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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What type of files can I send?
We recommend saving as a .PDF You may also send the file in the following types: jpg, jpeg, psd, tif, tiff, eps, ai, and png We prefer that you send .PDF and .EPS files with outlined fonts. These files are easier to handle and will likely speed up your turn-around. Remember to add crop marks and flatten your files before uploading.
- What color mode should my files be?
If you send us an RGB file, there is a chance that a color shift may occur and you may not be satisfied with your job. You should always start and finish your designs in CMYK color mode.
- What resolution should my file be?
We always ask for a minimum 300 DPI for all files, although, low resolution files may be printed as-is (upon request). Otherwise, we will be place your order on hold until we receive new files.
- What is a 'bleed' and why would I need it?
A ‘bleed’ is, basically, a border that will but cut off and discarded. Most of our customers mistake ‘bleeding’ for ‘enlarging’, which causes more harm than good. All printing jobs require an outside margin. This is because presses/printers can not print precisely to the edge of a sheet of paper. For example, if you send us an 8.5″x11″ file that is solid red, you will not receive solid red 8.5″x11″ prints! They will be closer to 8.25″x10.75″ with approximately 0.125″ of white border. To achieve a full 8.5″x11 red print, a bleed must be added! To do this, you would add extra red to the outside of your document (do not enlarge the document). 0.125″ extra red on all four sides, for a total document size of 8.75″x11.25″. It will be printed on over-sized paper (9″x12″ or 11″x17″), then cut down to size. The bleed allows us to accurately trim your order to size.
- How should I set up my bleed and crop marks?
Bleed must extend further than the cut line. Please keep all text and anything you do not want cut at least 0.125″ away from the cut line. When a bleed is required, always include crop marks.
- Do you accept borders on jobs?
Yes, but if the border is too close to the cutline, it may be cut off-center slightly. We cut through many sheets at a time, so watch your borders to avoid an unwanted mistake.
- How should I set up my file for proper rotation?
Head-to-Head (turning over from left to right/horizontally) prints should appear normal on screen. No special setup is required. Head-to-Tail / ‘Tumble Head’ (turning over from top to bottom/vertically) prints, however, require the front page to be normal and the back to be inverted / upside-down.
- Can I send a sample file to show how I want my order to look?
Of course! Be sure to label the file-name accordingly (e.g., My_Proposal_Sample.pdf or John Doe_Business Card_Sample.pdf)
- Can I submit a front and back in the same file?
Yes. You can send a multi-page PDF or multiple single-page PDFs. The choice is yours. Be sure to let us know what each page/file is to be used for!
- How can I make sure my blues do not come out purple?
When using a blue in your design, always make sure to leave at least a 30% difference in your Cyan and Magenta values. C-100, M-100, Y-0, K-0 Blue is close to purple in the CMYK spectrum. Remember, use a low amount of magenta whenever using high amounts of cyan to avoid purple. A good rule of thumb is to start with: C-100, M-70, Y-0, K-0; If you need darker blues, add to the K-channel.
- What is 'rich black' and how can I get it?
Rich black is an ink mixture of solid black, 100% K, with additional CMY ink values. This results in a darker tone than black ink alone. If you print black alone as 100% K, the resulting black may not be as dark as you might like. We recommend using C-60, M-40, Y-40, K-100. This will result in a deep, dark, rich black.
- Why does my business card crack around the edges?
Cracking of the edges of a business card sometimes occurs when the card contains high values of ink (mainly dark colors). This usually happens on a small amount of cards in the run. To prevent this, use lighter colors or if you must use dark colors, use as little ink as possible.
- Why is there cracking on my scoring job?
When a job is UV-coated and scored the job may begin to crack. During use, the cracks will become bigger and the ink may start to chip off. Cracking is normal when coated jobs are scored and folded. Ordering the job without UV-coating will help, but may not prevent cracking (when scored). As the job is used and folded more and more, cracking will eventually happen.
- What is banding?
Many things can cause banding. Banding can be caused by the program that it is exported from, such as InDesign or Corel. Too many gradient steps can also cause banding issues (e.g., going from a light color to a dark color in a small area can cause banding). To prevent this, check your digital files before sending. If you use a gradient, make sure it has enough room for a smooth transition.
- How do I export a .pdf correctly?
When exporting from a program, such as Indesign or Illustrator, use these settings to make sure your .PDF files are correct: Compatibility = Acrobat 5.0; Bicubic Downsampling to 300 for images above 300 (use for Color and Grayscale); Compression = ZIP 8bit (use for Color and Grayscale); Include Crop Marks with a 0.25pt weight and a 0.125in offset; Include Bleed 0.125in on all sides (if needed); No color conversion; Include all color profiles.
- How do I get a grayscale image in a CMYK document?
Grayscale images, that are converted to CMYK, will have a color shift in the final print. That shift may be green or yellow. Always check the CMYK values of your final CMYK document. If there are other values, other than K, in your image, there is a chance that the color will vary. To eliminate all values other than K, use the Channel Mixer in Photoshop.