Artwork should be built to the finished trim size.
If the finished piece is a shape other than a simple rectangle (round corners, diecut, folded and glued, etc.) the artwork should include a spot color ‘dieline’ showing the cuts, slits and/or folds. The page should be the size of the flat dieline. The dieline must be on the same page, on top of the printing artwork, and built as an overprinting spot color.
Bleed should be added in the document setup
(as opposed to added to the page/art board size.)
Multiple page documents should be built as pages in reading order.
They can be arranged as ‘facing pages’ in the layout (as opposed to building as ‘hard’ spreads).
Note: If the finished piece is ring or coil bound, facing pages doesn’t allow for page-level bleed on the binding edge.
We accept native artwork from the current and recent versions of Adobe Creative Cloud desktop publishing/design programs.
The best way to provide artwork files is a print-ready PDF.
There are many ways to create a PDF, and many different ‘flavors’ of PDF, and they aren’t all print-ready. Please note the ‘default’ presets included with Adobe software are very generic, and haven’t been significantly updated since the early 2000’s. A lot of things have changed since then.
Please see the our FAQ on PDF Settings.
Print Ready PDF artwork should:
- Be compatible with Acrobat version 8 or newer (PDF 1.7 or newer)
- Be pages in reading order (not spreads)
- Include ⅛ inch bleed (on all 4 edges)
- Have fonts fully embedded (not subset)
- Specify to subset when … less than 1%
- Marks (trim, bleed, etc.) are not necessary, but appreciated
- Mark offset should be 0.16667 inch (12 pt) or more as to not interfere with bleed
PDF artwork should NOT:
- Be set to any “PDF/X” standard
- Those ‘standards’ are obsolete and/or intended for archival purposes, not print production
- Have overly compressed (downsampled) images
- Color photographic images should be at least 350 ppi
- If any hard edge graphics (logos etc) are raster art, do not downsample images at all
- Have embedded color profiles
- Set Color Conversion to : No Color Conversion
- Set Profile Inclusion Policy to : Don’t Include Profiles
- Be flattened
- If Acrobat 8/9 Compatibility is chosen, the option to flatten transparency should be unavailable (grayed out)
- Be locked, password protected, or otherwise secured to restrict editing and/or printing