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We invite you to take advantage of our state-of-the-art digital imaging and printing capabilities.

The following design and pre-press tips have been prepared to help you achieve best possible results.

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Preparing files for print publishing is not too difficult because there are only five major requirements:

Embedded fonts and images
CMYK color mode
Print Resolution
Bleeds and Borders

Proofreading

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Fonts
Please make sure to include all fonts used in your files, including and especially fonts that are used in linked graphics such as Illustrator files. This means both the printer and the screen fonts. If you are using PC, be sure to use True Type Fonts.

Images
Please link all images to the document before sending the file. This includes clip art, photos, and scanned images.

Images used in vector format software (Illustrator and InDesign) must be flattened and the fonts outlined. Not flattening images or outlining fonts may result in some text or graphics dropping out from your artwork.

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Colors - Converting from RGB to CMYK
RGB refers to the colors red, green and blue, which computer monitors use to display images. A four-color printing proces, however, prints images using a different set of colors: cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK). Files created in RGB must be converted to CMYK before they can be printed in four color process. (Follow the instructions provided by your design program.) Spot colors are OK if created from a CMYK mode, never from RGB.

Always use the color swatch imported with the graphics, rather than one created in the layout program. Do not rely on your screen as an accurate representation when choosing colors. Instead, use a Pantone color swatch book for choosing colors, or a CMYK Process Tint Guide to make or convert colors. We strongly recommend manually entering the CMYK percentages for all created process colors to ensure color accuracy. If you wish to see how PMS colors will print when converted to process colors, look them up in a Pantone Process Tint Guide. Please note that some PMS colors cannot be accurately matched from process colors. The most difficult colors to produce using CMYK are blues, oranges and metallics. Light background screens are also difficult to be reproduced accurately.

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Resolution
We recommend that artwork be scanned at a minimum of 300 dots per inch (dpi) and preferably higher than 300 dpi for best quality. However, a photo that will be reduced by 50% can be scanned at 150 dpi. But an image that will be enlarged by 200% should be scanned in at 600 dpi to achieve a final dpi of 300 in the final product. When enlarging a picture in Quark, please do not exceed 120% as the image tends to lose resolution if enlarged any more than that. Ideally your original for black and white line art should be at least 1200 dpi from a high quality laser printer. Artwork output at a lower dpi may appear bitmapped or ragged once scanned or printed.

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Bleeds
If your artwork is going to print right to the edge of the page, you need to extend it past the page boundary (black box) by at least .125" (1/8"). The extended artwork (red box) is described as bleed and will be cut off when the work is finished resulting in more waste paper. By creating designs that don't bleed off the page you can use smaller sheets of paper and save money on your printing costs. Please be sure to keep any text or graphics that must not be cut off, to .125" (1/8"),  from the edge of the page (blue box).

Borders
When using a border in your artwork, it is essential that your design use at least .25" (1/4") of white/color space from your border to the edge of the page (cut line) to maintain a symmetric appearance
(green box).

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Proofreading
Please spell-check and carefully review all aspects of your project before submitting your files. We cannot accept responsibility for typos, copy errors or design flaws.

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Direct to Media Output - PDF Files
Some programs will allow you to save/export your document as a PDF (Portable Document Format) file. We will accept these files for output, but we will have very limited editing options for manipulating them. If there are problems or errors in the file, we may not be able to correct them. You may have to correct them and resubmit the file.

When creating PDF files ALWAYS include fonts. Be sure that the resolution is high enough that your document will not turn out looking blocky. We suggest a minimum of 300 dpi on all images at 100% of printing size and 1200 dpi on all line art.

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If you have all five items, your artwork is going to print well for most conventional print jobs.

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