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Here are a few tips to help you prepare and submit your job. Not all of this information will apply to everyone, but if you run into problems, chances are you'll find an answer on this page. If you don't see the answer you're looking for, just email, and we'll get back to you. We'll also update this page with the answer, if it's a problem others frequently have.
Try to use a page layout program (such as InDesign or Quark) to create your job. We accept jobs created in other programs, but these offer the best results.
This page will be updated on an ongoing basis, so check back for new info and tips.
Best InDesign tip: go to View > Overprint Preview. This will show you how the job will actually look on paper. You can catch many errors, especially with transparency, using this feature.
To submit an InDesign job:
When you are finished designing your project, go to File > Package. On the window that appears, look for a yellow triangle with an exclamation point. If you do not see this, it means InDesign found no errors, and you can skip to the next paragraph. If you do see the triangle, review the "Fonts" and "Links and Images" section. In all likelihood, this is where the problem will be. Chances are, the problem will be RGB photos. See the "Photoshop" heading on this page for instructions on how to fix this error. After you have fixed the problem, you will have to update the links, and start the Package process over. Another common error is missing images. Use the "Relink" button to find them.
If InDesign has detected no errors, continue with the "Package" process. Click the "Package" button, enter instructions if you wish, click "Continue." You will be prompted to create a folder name. (FYI, this process creates a new copy of your project.) Name the folder after yourself or your company, and check off all applicable boxes in the window, towards the bottom (the first three are mandatory). "Save" the folder to your desktop (a font restriction warning will appear after you click "Save." Click "OK" when you see this warning). Finally, compress the new folder, and upload via the Upload Files page.
Submitting Quark files:
After you have finished designing your project, go to Utilities > Usage. Check that all fonts used are loaded correctly. Fonts that are not loaded correctly will be in parentheses. Update missing fonts using the "Replace" button, choosing the appropriate font. Check that all picture are "OK." If they are "Missing," navigate to them using the "Update" button. If they are "Modified," click the "Update" button. Review your project to ensure the updates are correct, and no changes have occurred.
If all is well, go to File > Collect for Output. In the "Save As" dialog at the top of the window, name your project. Choose the desktop as the destination, and create a new folder there. Name this folder after yourself or your company. Next, be sure the Layout, Linked Pictures, Printer Fonts and Screen Fonts boxes are all checked. Click "Save." Click "OK" if a font restriction warning appears. Finally, compress this folder, and upload via the Upload Files page.
Submitting Illustrator files:
Stand alone Illustrator files should be submitted in their native format, which is .ai (Illustrator document). Be sure the color space is set to CMYK, even if you are using Pantone colors. If you do not anticipate any changes, you can convert the fonts to outlines, or simply include them with the file. If you have embedded images, please send those along as well, in case they require adjustments to make them press ready.
Submitting Photoshop files:
Stand alone Photoshop files should be submitted in their native format, which is .psd (Photoshop document). If transparency and/or text is used, they should be sent unflattened. Accepted color spaces are: Grayscale, CMYK or Duotone (using Pantone colors). You can select the color space when you create a new document, or by going to Image > Mode >. You will see the options under this heading.
Be sure the resolution is 300 pixels per inch or higher. This is set when creating a new project. Increasing the resolution after you have started will not increase the quality, so it's important to do this as the first step. You can check the resolution at any time by going to Image > Image Size. If you have an existing project with a low resolution, it may be possible to still use it, especially if the Photoshop size is larger than the printed size will be. As always, feel free to send it to us for a look.
Submitting PDF files:
If possible, avoid sending PDF files. Instead, send native files (i.e. the program the project was created in). While PDFs can be used, they are often prepared incorrectly. For example, the "Press Quality" preset lowers the quality of images. If a PDF is the only option, send it along, and we'll let you know if we find anything that would negatively affect the quality of your job.
Submitting Microsoft Word files:
Word files can be used to print single or full color jobs. Some Word files can be done as two or three Pantone colors, as long as the colors do not touch. If you are using images or logos, be sure to send these along as separate files, in case we need to swap them with the embedded images in Word. In any case, feel free to send the file, and we'll let you know if it will work, or if it requires additional fixes to make it press-ready.
To compress files for upload, it's easiest to use the built-in compression feature, available on both Mac and PC. For Mac, right click on your job folder, and choose "Create Archive." For PC, right-click on the job folder, mouse down to "Send to," and click on "Compressed (zipped) folder." A ZIP folder will be created with both of these options. Rename the archive after yourself or your company.