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Frequently Asked Questions

File Preparation Tips

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What file formats do you accept for printing?

We can accept a wide variety of file formats. However, we most commonly prefer files to be submitted as either native packaged Adobe files or PDF files so as to minimize any font, image, text, or formatting complications.

For more information, see our File Preparations Tips for details on submitting quality files.

What is bleed?

Bleed refers to any printed element that extends to the edge of the finished paper size and beyond. It’s difficult for printing equipment to apply ink up to the edge of a sheet of paper. So an extra .125″ (3mm) margin is added on each side of the design, enabling these elements to extend past the paper’s final trim edge. This extra bleed area will be cut off the printed sheet thus eliminating the potential for blank stock around the edges to be seen on the final piece. For example, letterhead that incorporates bleed in its design will be 8.75″ x 11.25″ before being trimmed to a finished size of 8.5″ x 11″.

For more information, see our File Preparations Tips for details on setting up bleed in your document.

Which color mode should I use when saving my file for print?

Files for print should be saved in four color “CMYK” (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) color mode.

For more information, see our File Preparations Tips for details on how to save your file.

Is there a trimming tolerance for borders?

When paper is trimmed, there is a cutting tolerance of 1/16″ which may result in uneven borders. For this reason, we recommend that borders should be at least 3/8″ from the trim line + additional bleed.

For more information, see our File Preparations Tips for details on setting up borders in your document.

How should I treat fonts in my final print ready document?

We recommend that vector fonts be converted to outlines or packaged with a native design file to avoid font format issues.  For bitmap-based files, avoid font sizes smaller than 8pts or fonts that are very narrow.

What is the safety zone for wire-o and spiral bound documents?

To avoid any images or text being cut off when the piece is bound, we recommend establishing a “safety zone” of at least 3/8″ from the edge of the final binding edge.

For more information, see our File Preparations Tips for details on setting up borders in your document.

What is the recommended image resolution for printing?

For best printing results, a resolution of at least 300 dpi is recommended as the industry standard.

Special Effects Applications

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How do you create a die line?

To create a die line, you need to start by setting up a new layer in your art file. You should draw the die line, the line where the art should be cut, on this layer. Keep in mind that if you want your artwork to bleed off the edge, please ensure that your artwork extends a full ⅛” outside of the die line you create.

What if my project requires a spot color?

In Adobe programs, you can designate colors as either spot or process color using the “Swatches” panel. When applying color to paths and shapes, keep in mind that each spot color you create will generate an additional spot color layer which will increase your total cost.

If you plan to use a spot color, please discuss your project with your account executive or with a customer service representative before submitting your job.

How do I set up my file to print with white ink?

White ink setup is similar to setting up a file with a spot color. It is, however, required to be on its own layer. Check out the details on our Special Effects File Setup page.

How do I set up a file to utlize digital spot, textured effect, or raised ink applications?

See a step-by-step outline on our Special Effects File Setup page.

Production Terminology

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What is the difference between a sheet and a page?

In the printing industry, sheets and pages are not the same.  One sheet typically has 2 or more pages. To fully answer sheets and pages questions, check out our Sheets vs. Pages page.

What binding methods are available?

There are a number of standard binding methods used in the printing industry today, but custom options are also available.

Check out our Binding and Folding methods page to learn more.

What are the common folding options used?

There are a number of standard folding methods used in the printing industry today, but custom options are also available.

Check out our Binding and Folding methods page to learn more.

What is first surface printing?

Printing on the first surface of a substrate is printing an image on the front, outward facing side. This traditional form of printing is how most signs, displays, and other materials are produced. For more information, see our First Surface vs. Second Surface post.

What is second surface printing?

Second surface printing is performed on the back, rear-facing surface of a substrate. It is commonly used for vinyl, film, acrylic and other materials that are transparent or applied to a transparent surface.

For more information, see our First Surface vs. Second Surface post.

Still have questions about your project  Give us a call: 212.684.3600

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