Artwork Submission Guide
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For the best printing results we require that your artwork meets basic printing specifications. Here is a simple guideline that will help you or your designer set up final print files. Remember, we are here to help. If you have any questions or if you need to use our graphic design services, please don’t hesitate to CALL TOLL FREE 1-866-474-1095.
What sort of files do we accept?
If you have minimal design and print experience, this may seem a bit confusing at first. To keep things simple, we will generally ask you to send us whatever files you have for us to check over. If we need anything else from you, we will let you know right away.
These are the most common file types we work with:
- Adobe Illustrator (.ai or .eps), Corel Draw (.cdr) or Adobe Photoshop files (.psd)
These programs are capable of creating files with a variety of extensions – but unfortunately, the file extension alone does not guarantee that a file is print worthy. We also need to look at things like image resolution, whether or not the file was created in vectors and if colors and fonts have been specified accordingly.
- Bitmap images such as .jpg, .tiff and .png’s may be used as long as they are 300 dpi or higher at your requested size. We can’t use .gif files or low resolution .jpg’s as these will produce sub-standard printing results.
- PDF files may be used if the original artwork originated from a proper design program such as Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, PhotoShop or InDesign.
Large files exceeding 3MB should be compressed into a Zip folder to send via email. For files larger that 6MB, we will need to arrange a transfer through a free service like “Dropbox“. We cannot use Publisher or Word files.
Set up your files with:
Fonts converted to outlines
(for Adobe Illustrator files, simply select your text, right click and select “outline fonts” from the drop down menu.)
Spot colors within the file should be assigned correct Pantone values
Use the “solid coated” color book – these Pantone numbers will have the “C” extension (example 185C). Spot color files must be in vector format so they can be separated properly. Spot color screens should be applied using a solid color swatch. It’s best not to apply transparencies to lighten a color.
Remember, colors WILL NOT print as they are viewed on screen. The best way to choose color is from a Pantone swatch book. Screen values for spot colors should not be greater than 90% or less than 3%. In this case, it is better to select an appropriate Pantone color.
What are Pantone colors?
Pantone is a universal color matching system that is used by printers and designers worldwide. You can choose your color from a swatch book and any printer will be able to refer to that swatch number for an accurate color match. Most local copy centers such as Kinkos or Staples should have a Pantone swatch book behind the counter for you to look at.
If color matching is important then do not choose a color swatch from your on-screen color palette. It WILL NOT print as you see it on your screen. We cannot stress this enough. Every computer monitor displays color differently.
What is a bleed?
A bleed means that your artwork goes right to the edge of the label or decal. An ink color, text or image that “bleeds” must be set up to extend past the cut line of the label by 1/8”.
What does 1/64″± spot color registration variance actually mean?
This relates mostly to flexographic printing where “registration variance” refers to the shift between the individual rubber color plates during printing. The image below gives an example of what this could look like when two colors are printed side by side. (NOTE: the shift is exaggerated for better illustration).
Registration variance can also apply to cut lines. The image below shows how registration shift can affect printed borders that bleed off the edge of a label.