Helpful hints for providing great artwork!

These guidelines will help you create a file that will produce a professional-looking printed product.   At your request, we will print a proof at no cost for you to review. Additional proofs because your artwork does not meet our guidelines are an additional $25.00.

Please review these guidelines before designing your work, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Document & Print Size — Digital files must be submitted at the size of desired output.  Set your document page size to match the actual print size (including bleed area) in your layout program.

File Type — PDF is the preferred file type for programs containing text.  It allows us to print your document using the font(s) you have chosen.  If you cannot create a PDF file there is a strong likelihood that fonts may not look the same when printed as they did when you created the document.

Color — Please choose CMYK when assigning color to your document.  Our digital printers use combinations of four colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) to achieve the colors you see on your computer monitor.  Our software will convert any other color mode to CMYK before printing, possibly resulting in color matching issues.  If color matching is an issue, let us know!  You can provide us with a hard copy or Pantone color codes and we will make every effort to match your colors.

Document Resolution (DPI) — This is the term used to describe the number of dots, or pixels, per inch used to display an image or file. Higher resolution means that more pixels are used to create the image, resulting in a crisper, cleaner image. An image will print pixelated when its resolution is low, or the image is enlarged significantly resulting in loss of quality. As a general guideline, 300 dpi is a sufficient resolution for most printed materials.

Designing with Bleeds

A "bleed" is when your graphics or color extends all the way to the edge of your printed page.  A commercial offset or digital printing press cannot print all the way to the edge of a piece of paper, so your page that has a "bleed" will be printed on an oversize sheet, then trimmed to size.  Sometimes multiple pages will be printed on a larger sheet, then cut down to size.

Since it is impossible to cut exactly to the edge of your design, you'll need to extend your designs past the edge of your page— at least 1/8".

What is the "Safe Zone?"   The safe zone is the 1/8"  inside of the cutting edge in which no text or important information should be placed. Any graphics in this area risk being clipped when cutting.   We recommend that you allow even more - 3/16" - to avoid having your piece look "crowded."

   BLEED - We cut off the bleed area to avoid white strips on the edge.  Make sure any images or colors fill this area.

     TRIM LINE - This is where we make the cuts!

      SAFE AREA - Make sure no text is outside of the safe area, as it may be trimmed off.