Saturday, January 26, 2019

Preferred File Formats

When it comes to submitting artwork and designs, there are many different file formats. If you have the ability, the best file formats are created by Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop.
LOGOS: The best option for logos is a Vector file. This format uses a mathematical equation to display an image. These files can be expanded from a business card to a billboard without a loss in quality. Common Vector formats are: .ai .eps .pdf .svg.
TYPESETTING: Setting up a project is best done in Adobe InDesign. This is a professional design program. For the common user, Microsoft Publisher is a solid alternative. Files that are created in Publisher can be packaged for our use, saving you costs when it comes to set-up charges.
Consider this: The best results occur when your images are at least 300 dpi. If you're supplying a graphic from a website, these images are often low quality 72 dpi graphics. All businesses should own a Vector copy of their logo. If you are lacking that ability, we are able to re-create your logo for use in Vector format.

Bleed Margins

For anybody who is designing a printed product that requires colors to extend to the edge of their documents, you need to create a "bleed margin". The reason for this is that our printers cannot print to the edge of the paper. To give the effect of printing to the edge, we will print the image on a larger sheet of paper and cut 1/8" from each side of the design.
A bleed is a practice of extending your image past the edge of the paper. For example, if your final product is 4"x4"; the document that you need to produce should be 4.25"x4.25". This 1/8th inch of extra design will allow for the cutting of the final product.

We also need to allow for variances in image placement on each sheet that we run. The machines may shift the image up to 1/16th of an inch during a run. Because of this, we need to ensure that important components such as text, logos, and images are placed 1/8" to 1/4" away from the edge of the final product.

For example, an 8 1/2" x 11" standard flyer would need to be produced using an 8 3/4" x 11 1/4" document size in your software program. You would also need to set 1/4" margins. This means that the area where you can place text, images, and logos would be 8" x 10 1/2". See this graphic for a visual representation.
In order to produce a final product that extends your design from edge to edge, we need a "bleed" of 1/8th of an inch to cut from the white paper. Sending a product with a properly formatted bleed will save the cost of set-up during the proofing process.

Click here to download our business card template. This design demonstrates bleed margins. You can download other templates here.
Here are some helpful articles:
Bleeds in Microsoft Publisher
Bleeds in Adobe InDesign
Bleeds in Adobe Illustrator
Bleeds in QuarkXPress

Microsoft Publisher® Files

Many customers prefer to create their own products using Microsoft Publisher®. This readily available software is a valuable and cost-saving tool for our clients. Once you have completed your design, there are important steps that you can take in order to ensure a quality final product.
At Pride Printing, we use two professional design programs to convert your work into a print-ready file. With Adobe Creative Suite® or QuarkXPress®, we will import your file and make adjustments that are necessary for commercial printing. The following article explains the simple steps that you can take to prepare your hard work for the final mile:

Our Screen v. Yours

There is a very important point to remember while we communicate about your project. Computer monitors often display your work differently than the way that it will ultimately be printed. Modern computer monitors display a combination of three different colors; Red, Green, and Blue (RGB). The professional printing industry operates with four colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black (CMYK). The "k" is designated as black due to tradition amongst printers.
There are a number of different factors that determine the colors that you see when you design a project on your computer. Your monitor's settings, as well as the program that you're using, can impact the appearance of the image that you're viewing. When you send us a project, the final result may be different than the design that you've worked so hard on.
At Pride Printing, we work with color calibrated monitors. We are also able to match colors using the Pantone® system. If you have a specific color that you would like to match, you can describe it as a Pantone® color. We can use the code that you specify to match your design precisely. This is called a "PMS Match".
Without a PMS Match, you should expect that your design might vary slightly from the image that you see on your screen. If you are very concerned about this issue, I would recommend that you calibrate your screen using a colorimeter. There are options that are available online for a few hundred dollars. For judging printed colors, the Pantone® colorimeter retails for about $770.
The ambient light of your viewing area will also affect your final product. Viewing tools such as the Pantone® Light Booth can offer the ideal lighting to view your design as a final printed product. This device can be purchased for $2,100.
At Pride Printing, we are always willing to help you through the process of color calibration, feel free to ask. We can provide a "hard copy" proof that will demonstrate the final product. Technology is wonderful. But, as it has been for centuries, the final printed product is the only thing that matters.