How to Prepare Artwork


The information on this page has been compiled to assist you in preparing electronic files for offset and digital printing.

Preparing files for large format requires different file preparation. Click here to download a pdf with the required guidelines.

No matter how you plan on having your files output, adhering to these guidelines will enable us to produce your job more efficiently and within budget.

Two of the most common problems with electronic files are missing fonts and stylized fonts. Always provide both screen and printer fonts with your files. Remember to include fonts that have been used in placed graphics (i.e. EPS files). If text in placed graphics has been converted to paths, we will not require these fonts. Creating bold and italic type through use of a style menu or palette can lead to substitution errors and other unpredictable results. Try to select weight from the font menu. Examine your lasers carefully to be sure the bold and italic text prints correctly.

Please include EPS files (links) with the document file in which they are used. Photoshop files with a final resolution of 300 dpi are acceptable for CMYK or B&W images. Line art saved as a bitmap tiff must have a final resolution betweeen 600 and1000 dpi. However, logos and line art can be handled much more efficiently as vector-based EPS files, especially if trapping is involved. If you are using Freehand, please include the original application file if the graphics were not saved as editable EPS files. If your software gives you the option, you should always link your graphics to your publication rather than embed them. Embedded images cannot be altered. Should there be any problems or trapping issues with your graphics, we will not be able to adjust them. This can add unwanted expense and will delay to your job.

If you intend for your job to bleed, you will need to allow for this in your files. Bleeds must extend at least 1/8″ beyond the page trim.

Use CMYK builds for 4 color process work rather than RGB, and Pantone colors for spot color jobs. If we quoted your job for process, we will convert your spot colors to process unless otherwise noted. It is best for you to do this in your layout, so you can see a better representation of your final result. Otherwise, converted colors will not reproduce the way you were expecting.(RGB image files and color fills will look flat and dull and undesirable if it is automatically converted) Whenever you use color, you’ll need to consider how the job will be trapped. We prefer to take care of it for you. But you are welcome to do any special trapping or overprinting that is required for your design. Indicate these on your lasers.

Layout Dimensions
Generally, you should create your file to the exact dimensions that you want the final size to be. When creating a new file, many programs default to the standard 8-1/2″ x 11″ page size, but if your document is larger or smaller than this, you should create your page size accordingly. (Then pull bleed 1/8 beyond the page boundry on all sides that will bleed).

Graphic Village supports most industry-standard publishing programs, including Quark, PageMaker, Photoshop, Freehand, Illustrator, InDesign and Corel Draw, either Mac or PC format. If we don’t support your particular software program, you may be able to send us your file in Postscript or PDF format (Please check with Craig or Doug in prepress prior to sending postscript or PDF). Please include your name, phone number and company name on all media sent along with an updated printout or PDF of the job that you are submitting to us. ie: B&W Laserwriter or color output. (these must indicate printed size relative to job.) Indicate the print file name that produced your lasers or pdf.

Clean up your final files!!!
Get rid of unwanted text boxes, color swatches, layers and images. They still get processed even if you hid them or covered them up with a white box.