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File Preparation Tips

File Formats

Macintosh computers are used throughout our prepress department. If your files are created on a PC in Adobe software they will work fine on our Macs. If they are created in another software application (Microsoft products, etc.) we will require you to provide a PDF file saved from those apps. For best results Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Acrobat are your best choices. Be sure to include .125” bleed on all sides of your artwork. We prefer “Packaged” native application files if possible. If you will be providing a press-ready PDF please embed all fonts - no subsetting!


Printing Full Color images and art require separation into Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black components. Images submitted in formats such as RGB (red, green, blue) can change dramatically when converted. The color seen on your monitor, laser printer or other color proofing device can vary dramatically from the actual color in your digital file. Our proofs are calibrated to our presses, thus they will represent the color accurately to what you will see on press. For work requiring special ink matches we recommend requesting a “PMS Draw Down” as the accurate example of ink color at press.


Please do not ever use “Registration Color” in your artwork. Any dielines or other non-printing elements in your file should be set in a Spot Color that is not used elsewhere in the document.

Linked images and graphics

Many final artwork files incorporate “placed” or “imported” graphic elements. Quality output requires that these elements are included when submitting your artwork for printing. We discourage “embedding” linked files since it limits our ability to maximize quality at press.

For the best possible results on your printed job, we strongly recommend preparing linked files as follows: Text & graphic files are best prepared in “Vector” based applications such as Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign. “Raster” based applications such as Adobe Photoshop are best suited for preparing photographic images, scans etc. Photoshop files should be a minimum of 300dpi at the dimensions you intend to print.

Variable Data

When creating jobs for variable data printing, the layout is best provided as Adobe InDesign. The data file should be created in Microsoft Excel. The data will be printed “as it is” in your spreadsheet, so be sure to double check that your data is as you want it printed.

File Submission Methods

You can use the file send utility on our homepage at All file submissions should include details on who is expecting your file and how they can reach you with questions. When using E-mail, please include your artwork as an attachment. If you have many files it’s easiest to compress them first. E-mails over 10 megabytes may be too big to send. You may also use a file transfer system such as

If you have any additional questions please feel free to give us a call at 801-978-3500!

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