Artwork Checklist

 

Avoid Extra Charges and Production Delays

78% of files sent to printers are not ready to go to print without some kind of fix required according to printing industry statistics reports. Properly submitting your art files drastically lessens the likelyhood of additonal charges and/or production delays. You will save time and possible extra charges when your artwork is created and supplied in a file format supported by the printing company.The earlier in the process you identify and address any potential "pitfalls", the easier and less costly problems are to correct. When production time rolls around your job will run more smoothly, saving you money, time, and frustration.

TIP: The best practice to follow for any professionally printed piece:
Choose a printing company to produce your project first.
Design the artwork second (preferably with a professional graphic designer).


Artwork Checklist
READ THIS SECTION (even if you read nothing else)

Missing graphics
Missing graphics can result in delays; if you don't proof carefully it can be an expensive error when you find out later that an image is missing or a low-resolution screen version was printed instead.

Graphics with Broken Links
Images may appear to be missing if you change filenames after linking. If you need to change the name of a graphic file, re-link it in your page layout program before sending the graphics and application file.

Prefered File Types
EPS, TIFF, and other graphic file formats: EPS for vector images and TIFF for raster/bitmap images are the preferred format for professional high resolution printing.

Unsupported File Types
Do not send GIF, JPG, WMF, BMP, PICT, PDF and other unsupported file formats. GIF images obtained from the Web are too low resolution for printing and are in RGB format (RGB color space is not designed for PostScript color printing.WMF files often print incorrectly with the wrong colors or changes in line weights (lines may disappear or may print thicker than expected).

RGB vs. CMYK
When printing four color process, save your original RGB file for later use or modifications. In your graphics application convert a copy of the RGB graphic to CMYK, save it, then place it in your page layout program. Send the CMYK version of your graphic to us. All graphics for screen printing should be saved as spot or PMS colors.

Line Weights, Borders & Outlines
Line weights, borders and outlines should be explicitly defined as .25pt or larger for offset printing, or .75pt or larger for screen printing. Lines smaller than these may print inconsistently or not at all. Never select hairline as the line weight. Different programs may define hairline as different weights, and they may use a weight that will not print well for your job. Whenever possible, convert all text/type in your documents to paths or outlines, eliminating the need to send fonts you used with your files. This is easily done in programs like Illustrator, InDesign, FreeHand and CorelDraw. When using Photoshop, flatten files before submitting, which automatically rasterizes all fonts used. While we have an extensive font library, we canot be expected to have every font or version that is out there.

Use a 'Rich Black'
In Photoshop, fill solid black areas with a "Rich Black" rather than black only. Rich Black is made up of all four process colors, such as: 60% Cyan, 40% Magenta, 40% Yellow, and 100% Black. This will keep solid black areas from looking gray, and should be used for larger solid areas or heavy type over 36 point. For normal body text, use 100% black, do not use Rich Black. Note: never use a "Rich Black" with more than 270% total ink coverage. This will cause problems on the press because too much ink is put down in one spot which can affect dry time and possibly add to registration issues. To determine total ink coverage, add the percentages of all inks used in the "Rich Black". In the example above, 60% + 40% + 40% + 100% = 240%. Keep in mind that different files placed in the same layout program file should use the same "Rich Black" formula.

Compression
Do not save idividually compressed images. Compressed images often cause problems for PostScript output devices and can considerably slow down your job; it may fail to process altogether. For best results, send graphics in uncompressed TIFF or EPS formats.

Adding Trap
Do not add trap to your art files. We will do this for you.

Printing Issues of Complex Images
If your artwork contains complex images such as gradient fills or ultra fine hairlines, etc. check with us first to ensure it can be printed as-is (depending on the printing method chosen for your project) or if adjustments need to be made.

Modifications during page layout
It's easy to take a graphic into InDesign or QuarkXPress and flip it around, tilt it a little, or reduce its size. Manipulating graphics within the layout program increases the chances that your file won't print properly. Rotate and resize images within your graphics software before placing them in your page layout program whenever possible.

Resolution
Low resolution graphics from the web may print, but the resulting image is often less than acceptable. Artificially increasing the resolution may give acceptable results on screen but the image is still low quality and it becomes very obvious after high-resolution printing. Too much resolution, on the other hand, results in larger graphics files and can slow down your print job.

Preflight Software
Using the collection tools in your page layout program can help avoid problems with missing graphics. Other programs such as Extensive PreFlight Pro or Markzware FlightCheck can help troubleshoot files for potential output problems before sending them to us.