to include a printed proof with my project?
Including a printed proof with your file is always a good idea. It allows us to answer most of the questions we have about a partcular job without bothering you. Especially if your project is to be folded or collated, a proof can show us how to proceed.
What types of storage media do you accept?
We prefer to accept files on CD or DVD.
What file formats do you handle in your prepress department?
We accept the following Mac or PC version desktop design formats:
QuarkXPress®, InDesign®, PDF, Pagemaker®
We also accept the following file formats: .eps, .pdf, .tif, .jpeg
Please include a PDF when submitting your native files.
How can I reach someone for questions or instructions?
You can call us at 800-236-1770 and speak to a staff member or you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.