File Preparation FAQ

File Preparation F.A.Q.

Prepress with Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Word and WordPerfect:

We DO NOT accept these file types. These programs are not capable of producing files that we are able to use. Here are the reasons why:

1. These Programs Do Not Support Color Separations.
They are designed to print composite to a laser printer. On a color printer, colors will print normally. On a black and white printer (such and an imagesetter), colors will print as shades of gray. Therefore, solid blue will print as a dark gray; if this is printed as a spot color on a printing press, the result may not be what you expected.

2. These Programs Do Not Support Graphic Links.
When a graphic is placed into a document, it is "embedded." The color information cannot be changed to accommodate spot colors or color separations.

3. These Programs Do Not Support High Resolution.
They are designed to print on a laser printer, typically 600 dots per inch (dpi). Prepress output is capable of 1270-3386 dpi.

Additional File Preparation Information:

What does "Press-Ready" mean?
"Press-Ready" means that your files are ready to be processed into plates for use in our Press. Not all software can save files in a Press-Ready format.

Can I create a file exactly to size?
Only if there is NO bleed required... otherwise you must add 1/8" (0.125") of bleed around all 4 sides of your files.

What's a bleed and why do I need one?
It is the portion of the printed piece that will be trimmed off when cut to the final size. The purpose of a bleed is to continue a color, image or design to the edge of the printed piece.

Can I use images from my digital camera or phone camera?
Yes. You do need to shoot all photos at the highest possible resolution (largest file size or quality) on your camera to insure the best quality when printed. If you shoot a photo on your phone, please use the rear facing camera, it will have the highest resolution. Also, when submitting a photo from your phone, please realize that when enlarged these photos often become distorted.

Can I use images from the web in my project?
Images copied from the web are not suitable for printing. Images on the web are RGB color and are usually 72 or 96 dpi, this is unsuitable for priting which requires 300+ dpi. If necessary we can attempt to recreate a logo or graphic from the web at additional cost, pleae contact us for a quote.

Can you scan my artwork?
We can scan a variety of media up to 8.5" x 14". Please contact us for a quote.

Can you change my artwork?
Depending on the type of artwork submitted, we may be able to make modifications to your file. Please contact us for a quote.

What Spot Color books should I use?
If you choose to submit spot color jobs, please use Pantone+ Solid Coated or Pantone+ Solid Uncoated. We have our equipment calibrated to run these colors. If you require us to translate color from one book to another, we can do that at an additional cost.

Why can't I submit my job in RGB color mode?
A lot of the colors you create in RGB mode are not achievable using standard four-color (CMYK) process printing. If you submit your job in RGB color mode, we will convert it before it goes to press, which will lead to color shifts that you may not be happy with. It is always best to create your document from the start in CMYK format to ensure that you have a better idea of how your colors are going to print.

If I provide a color proof, can you match to it?
Do to the variety of consumer printers and inks we highly recommend you request a color proof with your order if color matching is critical.

Why did the colors print differently from the colors on my monitor?
Monitors display colors in RGB... not CMYK. Most monitors are not calibrated for color accuracy. There is also a wide range of gamma differences in PCs, Macs and various manufacturers of monitors. Room lighting can also have an impact on your perception of color. Leave the color to us - we're the experts!