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Offset Printing Specifications
There are several guidelines that apply to all design applications. Keeping the following guidelines in mind before you begin will help you start right and save time and money when you project hits production.
Bleed refers to the overlapping of the art past the edge of the trimmed piece. It is physically impossible for any cutter or trimming device to cut perfectly to the edge of the art. Having bleed eliminates the risk of getting white edges along your finished piece. You must included at least .125 inches of bleed (1/8") on any element that extends to the edge of your artwork. Also, you want to maitain a margin on any text or art you do not want trimmed at least .125 inches in from the edge of your art. A larger bleed or margin may be required on more complicated items such as booklets and pieces with multiple folds etc.
Fonts (the actual font files) need to be including when submitting any job. More detailed infomation on fonts can be found here.
Images should have a resolution of at least 300 dpi. at the printed size for offset printing and need to be CMYK using Web Coated SWOP ver. 2 profile. Our primary printer uses 500 line screens, so you could go as high as 600 dpi. and get a little crisper/sharper image. If you are working with RGB images, the best practice is to first convert the images to Adobe 1998 RGB before converting to CMYK using the Web Coated SWOP ver. 2 profile. You will get the least amount of color shift this way. Also,converting directly from another RBB color space to the CMYK - Web Coated SWOP ver. 2 space will yield different color values. More information on image files can be found here.
Document Setup or Page Size must match the final trim size of the piece. Do not float art for a business card in the middle of a letter-sized document for example. There are preconfigured templates for most of various displays we offer here. There are additional considerations to take into account when laying out art for more complicated items such as multiple fold pieces, booklets, and converted items such as pocket folders and packaging. Until we art able to add the information to this page, please don't hesitate to call and find out about specific guidelines to be aware of when setting up any job for print.
Black is always specified, by default to overprint. Therefore, if you don't want to see images or backgrounds through your black elements, you need to create a "rich" black - usually 30 cyan, 30 magenta, 30 yellow, and 100 black. This will give you a much richer/darker black as well as knock out any under lying objects.
Please check back soon.
We are still in the process of setting these pages up and more information will be forthcoming.