Artwork Guidelines for Printing

Color Swatches

Useful Links

File Types

  • Preferred File Type – PDF
  • Accepted File Types
    • Adobe Illustrator (.ai Please convert fonts to outlines or include fonts used.)
    • Adobe InDesign (.indd, .inx Please use InDesign’s Package feature.)
    • Adobe Photoshop (.psd Fonts and linked images must be included.)
    • Flat images. JPEG (.jpg) (use maximum quality JPEG settings) & TIFF (.tif)
    • Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx Please send an accompanying PDF with document*)
    • Microsoft Publisher (.pub Please send an accompanying PDF with document*)
    • Microsoft Excel (.xls .xlsx Please send an accompanying PDF with document*)
    • Quark Xpress
    • Hard Copy
  • Not Accepted File Types
    • Low resolution scan or fax
    • Microsoft PowerPoint
    • Low resolution images

Other Properties

  • Color – RGB or CMYK (See notes below)
  • Resolution – should be at least 300 DPI
  • Bleeds (if applicable) – must have 1/8 inch bleed on all sides. (See How to Set up Bleeds for assistance with setting up bleeds.)
  • 4/1 Files (Color over Black) – black side must be 100% K (black) or grayscale
  • Printer’s Marks – Please turn off all printer and registration marks before exporting your PDF (note: trim marks or crop marks are acceptable (the name “trim” or “crop” depends on the software you are using), but not required)


Most design software allows you to choose CMYK or RGB color modes. Our general rule is to keep graphics in their original color space. Because our press has a larger color gamut (color space) than typical CMYK’s gamut. The press can handle mixed color spaces and does a great job converting RGB & CYMK graphics to press CMYK. Using our PDF job-options file (right click and Save As…) will be helpful in making a PDF that keeps the original color space for all graphics. If you need to know how to install an Adobe .joboptions file, see our guide here (Install an Adobe .joboptions File).


We recommend that all images are of 300 DPI but no higher than 600 DPI. Images under 300 DPI will start showing signs of reduced print quality. Images higher than 600 DPI usually create un-necessarily large files and longer processing times. DPI stands for Dots Per Inch.

Borders, Frames, and Margins

Border Frame

Due to tolerances in the cutting and printing process, we do not recommend designs with boarders that are less than 1/4″ thick from the edge or frames that are closer than 1/4″ from the edge. These borders and frames may have uneven look to them. Also, it’s best to keep all important text and graphics elements at least 1/8″ away from the finished edge.


All files that require bleeds must have a minimum 1/8 inch bleed on all four sides. See our Bleeds page for information about how to set/make bleeds in various applications.

4/1 (Color over Black) Designs

If your design has color on one side and black on the other, you must create the black only side with 100% K (or grayscale color space if your application supports it). If RGB Black or Rich Black (CMYK build of black) is used, conversion time may be added to your job.