Tutorials & Tools

Top 10 Quick Checklist

 To ensure that your files are ready to print and to minimize the time modifying them, we have compiled a list of the top 10 considerations when preparing your file. The following are the most common reasons for production delays and unexpected extra charges. We strongly suggest that if you are on a deadline, please take a look at this list and make the necessary adjustments to make sure that your file is ready to print as soon as possible. Always give yourself a day or two for buffer room in case your files may need more editing or may need extra drying/binding time.

1. Page Size

The file size should be larger than the final printed page size (or "trim" size). E.g: If your page size is 8.5x11", your document should be at least 8.75x11.25" to accommodate the bleed area. Do not make your document excessively bigger than your file. Just enough so you have a decent sized bleed area. A surprising  number of files that are submitted are the exact size of the trim size. This causes delays as we have to ask the client to fix their files.


2. Bleeds

Bleeds  are the margin around all 4 sides of the file that is at least 1/8"(3mm). Your art file should extend slightly past the trim size into the bleed area as well. This is to prevent white lines from showing if the cut is too close to the white border. Bleed marks are placed in the four corners of the page to show where the trim size will be. It should be unrasterized so that it will not print on the final product.


3. Single File

We ask that clients keep all their pages in one file as it will make it easier for us to download the files and make proofs. If the pages are not numbered, there can be a lot of confusion so it's best that the pages are together and numbered. The cover pages should be in their own file (outer front, outer back, inner front, inner back, and spine) for perfect and PUR bound projects. For saddle stitched projects, having the cover files in the same files as your text pages is fine.


4. Number of Pages

The number of pages in your document should be the same as that of the final printed product. When inputting the number of pages in the order form, remember that a cover is already 4 pages. If your magazine is 100 pages total, you will have 4 cover pages and 96 text pages. One physical piece of paper equals to two pages, as we print the front and the back. Clients sometimes become confused and think that they should input the amount of the actual paper pages in their order. E.g: 100 files = 50 pages. The amount of page files that you have is the amount that you should input on your order form.


5. Page Numbering

When designing your art files, be careful about page numbering. Many times, we have seen the page number on the same location for all the pages. The placement should alternate since the pages alternate positions. For example, if the page numbers are always on the bottom left corner, the left page will have the page number on the outside corner but the right page will have the page number towards the binding of the book. While designing your files, take a look at a book and the page numbers to help you get an idea.


6. Supported Software

Although you can use a variety of software to create the graphic elements of your project, the final layout should be delivered in QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign, or Adobe PageMaker format. These programs were designed for and produce the high-quality output required for professional print production. We accept both open and closed material delivery options.


- Delivery in a closed format is the safest and most reliable. Convert your art files to a PDF as it is the best way to deliver your completed material to the printers.


7. Graphic File Formats

EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) is always preferred. This format provides consistent, reliable quality. A second choice is: TIFF (Tagged Image File Format). WMF (Windows) and PICT (Mac OS) are not always consistent.


8. Resolution

In order for your project to have the best quality we can offer, make sure that all your pages have high resolution. Your images should be at least 300 ppi.

Your images should be a resolution equal to 2-times the line screen. Most printed pieces are produced at 150 or 175 LPI (lines per inch), which means that your images should have about 266 to 350 ppi (pixels-per-inch). Use 300 ppi, and you should be  fine.



9. Image Mode

Printing presses require CMYK (Cyan, magenta, yellow, black) coloring. If your images are in RGB (Red, green, blue) mode, the printed result will appear muddy and flat. To avoid this, convert all images to CMYK. You just need to select "Image Mode CYMK Color" in Adobe Photoshop.


10. Fonts

We recommend PostScript Type 1 fonts. Also, avoid TrueType fonts. When a TrueType font and a PostScript Type 1 font with the same name are active on your computer, it can cause many potential inconsistencies. It is crucial that you submit all fonts used, including those in EPS graphics. Even if you are using a common font such as " Times New Roman", your font's version may be different from ours.


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