We have prepared the following guide to assist you with your electronic file preparation and submission. If you have a specific problem that is not covered in this guide, or have other questions, please feel free to contact us. Improperly prepared files can cause delays in production.

Checklist  Summary

►Ink bleeds over the trim line.

► Safety margins are set.

►Art is in CMYK mode.

►300dpi is the minimum resolution

►Vector files (pdf,ai,eps) vs. Raster  files (jpeg,png,tif) are preferred (see image below)

►Artwork matches the specified dimensions.

►All images are linked, fonts are outlined, embedded or included with submission.

►Transparencies are flattened

►Borders are recommended to be .25" minimum

Catalog Submissions

  • Multi-page PDF file (not printer spreads)
  • In sequential page order from the reader's view

Envelope/NCR Submissions

  • NO Bleeds allowed - Artwork  must be .25" (envelopes) -.50"(NCR) from edges due to machine printing requirements. If bleed is required please request a quote
  • Printing entire envelope or NCR in full coverage color is not possible


Add .125" or 1/8th inch Bleed on all sides when ink is going to the edge of the trim line - bleed is printing that goes beyond the edge of where the sheet will be trimmed. In other words, the bleed is the area to be trimmed off. The bleed is the part on the side of a document that gives the printer a small amount of space to account for movement of the paper, and design inconsistencies.  

Safety Margin for Text/Graphics

Keep text and important graphics at lease .125" inside the trim box.  Paper may shift slightly upon cutting and this distance ensures important items are kept from getting trimmed during the production process.  

Color Specifications

Print previews are not a safe and sure measuring tool for color accuracy. Colors on the file might be effected by monitor calibration, screen resolution and lighting, just to name a few. Many Pantone colors show a marked color shift when converted to four color process.


Always submit artwork in CMYK mode.  All our printing ink processes use this color output mode and any other submissions will be automatically converted to CMYK mode which in turn color results may not end up as expected. To achieve the desired color on press, digital files must reflect accurate color models and percentage. It is highly recommended to ensure you are using CMYK mode upon creation of artwork for color accuracy and a closer expected color result and better quality output.

Image Resolution

Resolution - Minimum of a 300dpi.  Resolution, also known as DPI (Dots Per Inch) or PPI (Pixels Per Inch), can be described as the number of dots that fit horizontally and vertically into a one-inch space. Generally, the more dots per inch, the more detail captured and the sharper the resulting image.

DO NOT ENLARGE a 72 dpi file to a 300 dpi document.

A common misconception is that you can convert a file from 72 dpi to 300 dpi. This is both true and false. Yes it is possible but the output actually makes the image fuzzy and unclear and not high resolution.  This is called interpolation.  The software makes up or fills in pixels to the closest pixel and makes the image not crisp and clear in appearance and still causes the image to look low resolution although the art reads at 300dpi.  ( See example images below)

Raster Vs. Vector

Artwork is to Size

Submit artwork at the size it is ordered.  When we do any edit or correction to scale changes may occur.  IF this is still a correction you would like please use the hire a designer feature.


Fonts, Links, and Transparencies and other effects used in vector format softwares (Illustrator and InDesign) must be flattened or linked and the fonts outlined. Not flattening transparencies, not having images linked or not outlining fonts may result in some text or graphics dropping out from your artwork.  


The cutting process for printed materials has a mechanical tolerance of about .0625 or 1/16 of an inch. When using a border in your artwork, it is essential that your design use at least .25 or 1/4 of an inch of white space from your border to the cut line to maintain a symmetric appearance.