HOW TO PREPARE YOUR FILE FOR DIGITAL PRINTING
Preparing your document properly is the most important part of the printing process. Remember, we print directly from your file without altering it in any way. At Tags & Labels Printing, we want to make sure that you are completely satisfied with our work. For this reason, we are including the following guidelines that you must follow when submitting your printing work to us. You should review our "How To Prepare Checklist" to make sure that you are complying with all of the requirements. We recommend that you read this entire page and become familiar with all of our requirements.
Preparing your job correctly is the most important part of getting good results. Tags & Labels Printing accepts files from both Macintosh and Windows platforms. We accept files from the following programs as long as they are converted to PDF, TIFF or EPS (with the fonts outlined):
Software Used Output in CYMK
Adobe Photoshop : Photoshop TIFF, 300 dpi, CMYK colors*. Please make sure that you leave an additional 1/8th of an inch all around for bleeding if your document bleeds.
Adobe Illustrator : Illustrator EPS, Set all fonts to outlines. If you're exporting an Illustrator file to TIFF Please make sure that you leave an additional 1/8th of an inch all around for bleeding if your document bleeds. Save your document as an PDF
Adobe inDesign : Set all fonts to outlines and embed all Links (all colors and images in CMYK). Please make sure that you leave an additional 1/8th of an inch all around for bleeding if your document bleeds. Export as a PDF or an EPS.
**Do not make your PDF with crop marks or any other marks on your artwork**
Other marks includes registration marks, tag lines, color bars, scores, cut and folding die lines and hole placements.
Size: When you select the size of the document you need, please make sure that you leave an additional 1/8th of an inch all around for bleeding if your document bleeds. This will ensure that your entire art and text will be visible once it is cut to it's final size. Make sure, however, that no important art or text is in the bleeding area. You should also have at least 1/8" inside the final size (see graphic below). When using a border, remember it may be unequal either top to bottom or side to side due to minor, inevitable movements in the press and in the cutters.
What is bleed and why do we need it? The paper is trimmed after printing to insure the ink runs fully to the edge and not stopping short of it. The purpose of a bleed is to continue a color, image or design off the edge of the card. A document with a white background with no image or design that goes beyond or to the edge does not require a bleed. For example: If your final size is to be 4.25" x 2". You may then set your guides to 1/8" outside of the document bounds all around the document. Your output file size will then be 4.5” x 2.25”. That is the document final size with the bleed on it. Background colors and other designs may extend to these external bounds (bleed), but no important artwork or text should be in this area as it will be cut off.
Safety Area: You should ALSO leave yourself at least 1/8" from the edge of the final document size to where the important information or artwork begins inside the bounds of the document. This is visible in the graphic displayed as the "SAFE ZONE AREA". This means that the area where important artwork (logos, text, etc.) and information will reside on an 4.25" x 2" has an actual size of 4” x 1.75”. Tags & Labels Printing will not be responsible if important artwork or text extends beyond these specifications and is cut off.
When exporting images to TIFF always make sure the Anti-Alias setting is active. This will make the text look significantly better and the overall card look much nicer.
**NOTE**- For a 2 sided project, 2 files (a file for EACH side) must be submitted. You MUST label the file name either FRONT or BACK.
USE OF IMAGES
Best Format: Even if your image is high resolution, you'll still need to save it in the correct file format: TIFF. Always save your pictures in the TIFF format, Do not use LZW, JPG or any other type of compression offered by your software.
RGB colors are those used by most digital cameras. It is NOT, however, used for printing color output. They must all be converted to CMYK colors.
Images and Resolution: All images must be submitted at 300 dpi at 100% scale (of the print size) and must be submit- ted in uncompressed TIFF format without layers (flattened). They must all be converted to CMYK colors.
Remember, a higher quality image resolution does not always result in better print quality. Excessive images resolutions (beyond 300 dpi) will only dramatically increase your file size and in most cases will not improve the print quality. Further- more, the extra time required to handle these larger files could delay your turnaround time.
Vector-based graphics suitable for type and logos should be submitted at 100% scale and converted to PDF CMYK format with all fonts converted to outlines. TAGS & LABELS PRINTING will not be responsible for output from an PDF which contains fonts that are not converted to curves.
Images from a Digital Camera: If using a photo, start with a good image. A good print starts with a high-quality image. One that merely looks good on screen is not enough. Before you use images from a digital camera, make sure the camera is set at a high resolution to result in 300 PPI at the intended photo print size. Most cameras have various settings for resolutions. The highest resolution for your camera depends on how many Megapixels it has. You cannot increase the resolution of a photo after it is taken, except by reducing its dimensions.
Images from Scanner: Like a digital camera, a scanner must be preset to the proper resolution before image capture. Many scanners default to 150 PPI (or SPI) and RGB input. Set your scanner’s resolution so that it results in 300 PPI at the image’s final print size. Always save your pictures in the TIFF format, and they must all be converted to CMYK colors.
Images from Internet: Images found on the Internet are typically at a resolution of 72 PPI. This resolution is much too low for quality printing. In addition, most images on the Web are protected by copyright laws. For these reasons, we do not recommend using images from the Web.
Anti-Alias: To diminish the stair-step-like lines in images that should be smooth, by surrounding the jagged edges with shades of color. Anti-alias should remain checked because it smooths the contours of the elements, it makes anything you draw (bitmap) look smooth and not jagged (like steps) at the edges. You will see the difference when you add text to a graphic.
**All work submitted to us must be converted to CMYK.**
CYMK vs. RGB Colors: What are CMYK Colors? Most color presses (including those used by Tags & Labels Printing) use the combination of these four colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) to create full color output. Even simpler desktop color printers (such as Laser and Inkjet printers) rely primarily on the combination of these four inks to create full color output.
What are RGB Colors? RGB colors are those used by most computer monitors and televisions to display full color. It is NOT, however, used for printing color output.
Rich Black: To obtain the richest possible black, all heavy blacks and defined text over 24 pt needs to be configured with the following color combination: Cyan: 80% Magenta: 80% Yellow: 70% Black: 90%
Also remember that you should never set any color to overprint unless it is black. When a color is placed on top of a dark one, the dark one will always be dominant and will always overprint the light one causing the color to print incorrectly.
Please convert all fonts to outlines. Also, don't forget to convert to outlines (or curves) fonts included in your graphics.
Still not sure how to submit the proper file format? NO PROBLEM!! We can help.
Tags & Labels Printing can assist in preparing files to the specifications needed to print your job. There would be a charge of $60.00 per hour, billable by the minute, if our prepress services are needed.
Tags & Labels Printing can provide a digital proof to you, if requested. We would submit to you an electronic, digital proof of your project for you to have a confirmed visual of how the final product will print. The proof submitted is strictly a visual and NOT the actual finished product. There will be a service charge of $15 for this service.