Online Printing Design Tips


Images | Fonts | Colors | Image Conversion | Colored or Reversed Text | Text Over Image | Bleeds


If you are scanning images it is best to save them as a .tif format. This image format will preserve the color and sharpness of your pictures. File formats like gif or .jpg use compression and the pictures color and resolution can be severely distorted.JPG’s and gif’s are the most popular image formats on the web, it’s a good idea not to simply copy an image from a website and use it in your layout. The quality will be very poor since the image are only 72 dpi. You should scan your images using a resolution of 300dpi at the final dimensions you intend to use them.Your colors and sharpness will look vibrant and smooth. Don’t scan an image at 300dpi and then enlarge the picture by 300% in your layout program! Scan it to the actual size. If you scan it at 300 dpi and then reduce it in you layout program you should still get good results.If you are using pictures from a digital camera they should work ok if they are .jpgs. The quality of .jpg images from digital cameras are much better quality than .jpgs from the web. You must do the math to make sure that it is high enough in pixel resolution though. For example, if your camera puts out an image of 1280 x 960 pixels at 72dpi you get about 17” x 13” of image at 72dpi. You would need to reduce the image to about 4” x 3” to get decent quality on the printing press.

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If you used just the fonts that came with MS Publisher,Word or Excel then we have those fonts and you don’t need to send them. If you used some fonts from other sources then you do need to send them
to us. If you use our Desktop PDF printer driver you don’t have to worry about fonts, images or links. All of the fonts and linked images are embedded in the file when it’s generated and you will see an instant proof. See “Desktop PDF Printing”

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Not exactly, there are some differences. Digital cameras create images using combinations of three colors. Red, Green and Blue (called RGB).These are the colors that computers use to display images on your monitor. Printing presses print color pictures using cyan, magenta, yellow and black (called CMYK). Your RGB image must be converted to CMYK in order to print it on a press. This is easily done using an image editing program like PhotoShop, PhotoDeluxe, or
Corel PhotoPaint.

You most likely won’t notice this kind of color shift in a color photograph. It is more likely to happen if you pick a very rich,
vibrant color for a background or some other element of your layout.
It probably won’t look bad, it just won’t look exactly the same. But it may not be noticeable at all either. In any event it will look more professional compared to a piece printed on an inkjet printer.

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You will have total control over the appearance of your printed piece if you convert the images from RGB to CMYK before sending them to us.When we receive files with RGB images we do a standard conversion to CMYK. We cannot be responsible for sub-par results if you furnish RGB images or low-res images.There are colors that can only be done in RGB that can not be reproduced in CMYK. They are out of the CMYK color gamut. These colors are translated as close as possible. If you have to have a certain color that needs to match exactly you may have to use a special PMS match color. Your order will run as a 5-color job, CMYK plus PMS. Call for information and pricing on 5-color jobs.You shouldn’t notice a color shift in a color photograph. It is more likely to happen if you pick a deep or vibrant color for a background or some other element in your design. It probably won’t look bad, it just won’t look exactly the same as on screen. Many colors look almost exactly the same.

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It’s best not to colorize or reverse out small text.What will happen is that all presses have very slight amount of variance in the registration from one printing unit to the next. This is called mis-registration and even the top of the line presses have this minute mis-registration.
The black, cyan, magenta and yellow portions of the text characters don’t line up perfectly. The result is little colored halos around the type.The smaller the type the more noticeable the effect. It’s ok to use colored or reversed out text on large type or smaller sizes down to about 11 point size. Any smaller than that and you might notice it. The word register above is enlarged to show what may happen to small text.

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design_type_bleedCAN I PRINT TEXT OVER AN IMAGE?

If you put text on top of images it can be very hard to read. The best thing to do is put type over the light areas of an image. If you have to put text over a dark area then use a reverse out with white. Be sure not to use small text or you will have the problem with register as above.

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Bleed is the term for printing that makes it appear that the printing goes right to the edge of the paper. Printing is never printed off the edge of the paper on the press. We use over sized paper and then trim the paper so that it appears that the image was printed off the page. The best way to do this is to make your document .125” bigger in all dimensions. For example, if the final size is 8.5” x 11” then make your document 8.75” x 11.25”. Draw guides on the layout that are .125” from the edge all the way around. Create your document with the idea that the layout will be cut off where those guides are. Be sure that any photographs, images or backgrounds that you want to bleed go past the guidelines.After we print your piece we will trim off that extra .125” all the way around and you will end up with your 8.5” x 11” piece.

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