Preparing Your Files

Follow these file-preparation specifications to ensure the highest quality fabrication.

Properly structured files move more quickly from Prepress to Print resulting in reduced turnaround time.

  • Please provide a low-resolution PDF that we can reference for content. Review the PDF carefully to ensure all elements appear properly in the final output.
  • All files are printed in four-color process, so working in 1 or 2 colors will not lower costs. All files must use CMYK or CMYK-based Pantone colors. Exact color matches are not always possible.
  • For color accuracy please specify all colors in Pantone, and include a color proof with each file. Send any guidelines or print samples for approximate color matching.
  • We will provide a low-resolution PDF proof before producing any project. If your project output is critical we suggest you order a printed proof at an additional cost.
  • Include all artwork for white ink on a separate layer as grayscale artwork. White ink is available in 256 shades, so grayscale layers will be translated congruently: 100% black will print 100% white ink; 75% black › 75% white; 50% black › 50% white; 25% black › 25% white; and 0% black will print clear.
  • Check to make sure logos with light colors are not set to overprint.
  • Use four-color black instead of straight black: 65%C, 53%M, 51%Y, 100%K
  • If you are creating the document in Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign and are certain there will be no additional changes, turn all fonts to outline.
  • When possible, logos and text should be created and kept in vector formats (.ai or .eps).
  • Outline (preferred) or embed all fonts used in your files. Create a package (.pkg) as opposed to making copies of font folders on the desktop. Include or embed any linked files.
  • Preferred file formats are Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or high-resolution PDF. Clearly state your final trim and bleed sizes, and do not include crop marks in PDF files. Make sure to embed all links before saving to PDF. We accept Adobe InDesign files, but additional pre-imaging fees may apply. 
  • All files to be die-cut (drag knife, laser, router, or water jet) need a vector path on a separate layer. The path should have the minimal number of anchor points and not be a conversion from a selection with thousands of points.
  • All QuarkXPress documents must be saved as high-resolution PDF files or be converted to Adobe Photoshop files.
  • Leave Adobe Illustrator files layered; do not flatten. Delete all hidden objects and unused layers.
  • Scanned images should be saved as Adobe Photoshop files in CMYK (150 ppi or 200 ppi as the final output size, see above)
  • Whenever possible work at full size to give a better perspective on how elements will look. If you need to work at a reduced size clearly indicate what scale.
  • Files under 20MB may be submitted by email. For larger files use the EAC Upload Tool (bottom of our homepage) or an outside file transfer service (i.e. WeTransfer, Hightail, Dropbox). If using an outside file transfer service make sure the link can be downloaded anonymously and not be locked to any email address.
  • For fabric, carpet, and banner vinyl we request a resolution of 150 ppi with 20-in bleed at the final printed size. When printing to rigid substrates or adhesive vinyl we request a resolution of 200 ppi with 0.125-in bleed.
  • If your Photoshop images are larger than 1.5GB or 30,000 px in either dimension we may need to lower your resolution, but we will accept larger files. Note: Adobe Illustrator and InDesign have a 2GB file limit including linked files. If the sum of your linked files exceeds 2GB then Adobe cannot embed the linked files.