Hit the brakes! To ensure your artwork reproduces as intended, please review the following guidelines before submitting your files. Click here to download a PDF version of this checklist.
For artwork assistance, we encourage you to contact us.
- Print-ready artwork is submitted as a PDF with no file compression. Artwork that requires modification is supplied packaged from your desktop publishing software.
- Artwork is submitted at its intended size, e.g., US Letter (8.5" x 11") instead of A4 (8.27" x 11.69"). Artwork cannot always cleanly scale without distortion or white margins.
- Artwork is created and exported in a CMYK color space instead of RGB. The CMYK output profile can almost always be left as your program’s default choice.
- Any swatches or Pantone Spot Colors are consistently classified throughout your artwork (e.g., all spot colors use Pantone’s Coated OR Uncoated library, but not both).
- All critical printing elements, such as type, logos, the subject in photos, etc., are at least 0.25" inside your artwork’s cut lines as a “safety margin.” For booklets, we recommend increasing this margin to at least 0.375" from the non-binding edges and at least 0.5" from the binding edge.
- Artwork intended to print to the edge of the sheet contains an additional “bleed margin” beyond the cutlines of at least 0.125". For example, this would make an 8.5" x 11" document 8.75" x 11.25". Bleeds should be free of any essential content. Crop marks are optional, but helpful guides.
- Photos and other graphics are supplied at their highest resolution. If a graphic is blurry on your screen, it will print blurry. Graphics on reading materials should be at least 300 DPI (dots-per-inch). Graphics intended to be viewed from closer than 10 feet should be at least 150 DPI.
- Proper copyright and usage permissions are received for fonts, stock photography, and other licensed design elements and do not contain watermarks.
- Multi-page documents are submitted as single, sequential pages. Documents should not be supplied in spreads.
- All concerning fonts are converted to outlines. We especially recommend this step for uncommon typefaces featuring exaggerated ascenders, descenders, accents, decorations, and swashes.
- All design elements featuring excessive layers, transparencies, blending modes, drop shadows, and object effects are flattened or rasterized.
- Die cutting and kiss cutting lines are produced as vector strokes and supplied either as an additional artwork layer, separate PDF, or overprinted spot color. Foiling and embossing graphics are supplied in a vector format as a spot color or process black.