Artwork Help,

     In this section we will describe step by step how to setup your artwork to run to press with us. First off you want to make sure you or the person designing your artwork has a rough idea on digital artwork preparation.

Printing Artwork Preparation

For those of you who know exactly what you are doing and just need specs here they are:
- Artwork needs to be in jpg, tiff, eps, ai, or cdr format (JPG IS THE PREFERRED FORMAT)
- If using eps or ai make sure you convert fonts to outlines, convert paths to outlines, and include all linked graphics
- Resolution set at 300 dpi at full size
- Design & save in CMYK format not RGB
- If doing anything bigger than a business card leave at least (we recommend 1/4") 1/8" internal bleed, 1/16" inside the print will be cut off and we need the extra 1/16" as a buffer.
- If doing a business card size or smaller leave a 1/8" external bleed that will be cut off and 1/8" internal bleed for cutter play. (IE a business card should be designed at 2.25" x 3.75") The outside 1/8" will be sure to be cut off but the extra 1/8" internal may be cut into.
- If you need exact cutting call us to discuss separate pricing because we would need to run a bigger size with crop marks.
- We are PC Based but are able to read most Mac files.

In Depth explanation of artwork preparation

     First you want to make sure you are using the right program to design your artwork. The following programs are perfect for designing in: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, & Macromedia Freehand. You can use other programs that you may be more familiar with, but make sure that they can export or save a file as one of the following formats
- .JPG (MUST BE AT 300 DPI, if it doesn't specify it's probably at 72, open it in Photoshop and check)
- .EPS (Make sure if you have any linked graphics that they come through, open it on another computer to check)
- .AI (Make sure your linked graphics come through)

- Microsoft: Power point, Publisher, Draw, or Word (Unless contains no special text effects or graphics)
- Do not save it as a GIF, BMP, or HTML file.

     If you have a question about a file format or a file type please contact us before you spend your time designing your artwork in a format that will not be accepted on our machines.


     If color matching is an issue contact us before going any further in this document, because the way we run our prints is that we put numerous small jobs on to one big sheet and cut them up individually. This method would not be able to supply us with the added color control you may need for your job. We can do a special run just for you so we can match your colors and make sure you get the end product you want. Your monitor and our prints will always be different, the degree of difference most of the time will be slight but not all monitors are the same, so what you see on your monitor will not be the same we see on our end guaranteed.


     To most people they would never notice a difference in a CMYK print and an RGB print, but we must warn everybody before they design something in CMYK and notice color shifts. Your color inkjet uses a format of 4 colors (some newer inkjets run 6 or 7). These four colors are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (CMYK). Your monitor on your computer or TV screen is composed or 3 Red, Green, and blue tubes that produce the images on your screen. The most vibrant reds, greens, and blues can not be recreated on your home inkjet or our top of the line presses.

To give you an idea of what we are talking about print this page out and look at the following color

The RGB blue doesn't look as the same as it does on your screen, but the CMYK one does. The reasoning behind this is that the CMYK combination can not produce some of the same colors your monitor can.  They will look different because your computer will try to change a RGB document into CMYK the best way the printer knows how to.

To make sure you don't have these problems make sure you set your color format to CMYK and not RGB.

Internal and External Bleeds

     First of a bleed is an extended area that is used as a buffer. Basically if you wanted a sold black square 4" x 4" you would make it 5" x 5" and paint it all black and cut it down to 4" x 4". If you wanted the letter "A" on it you would make sure that the letter "A" wasn't outside of the 4" x 4" area because you knew the extra was going to be cut off.

     An internal bleed is a buffer that allows the cutter "room for error" leaving you with a slightly smaller size than the original. Basically we cut a little bit into your original document which will make your end size a little bit smaller than the original (If you need exact cutting let us know and we can also accomodate).

     An external bleed is an area that will be cut off leaving you with an exact size. We use this mostly for business cards and size critical applications.


Copyright 2002