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How To Prepare Files

No matter how you plan to have your files output, adhering to these guidelines will allow us to complete your project more efficiently and stay within budget.

The information on this tab will assist you in preparing electronic files for offset and digital printing.


Two of the most common problems with electronic files are missing and stylized fonts. Always provide both screen and printer fonts with your files. Remember to include fonts that have been used in placed graphics (i.e., EPS files). If text in placed graphics has been converted to paths, we will not need these fonts. Creating bold and italic type through use of a style menu or palette can lead to substitution errors and other unpredictable results. Try to select weight from the font menu. Examine your lasers carefully to be sure bold and italic text prints correctly.


Please include EPS files (links) with the document file in which they are used. Photoshop files with a final resolution of 300 dpi are acceptable for CMYK or B&W images. Line art saved as a bitmap TIFF must have a final resolution between 600 and 1000 dpi. However, logos and line art can be handled much more efficiently as vector-based EPS files, especially if trapping is involved. If you are using Freehand, please include the original application file if the graphics were not saved as editable EPS files. If your software gives you the option, you should always link your graphics to your publication rather than embed them. Embedded images cannot be altered. Should there be any problems or trapping issues with your graphics, we will not be able to adjust them. This can add unwanted expense and delay your project.


If you intend your project to bleed, you will need to allow for this in your files. Bleeds must extend at least 1/8″ beyond the page trim.


Use CMYK builds for four-color process work rather than RGB, and Pantone colors for spot color projects. If we quoted your project for four-color process, we will convert your spot colors to process, unless otherwise noted. It is best for you to do this in your layout, so you can see a better representation of your final result. Otherwise, converted colors will not reproduce the way you were expecting. (RGB image files and color files will look flat and dull if they are automatically converted.) Whenever you use color, you’ll need to consider how the job will be trapped. We prefer to take care of it for you. But you are welcome to do any special trapping or overprinting required for your design. Indicate these on your lasers.

Layout Dimensions

Generally, you should create your file to the exact dimensions you want the final size to be. When creating a new file, many programs default to the standard 8-1/2″ x 11″ page size, but if your document is larger or smaller than this, you should create your page size accordingly. Then pull bleed 1/8” beyond the page boundary on all sides that will bleed.


Graphic Village supports most industry-standard publishing programs, including Quark, PageMaker, Photoshop, Freehand, Illustrator, InDesign and Corel Draw, either Mac or PC format. If we don’t support your particular software program, you may be able to send us your file in Postscript or PDF format (please check with our prepress department prior to sending postscript or PDF). Please include your name, phone number and company name on all media sent, along with an updated printout or PDF of the project that you are submitting to us (e.g., B&W Laserwriter or color output). These must indicate printed size relative to the project. Indicate the print file name that produced your lasers or PDF.

Clean up your final files!

Get rid of unwanted text boxes, color swatches, layers and images. They still get processed even if you hide them or cover them with a white box.

Large format requires a different method of file preparation. Click here to download a PDF with the requirements for preparing large format files.

When Creating for Print

If you would like to make the color on your screen as close to the printed color as possible:

  1. Your monitor must have its own custom ICC Profile.
  2. Your application’s color settings must suit the intended print condition (GRACoL)™, SWOP™, ETC) default Adobe Color Settings. These settings can be downloaded from Search for “Color Suite Color Settings Using G7.” Download “Color Suite Color Settings GRACoL/SWAP/67” and follow supplied directions.

Color Matching Guidelines

  • All tints should be specified as PMS Coated call-outs. All PMS colors are reproduced with 4-Color Process.
  • If PMS colors cannot be supplied, provide an acceptable quality color sample such as a color swatch or printed sample.
    Low quality desktop inkjet printouts are not recommended for color matching. Remember, not all substrates are the same brightness, which can affect color matching.
  • Fluorescent/Metallic PMS colors (800-Series Numbers) will be matched as closely as possible with 4-Color Process.
  • If a color match is not provided, we will adjust for a pleasing color.

Color Matching Reality

  • There are over 1000 variables in a typical printing process, not all of which can be controlled by the printer.
  • It is theoretically impossible for even the most skilled printers to exactly match a prepress proof.
  • It is theoretically impossible to pre-print a job exactly the same way twice.

File Preparation & Formats

  • Layout Design Applications – Adobe InDesign / Adobe Illustrator
    • Accepted file types – .indd / .ai / .pdf / .eps
    • For all .indd files please make sure to preflight the file and send all images and fonts.
    • For all .ai, .pdf, and .eps files, please convert all fonts to outlines and embed all images.
  • Image Design Applications – Photoshop
    • Accepted file types – .psd / .tif / .jpg / .eps / .pdf
    • For all .eps and .pdf files please convert fonts to outlines.
    • For all .psd, .tif and .jpg files please convert fonts to outlines and embed all images.

Formats NOT Accepted

  • Corel Draw, Word, PowerPoint, Publisher & Excel extensions.

Could Cause Problems – PLEASE READ

  • It is best to create all images in CMYK. Conversion from RGB to CMYK can cause color shifts.
  • When sending Illustrator format creative, .ai, .eps, or .pdf files, keep in mind that any effects used in Illustrator may cause undesirable results when printing. This is the same in Corel Draw or any other vector design application. If you would like to use an effect, such as a drop shadow, an outer glow, a feather, etc., please create it in Photoshop. If Photoshop is not available, please flatten the image and send as a .tif. Errors are not usually visible until printing and may be missed.

File Delivery

  • You can upload your files directly to our website
  • CD/DVD
  • Portable Hard Drive
  • 3rd Party File Transfer Services – Send download information to your sales contact.
  • Email – Send files less than 10MB directly to your sales contact’s email.

Mechanical Scale + Resolution

  • Billboard / Grand Format
    Full Size – 72 dpi
    Suggested Scale – 1:10 at 720 dpi
  • Standard
    Full Size – 100 dpi
    Suggested Scale – 1:10 at 1000 dpi (if image is over 10′)
  • High Resolution
    Full Size – 1500 dpi
    Suggested Scale – 1:10 at 1500 dpi (if image is over 10′)

*Note: Billboard dpi will vary depending on the final project size.
*Layouts provided in other scales are acceptable, provided that the layout is proportional and noted in the layout.

It is our goal to educate our customers. If this guide is not followed, then we are not responsible for what is produced. We are very passionate about what we produce, and our goal is to create the best products we can. This page is the most important part of the process. If you have any questions or need any help, please contact us.