Design and Art Preparation
Because if it's worth doing it's worth doing well

A collection of information to format files for best results

We have prepared the following guide to assist you with your electronic file preparation and submission. If you have a specific problem that is not covered in this guide, or have other questions, please feel free to contact us.

Quick Checklist

PDF Files

  • Create PDF's from InDesign using PPCIS settings. Download
    1. Choose File > Adobe PDF Presets > Define
    2. Click Load and select the PPCIS.joboptions file

Source Files - InDesign, Illustrator, QuarkXpress, etc.

  • All linked files, images and fonts are placed in separate folders
  • Page size matches desired final trim
  • Bleed is built in - Any art/image that extends to the trim must extend past by .125"
  • Margins accounted for so body copy is a minimum of .25" from final trim
  • All images are 225dpi or greater after final sizing (A dpi of 300 or higher will yield the best results)
  • Colors are in correct mode - Four Color Process and Pantone Colors


An 1/8" border extending past the trim needs to be added to pictures and all design elements to avoid a white space showing along the border. It is also important to keep text at least a 1/4" away from the final trim to avoid accidental trimming and visual imbalance.

Color Specifications and Accuracy

Previewing colors on a monitor is not an accurate representation. Colors can be affected by monitor calibration, screen resolution, and lighting. Pantone colors show a marked color shift when converted to four color process. Extra care needs to be taken with Pantone colors that will be converted to four color process because of the many different interpretations available. If you are unsure, give us a call and we can help you achieve what you want.
For one, two or three color jobs printed in Pantone spot color, make sure your colors are specified as spot color and they separate correctly. You can test this by printing separations on your printer or viewing separations in your application.

Image Resolutions

All raster (pixel based) images and pictures should be 225dpi or greater. A dpi of 300 or higher will yield the best results.

Any rasterized (pixel based) text or logos should be 1200 dpi.

Digital Proofs

We provide PDF files as electronic soft proofs. These digital proofs intend to show you the layout and design elements of your job, but we cannot guarantee the color accuracy. If color accuracy is of extreme importance to you, please ask for a hard copy proof. Scan all transparencies and line art at 100% of final size.

What other information would you be interested in? Give us your suggestions for what you want to see.


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