Tips for Preparing Great Looking Documents

Bleeds For art that Bleeds (color goes to the edges) - Add an extra 1/8 inch to each side that bleeds. For example, a standard card (6 x 4.25) that bleeds on each side, make your canvas size 6.25 x 4.5 (1/8 inch x 2 sides). Remember: this extra 1/8 inch will be trimmed off so put type or critical art no closer than 1/4 inch from the bleed edge. (Or 1/8 inch from the trim edge).
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Page Setup Keep art type or critical design at least 1/8 inch from the trimmed edge. The blade shift when cutting cards is unavoidable, and we don't want your message to be cut off. We strongly suggest you do not use a border around your image, as we cannot guarantee "straightness" and "evenness" for the same reason.

Fonts When submitting material in a program that requires we use fonts, please include all the fonts with your art. To avoid typical problems with fonts, we do recommend creating and submitting a high-resolution Adobe PDF version of your material.

Photographic Scans Photographs should be scanned as close to the finished size as possible, with a resolution of approximately 300-350 dpi (dots per inch). Scans at lower resolutions may print fuzzy, while scans at higher resolutions may be cumbersome as files are large with no added quality. One Color Bitmap images should be scanned at 1200 dpi.

NOTE: When scanning from a PRINTED document, the scan will show ink dots that result in a poor quality image. Try to use original work/art whenever possible.
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Images If purchasing images from a stock photo house, make sure that you buy a high resolution image (at least 300 dpi). The image file should be around 9mb in size for a standard postcard.

Do Not Use Images Saved From Websites!

Images from websites may look okay on your monitor and inkjet printer but they are low resolution (typically 72dpi) and will print poorly on a four-color press. The better quality the original image, the better quality the finished product: we recommend that you strive for a minimum of 250dpi for any type of material.

Digital Cameras Digital cameras vary considerably in their capabilities, so try to take your pictures at the highest quality setting possible. We recommend settings of 5 megapixel or higher, and set to "fine."

When is Black Not Really Black? When printing black that is made up of 100 percent black on the color side of the card, the black may appear slightly grey and may show lines when other images are layered underneath the black layer. To solve this and to create a very dark black on the colored side of your card, we recommend using a RICH BLACK. The CMYK settings for Rich Black are: C-40 M-40 Y-0 K-100. Be sure if you are placing an image with a black background on top of another black area, that the blacks have the same color breakdowns. If they are a different color black, it may not show up on your monitor but will be obvious when printed.