Generally, PDF’s work the best, so that’s what we prefer. Everything is packaged up and ready to go in a PDF, so please put together a high quality CMYK PDF and things tend to go smoother and faster!


Here are a few other pointers:

  • Bleed – if you have a layout with colour/photos that go from edge to edge in your project, you’ll need bleed in your file. We prefer 1/8” bleed and trim/crop marks if you can add those as well.
  • Sheetfed/Digital Printing Resolution – Best results come from files with 300dpi graphics/photos. Lower is possible to print from, but quality will not be as good.
  • Large Format Resolution – If your project is going to be viewed from a distance like a banner/poster/signage, you can supply 150dpi as sometimes files can only be stretched so large (and we’ve found it generally looks okay
  • RGB elements – Sometimes you get files supplied and then some graphics export as RGB in your file - don’t worry, we can convert that, but it will be an auto-conversion and some colours look quite different in RGB and get a lot duller when in CMYK. Your proof (electronic or physical) will definitely show you what you’ll be getting.
  • Greyscale/Black and White printing – Whenever we get a file that is to be printed black and white (black ink only), we always auto-convert, but if you have colour in your file and are just having us print black and white for budgetary reason, make sure that the tones are different enough to not blend together (orange text on a mid-grey background will basically disappear when converted as they are both tonally the same).
  • Pantones/PMS values – We can print spot colours (PMS) in addition to standard CMYK, or isolated on their own (on an envelope, for example). Please insure that all files are set up with all elements/text in proper Pantone/Spot colour. If there are CMYK elements, we’ll identify them and let you know if we have any concerns. And if printing a CMYK project that has PMS elements, we will auto-convert (but some Pantone values don’t auto-convert to the exact value you would expect – Bright Pantone orange colours go a bit brownish for example). We have Pantone to CMYK bridge swatch books available to review, should you need some assistance.
  • For custom die-cut projects – Please provide 3 artwork files – one showing the artwork with the die-line overlaid, one with just the artwork and one file with just the die-line. All set up the same way with trim marks to ensure that the correct alignment is achieved.
  • For existing die projects – If you are using one of our house dies (a pocket folder or door hanger, for example), please ask your sales rep for a electronic die file so that you can be sure you’re setting up your file to the correct house die-line.

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