File types: we prefer high-resolution PDFs (we especially like PDF/X compliant files), but we do support other file types, meaning we have the software to edit the following file types and prepare them for printing (additional fees may apply):
- Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
- Adobe Illustrator (.ai)
- Adobe InDesign (.indd)
- Adobe Photoshop (.psd)
- Vector art files (.eps, .ai or .svg)
Colors: Send as CMYK or grayscale. If your document is a combination of both color and black, please be sure the pages you want to print in black are grayscale. Otherwise they will print in color and you will be billed accordingly.
Fonts: Fonts are a huge issue these days. There are too many of them and we can’t possibly have them all installed on our machines. Adobe Type I or TrueType fonts may be used without worry on your end. However, for all other fonts you need to take extra steps to ensure your file prints properly. Here are the options:
- Include fonts when you export your file package
- Embed fonts in your high-res PDF by exporting to PDF/X-1a
- Convert fonts to outlines/paths in your design software (note: we will have trouble doing any editing with this method)
If you need help doing any of this, call us. (You can also come in with your laptop or bring a thumbdrive/flashdrive containing all the elements associated with your file and we can teach you how to export properly.)
Document setup: Your art should be set-up correctly and sent in the exact size you want it to print so we know where to cut the final piece. If you want bleeds, keep reading.
Bleeds: If you don’t include extensions (also referred to as the “bleed area” or a “bleed box”) and trim marks (also referred to as “crop marks”) in your art files, we won’t know your art is supposed to have bleeds or where it should be trimmed! Please use a minimum of 0.125 inch bleed area and 0.125 inch trim area. That means you need to extend your art at least 1/8 inch beyond the crop marks and also to keep your important elements at least 1/8 inch away from where we’ll be cutting. For wide format prints increase to 0.25 inches on both of these settings. Again, if you need help with any of these things please call us.
Size: for files larger than 100mb please contact us for guest FTP login.
What is “camera-ready”?
To us it means your file is finished and it contains all elements needed to print correctly. Here are some examples:
1. true vector graphics — because they can be output to the highest quality at any scale
2. native InDesign (.indd) file packages or editable .ai files
3. PDF/x-1a files
What are NOT “camera-ready”?
1. raster files — the quality of your print will depend upon resolution (be careful about pulling 72dpi images from the web and expecting good print results)
2. files containing uncommon fonts and text which are not outlined, or files which have links to objects which are not included — these will not print as expected
3. files from software such as Microsoft Word which are generally not suitable for commercial printing — these may print differently than expected*
*Does this mean we can’t print your Word document? No, it doesn’t. We print Microsoft Office files all the time. What it means is that your Office file may print differently than it appeared on your machine and any issues will be your responsibility. We will not use a Word file to print business cards, postcards or other items requiring a precise layout. One way to prevent problems is to convert it to .pdf (using the standard PDF/x-1a in your Adobe print driver or Distiller settings) and then review the file carefully before sending it to us.
Questions about any of this? Please call us!