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Frequently Asked Questions for Printing and Design

     We try to explain everything in Plain English so it's easy for everyone to follow.   If you can not find the answer here in the FAQ for Printing.  Please feel free to down load  our Graphic Design Guide. It is filled with lots of useful information.   It can be found on the Templates page or just  Click Here   If you're still having problems understanding how to submit art then give us a call. We'll be happy to help you out!

Table of Contents

  1. What file types do you guys require?
  2. Why can't you accept the above mentioned file types?

  3. Why are the colors different on my screen than on the printed flyers?
  4. What resolution do you guys require?
  5. What's a bleed?
  6. What's all this talk about a Safe Area for my Text?
  7. What's the best file type to submit?
  8. What size do you want my design? Do you need me to add any bleed?
  9. What size does the art for a business card have to be?
  10. I need to submit art for a Magazine or Booklet. Is it the same as submitting art for flyers?

Q: What file types do we require?

A: The files we accept are .JPG, .PDF, Flattened .PSD, and .TIF. All files must be flattened so it is just pixel data with no fonts attached. We cannot accept; Illustrator Files, Quark Files, Publisher Files, Firework Files, Flash Files, or MSPaint Files (believe me, we've seen our share of MSPaint files). If you want to Submit the above file types please call us first.  If you convert all text to outlines and flatten the file we will consider using it.  But again please call us first so we can walk you threw saving the file out.

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Q: Why can't you accept the above mentioned file types?

A: We choose not to accept them because there is too much room for error. We do not have all the fonts installed onto our machines and sometimes they get lost in the transfer. Generally all design software will let you save-as or export as one of the required file types. Once the images are in the required file types they are "finalized" and everything is embedded so it alleviates any possibility for errors. Also, some of the file types are not high enough resolution in those formats.

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Q: Why are the colors different on my screen than on the printed flyers?

A: Because your monitor is broken. No, seriously it's because you're probably designing the job in RGB (Red Green and Blue) color mode which is the industry default for most graphic applications. We are a four color printer so when you submit a file as an RGB we have to convert it to CMYK (Cyan Magenta Yellow and Black) color mode. The Reds, Greens, and Blues will lose value after the conversion and it won't look the same. We require all of our files to be submitted as CMYK. If not, we will convert them for you and there will be some color deviation. To get the closest match of how your job is going to look when printed design it in CMYK color mode.

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Q: What resolution do you guys require?

A: We are a high resolution printer so we require all submitted files to be 300dpi (Dots Per Inch). If you design a job at 72dpi or lower we cannot use the file. Our prepress will resize it to 300dpi therefore "stretching" the image out. See the example below where one image was created at 300dpi, the other was created at 72dpi and then stretched out to 300dpi.

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Q: What's a bleed?

A: A bleed is a graphic that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming. You can have images that "bleed" off the edge of the design. Any graphic that extends past the original canvas size is considered a bleed. It will be trimmed to the size of the job so the graphics that extend will be trimmed. You do not want to have text bleeding off the edges because they will get cut and you will lose important information in the process.

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Q: What's all this talk about a Safe Area for my Text?

A: After we print your job we have to cut it out from the print sheet. Our cutters are very precise but generally we need to cut 1/16" to 1/8" into your job so there is no white border. If you have text that goes all the way to the edge then you will lose portions of that text that hug the edge. It is important to keep all your text at least 1/8" in from the edge of the design. If you want a precise border size then adjust the border so it is 1/8" bigger to help compensate for the cut.

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Q: What's the best file type to submit?

A: The best file type to submit would be a flattened .TIF file since it's not compressed. However, this usually leads to a very large file size. A compressed .JPG will work just as well as an uncompressed .TIF and will drop the file size down tremendously. The file size issue comes into play when you're uploading your art to our server. If you save it as a .TIF and using a dial up modem, grab yourself a copy of "Gone with the Wind" or take a short vacation because it's going to take a while to upload.

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Q: What size do you want my design? Do you need me to add any bleed?

A: What ever size job you order is the exact size we need the art submitted. If you order a 4" x 6" postcard then the art you submit will be exactly 4" x 6". Keep in mind the "safe area" for the text. If you submit art that is larger than the 4" x 6" dimensions then we usually will shrink/enlarge to fit into the allocated space. There is one exception to this rule and it applies to business cards because of the size of them.

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Q: What size does the art for a business card have to be?

A: Due to the small size of a final business card we require that the design be submitted at 3.625" x 2.125". In order for us to cut the card precisely to 3.5" x 2" we need that 1/8" so we don't cut into your cards. Use the "safe area" information when designing your business cards because the 1/16" will be cut off.

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Q: I need to submit art for a Magazine or Booklet. Is it the same as submitting art for flyers?

A: The specs are pretty much the same as flyer and postcard art submissions. We require all the text be within 1/8th inch from the page edge. We do require you send the art for each page separately. Each page should be within it's own document...i.e...cover, page1, page2, page3 and etc. Do not submit art canvassed into one monstrous .PDF file and have us try to decipher which page is which. We're usually pretty good at figuring it out unless there are no page numbers. If you submit art for a magazine or booklet in this manner we will turn it over to our children and let them arrange the pages for you. No, seriously we do need the art in separate files and each individually labeled according to page number.

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