ADDRESS: 4544 NE 190th Lane, Portland, OR 97230

Frequently Asked Questions

What file formats do you accept?

  • We accept most Adobe Creative Suite Native application files, ie; InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. We also accept print ready PDF’s with bleed and trim marks.
  • We have limited support for Microsoft Office and other applications. These have several limitations and should be discussed with your sales rep prior to submitting.


Is there a preferred format?

  • The bullet proof file is a packaged Native InDesign file with all fonts and links included.
  • Next would be Illustrator and then a print-ready PDF.
  • While convenient for a single file submission, PDF’s generally limit the extent of corrections that can be made and makes adjusting critical folds and crossover’s much more labor intensive.


How do I set up my files correctly to be print ready?

  • Print ready files will have the document size equal to the final trim size + 1/8” bleed past that trim where appropriate.
  • All images are a minimum 300 dpi at the size being printed.
  • The color palette will have been cleared of unused colors, and any of the spot colors not running as spot have been converted to CMYK.
  • The artboard has been cleared of unused elements.


What are crop marks?

  • Crop marks visually define the final trim of any given print job.


How much bleed should I have around my page?

  • As a rule of thumb, any element that hits final trim should extend past that trim mark by 1/8”.
  • Elements that do not bleed should be a minimum of 3/16” short of any trim or fold lines.


How do I add a dieline to my file?

  • Dielines should be added as a second layer, usually an Illustrator file or PDF placed with a transparent background and all elements of the dieline set to overprint.
  • The dieline itself should be called out as a spot color called “Dieline”.


At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics for good reproduction?

  • Your images should be 300 dpi at final printed size.
    • Example: a 15” x 20” image at 72 dpi will have an apparent resolution above 300 dpi if reduced to 4” x 5” for a print project.
  • A small 300 dpi image enlarged or cropped could have a final apparent resolution below 72 dpi if enlarged too much.
  • Focus on final resolution and check it in your layout application prior to submitting.


What is RGB vs. CMYK?

  • First and foremost; CMYK is the color space for offset printing and all files submitted should be in that color space.
  • RGB = Red, Green and Blue. These are the colors in the color space of monitors, and loosely speaking, the human eye.
    • RGB does not create a true black but much more of a muddy brown.
  • RGB is a bigger color space than CMYK, meaning there are simply more colors in RGB than CMYK, mostly in the vibrant end of the spectrum, blues and reds.
  • CMYK = Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. These are the colors which make up the color space for offset printing.
    • It cannot reproduce all the colors available in RGB.


What is a spot color?

  • A spot color is a custom mix of color that prints in its own unit on the press. They are usually used when a color cannot be achieved within the standard CMYK color space or when a color needs to be exactly the same from one project to another or from printer to printer.
    • Often used in corporate identity situations, logos, etc.


What is the Pantone Matching System?

  • It is a controlled and established industry standard for consistently matching colors regardless of source or provider.
  • The formulas are created to provide a guideline for color reproduction in the offset world.


How well will my job match what I see on my monitor?

  • Your monitor is the biggest variable in color control and should only be used as a loose guide.
  • The same image on 10 different monitors could be subtly or substantially different from each other depending on the answers to some of these questions:
    • How old is your monitor?
    • What brand?
    • What technology: IPS or OLED display?
    • Has it ever been calibrated and if so, by who? To what standard? How often?


How do I reduce the file size of the artwork I want to upload?

  • The best way to reduce overall file size prior to upload is to simply put all elements of a project into a single containing folder and ZIP or Stuff-It into an archive that can be handled as a single upload.
  • In general don’t worry too much about the final file size for uploads. Often times in an effort to reduce file size clients will sacrifice predictability and quality.
    • Some will keep images in RGB, save them as JPEGS, or even reduce resolution. This will cause a difference in color due to an RGB to CMYK color conversion, and poor final quality due to JPEG compression degradation.
      • JPEG’s are a “lossy” compression which means this file format sacrifices image quality for size benefits, only relevant to internet connections, web browsing and download speed, not a worry for print so better to stick with TIFF’s.