File Preparation FAQ
File Prep FAQs
What type of files can I send?
We accept native Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Indesign files for production. All type must be converted to outlines. Non vector images must be provided as a BITMAP TIF at 100% size with a minimum of 800 dpi. (1200 dpi is recommended) Any bitmap TIF images should be embedded.
How should I send you files?
Almost everything we do is via email. Please email us files under 7mb. For larger files, you can use wetransfer.com (free service, doesn't require an account). Please make sure and reference the job number on your estimate when sending files.
Why do you ask for layered files?
We need files that we can easily break apart and gang up together for plate making. And importantly, with multiple color files we want to make sure that our clients have thought through any areas that their colors come in contact with each other. It should be clear in your file if you intend to knockout or overprint colors. (we recommend using the “multiply” filter to get an on screen indication of overprinting color results)
Can you print full color files?
No, all colors must be specified as Pantone Matching System (PMS) spot colors, not CMYK or RGB values.
How do you match my color?
We print using Solid UNCOATED Pantone inks, which can appear dramatically different on screen, please be sure to view a physical Pantone swatch book when selecting your colors. If you are unable to access a Solid Uncoated Pantone swatch book you may mail us a physical sample of the color (fabric, paper, etc) to match to. Our final print colors will not match your on-screen preview.
Can I specify a Coated Pantone color?
Because we print on uncoated stocks, any inks we print will achieve an uncoated appearance. We do not match other swatch types such as COATED, PROCESS or RGB. You must use UNCOATED Pantone colors.
How should I indicated special processes in my file?
Processes that are additional to any letterpress printing should also have their own layer in your file. This includes elements such as, die lines, scoring, laser cutting, perforations, edge coloring, etc
What is the smallest type size you can print?
First and foremost, we advise clients to print a mock up of their design at 100% size. Adjust it so it is comfortable to you and your client. We can easily print a small 2pt type size , but can anyone really read that size? Also, add some tracking value to your type. It depends on the typeface, but we recommend a tracking value of 50-75 to help keep letterpress type looking crisp.
Can you print photos?
We can print a line screened, halftone style photo. Think about a grayscale newspaper image – that is the effect we will print. We typically print an image with anywhere from 50-100 line halftone screens. We push the values in the image to land mostly between 20 and 80 percent. More than 80% starts can start to fill with ink, and less than 20% may risk washing away in the plating process. Halftone images can be a challenge to ink up on letterpress and require a robust inking system with lots of pressure.
Will I see a proof?
Yes, we email you an electronic PDF proof that represents our press sheet. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR YOU AND YOUR CLIENT TO CHECK CAREFULLY. It lists, PAPER, COLORS, TRIM AREA, and any special finishing. We will not run until you have checked this document carefully and given us written approval to proceed.
How quickly do you prepare a PDF proof?
We typically provide this proof within one business day. If there are problems with your production files, we will contact you and give you the option of correcting them or adding additional prepress cost for us to correct them.
What if I have a change after I’ve approved a proof?
This is never happy news, and it does happen. Contact us right away to see what stage of production your project has reached. Changes made after approval of a file may be subject to full cost of reprint. Upon confirmation your project does proceed to production, film and plates are made, stock is ordered and cut, presses roll. There is little if any savings for us to reprint your job.