File Prep Tips

Large and Small Format Digital Color

Supported Applications / Formats*

 Adobe PhotoShop 
Tiff
Illustrator
In Design
BMP
MS Office Applications
JPEG
Quark
Postscript
PDF
EPS
*If you don't see your program or format listed, please don't hesitate to call for advice or a possible workaround.

Font Usage

To avoid automatic font substitutions, all fonts used should be supplied with your layout.

For Mac users: Type 1 Fonts, TrueType Fonts 

For Windows users: Type 1 Fonts (requires both .pfm & .pfb font files), TrueType Fonts
(requires .ttf font files)

Type 1 or PostScript fonts are more precise and are compatible with our font management and RIP applications. TrueType fonts can be used but are known to be occasionally unpredictable, we cannot guarantee that they will always work. 

We request that you do not rename fonts, suitcases, or their postscript outlines. Doing so may result in production slowdowns and additional troubleshooting charges.

Avoid manually changing the style of a font. If you want to bold or italicize fonts, use fonts that contain in the name the style you desire. (i.e. Arial Bold, Arial Italic, Arial Narrow)

EPS images containing text, even ones imbedded, must be either be converted to paths and resaved or, if converting is not an option, you must include the font(s). This is one of the most common problems we encounter, usually creating production delays.

Size and Scale

If your program allows a page size large enough, create your art at 100%.

If your program does not allow a large enough page, create your art at 50%. 

If necessary, you can go as low as 25%; if at all possible try not to go below this ratio.

Always keep layout proportionate to final output size.

Large-Format Indoor Graphics - Ink Selection

All jobs are output using standard dye based inks for best possible quality. These inks are not waterproof, therefore lamination is highly recommended. UV-Resistant pigmented inks are available and generally used only in applications where durability to direct sunlight is needed. Please specify UV-Resistant inks when you place your order, otherwise standard dye-based will be used.

Large-Format Outdoor Graphics

If your large-format project is going outdoors, or in a harsh environment indoors, we will print your graphic on our UV-Curable Direct-to-Board printer.  The inks will last upwards of 2 years outdoors and do not need lamination to protect them.  Please tell us that your project will be used outdoors when ordering.

Scan Resolution

On average, you need between only 100 and 150 dpi of digital information at final output size to adequately reproduce a scanned image on our large format printer. Scanning at too high of resolution is a waste of disk space and processing time.

We recommend you use the following scan resolution formula to ensure premium output:

Output Size / Input Size x Resolution Factor = Scan Resolution

Examples: 

8 x 10 photo enlarged to 24" to be viewed at four feet
24" / 8" x 150 = 450 dpi

35mm slide enlarged to 30" to be viewed at one foot
30" / 1.5" x 200 = 4000 dpi

4 x 6 photo enlarged to 36" to be viewed at ten feet
36" / 4 x 100 = 900 dpi

Upon completion of your scan, make sure to zoom way in and check for dust, speckles, scratches etc.  If you do not clean up these little imperfections, they will be very obvious at final output size.

Specifications of Digital Color Laser Outputs

Stocks

28# Standard, 32# Laserprint (standard)
60# & 80# Cover
Clear Film

Margins

5/16" All 4 sides (including crop marks)

Sizes

8 ½ x 11
8 ½ x 11 Full bleed, runs on 11 x 17 then trimmed to size
8 ½ x 14
11 x 17
11 x 17 Full bleed, runs on 12 x 18 then trimmed to size