Frequently Asked Questions
- Your artwork should be saved at 300 dpi resolution and CMYK mode before you send them to us for printing. RGB files cannot be printed on professional four color presses. Not every RGB color has a CMYK equivalent and the result could be more than just subtle color shifts.
- All text in Illustrator created files must be outlined.
- All artwork must have a Bleed (0.125 inch past final document size) around the entire design which is required for cutting, as well as a 0.1875 inch safe zone around your design.
> High Res Acrobat Portable Document Format (*.pdf) – Preferred
> Tagged Image File Format (*.tiff) – Recommended
> Encapsulated PostScript (*.eps) – Recommended
> JPG image format (*.jpg)
> Adobe Photoshop Image (*.psd)
> Adobe Illustrator Artwork (*.ai)
All computer monitors emit color as RGB (red, green, blue) light. Although all colors of the visible color spectrum can be produced by merging red, green and blue light, monitors are capable of displaying only a limited gamut (i.e., range) of the visible spectrum. Whereas monitors emit light, inked paper absorbs or reflects specific wavelengths. Cyan, magenta and yellow pigments serve as filters, subtracting varying degrees of red, green and blue from white light to produce a selective gamut of spectral colors. Like monitors, printing inks also produce a color gamut that is only a subset of the visible spectrum, although the range is not the same for both. CMYK has a much smaller color gamut. Consequently, the same art displayed on a computer monitor in RGB may not match printing in CMYK. Also, because printing processes such as offset lithography use CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) inks, digital art must be created as CMYK color or must be converted from RGB color to CMYK on a calibrated monitor for successful results.
Even though monitors always use RGB to display colors, the colors you see on your monitor will more closely match the final printed piece if you are viewing them in the CMYK color space. Be aware that it is possible to see colors in RGB that you can not reproduce with CMYK. They are said to be “out of the CMYK color gamut.” What happens is that the RGB-to-CMYK translator (Color Profile for CMYK is “US SheetFed Coated v2”) just gets as close as possible to the appearance of the original colors. This is a concern that is prevalent in the printing industry. So it is best to select any colors you use for fonts or other design elements in your layout using CMYK definitions instead of RGB.
Using CMYK definitions, you will have a better idea of how the colors will appear in your printed piece. Here is a common example: many programs translate the 100% Blue in RGB into a somewhat purple-looking color in CMYK. We recommend a CMYK value of 100-65-0-0 to get a nice clean blue. Working in the CMYK color space allows you to select the CMYK recipe, or “screen build”, that gives you the results you want.
Bleeds allow you to run artwork to the edge of a page. Your artwork is printed on a large sheet of paper and then trimmed down to size. If you do not allow for a 1/8 of an inch bleed, any misalignment while cutting will result with the artwork not running to the edge of the paper. Bleeds ensure you get the results you need.
For example, if you have designed a standard 3.5″ x 2″ business card with a red background covering the whole area, you will need to enlarge that red background to 3.75″ x 2.25″. This will make the red background extend 1/8″ on every side of the page.