Art Guidelines

Preferred Art

PDF – PDF/x-1a:2001 automatically embeds all fonts, converts all colors to CMYK and embeds all images.

Files should be set up at finished size (plus bleeds when applicable). For example, an 8.5 x 11″ double sided flyer should be provided in a 2 page PDF. Each page should be sized at 8.5 x 11 inch (if no bleeds) or 8.625 x 11.125 inch (if it bleeds).  Files that are sent multiple up on a sheet will incur a design fee.


Preferred Programs

InDesign – CS or newer (Packaged)

Illustrator– CS or newer (Fonts Converted to Paths)

Photoshop – CS or newer

FontsConvert text to paths, curves or outlines (vector art).

If you choose to supply the live files instead of a PDF please be sure to include any images or fonts that are used. We cannot output a file unless we have the art/photos and fonts used within the document intended for output.

Support Files

EPS – Illustrator/Freehand: Fonts converted

Tiff– Photoshop: Save as CMYK 300dpi at actual size.

PDF– PDF/X-1a:2001, high resolution (300dpi)

Packaging Adobe InDesign Files – Adobe InDesign has a package feature to collect all of your pictures used, as well as fonts. First, check your links palette to make sure that all of your pictures are updated and not missing. Address any “stop sign” or “caution sign” symbols. Choose file, select package, then follow the on screen instructions, and be sure that the pictures, fonts, and update links options are checked. Please use Stuffit or Zip to compress the folder before uploading.

Accepted Programs – ADDITIONAL CHARGES APPLY

Microsoft Word (Include Images in File), Publisher – (Embed all images) or CorelDraw 12


Resolution

300 dpi is the recommended resolution. The more dots/pixels the image contains, the sharper the image will print. As a result, printing may look blurry if a 72dpi image is used as compared to using a 300dpi image.

First image (left) is 300dpi vs the second image (right) at 72dpi


Bleeds & Safe Zones

 

Files must include a 1/16” bleed area if bleeds are desired. For example, an 8 1/2” x 11” full bleed document will actually be 8.625” x 11.125”, to account for a 1/16” bleed on each edge.

All non-bleed items (text and photos) must be within the safe zone area.
Full color Safe Zone .125” from the trim.

Booklets Safe Zone .25” from the trim.

One color Safe Zone .312” from the trim.

 


Color mode

All files should be provided in CMYK mode (unless we are running a spot color) When we receive RGB images, we do a standard-value conversion to CMYK, which may not be perfect to your liking. We cannot be responsible for results if you furnish your images with RGB.

These two swatches are the same color.
The first box (left) is in CMYK
The second box (right) is in RGB

 


Avoiding Purple-ish Blues

Anything high in magenta and high in cyan will print purple.
If you want a more true blue color we recommend keeping cyan and magenta 30% apart from each other to create a blue.

 

 


Pantones

All of our printing is done in CMYK. If you use Pantone colors in a job that will print CMYK, your job might print with undesirable colors. We have a program that converts any PMS files to CMYK using the conversion process from the files native program, and the results are not always what customers expect. That’s why we highly recommend that customers convert all their files to CMYK before uploading their art.  GH is not responsible for product that has experienced a color shift during the conversion to CMYK format.


Black Text

For best results, black text should have a CMYK breakdown of 0 Cyan, 0 Magenta, 0 Yellow, 100 Black.
We cannot guarantee the quality of 4 color black text.


Rich black

For best results on printing large black areas, rich black (30C, 30M, 10Y, 100k) should be used, for uniform ink coverage.Using only 100k can result in uneven ink coverage, and a black that is not as dark as it could be.Using a higher value mix such as 75 Cyan, 68 Magenta, 67 Yellow, 90 Black can result in high ink coverage, causing ink to smear.


Transparency issues

Sometimes using shadows, glows or other transparency effects on top of a spot color creates white boxes or other unwanted results.

(left) what you see on screen;  (right) after file is printed.

The best way to avoid issues like this is to convert all spot colors to CMYK before sending artwork in.


Overprint Issues

Overprint settings are typically used to intentionally overlap inks for a number of reasons but overprint can cause unexpected results so we recommend that you turn off all overprint objects before submitting files. Always check logos and other artwork before submitting.