FILE PREPARATION: ELECTRONIC ART REQUIREMENTS
Save time and money by following these artwork guidelines when
submitting electronic files to The Forms Outlet, Inc.
PREFERRED SOFTWARE AND FILE FORMATS
We prefer these industry-standard page layout
programs (these versions or earlier):
Adobe InDesign CS (Mac or PC)
Adobe Illustrator CS (Mac or PC)
Adobe PageMaker 7 (Mac or PC)
QuarkXPress 4.1 (Mac or PC)
Corel Draw 11 (PC only)
We support the programs listed below at an additional
charge (these versions or earlier.) We must reformat or rebuild
these files in one of the industry-standard page layout programs
listed above, which will result in additional typesetting:
Adobe Photoshop CS (Mac or PC)
Microsoft Publisher 2003 (PC only)
Microsoft Word 2000 (PC only)
Microsoft Excel 2003 (PC only)
We prefer the native application files for supported
software, but we will also accept the file types below. Please
ensure that your file is at a high enough resolution for print,
and prepared according to the Layout and File Preparation guidelines
below (also see "More about PDFs" on our Design
Tips: File Basics page):
PDF (1200dpi - 2400 dpi)
- TIFF (minimum 300dpi)
LAYOUT AND FILE PREPARATION
- File Names: Please give your file a name
which is easily matched to the job (eg. "brochure_parts_adams_auto.ai").
- Bleeds: If your print job requires printing
to the edge, be sure that you include at least an 1/8" bleed
past the trim marks.
More information on bleeds...
- Trim Marks: Please provide trim marks on
your file, but not overlapping the finished page area. Set the
trim marks to Registration Color, if available.
More information on trim marks...
- Image Area: We recommend at least 1/8" margin
between text and trim marks.
- Trapping: Trapping digital files is the process
of compensating for misregistration on the printing press by
printing small areas of overlapping color where objects meet,
typically .25 point. DO NOT TRAP artwork that you submit to
us, as we will handle all the trapping for your files. If you
have specific trapping needs, please let us know when you submit
- Fonts: Save all fonts to paths/outlines.
For example in Illustrator 10: Type>Create Outlines.
If this is not possible in your software, provide us all fonts
that are used in the document. Design Tip: Avoid distorting
the shape of fonts, and avoid using more than two or three fonts
on a page.
- Graphic Files: Save all supporting graphics
as either TIFF or EPS files. JPG and GIF files will not
reproduce as well. Photos should have a resolution of 300dpi.
See "Scanning" below.
- Placing Files in your Layout: Raster-based
images placed in a page layout program should not be sized
more than 100%. Scaling your graphic up will give unpredictable
results. When possible, graphics should be rotated or scaled
within the image program before being placed into the layout
- More information on types
- Spot Colors: When using Pantone or custom
spot colors in a graphic program such as Photoshop or Illustrator,
ensure that all color names are consistent in your page
layout file and all linked images. Colors with different
names, no matter how slight the difference, will produce
separate plates, resulting in extra costs. Documents should
include only the colors that you want printed.
- Full Color: If your job is to be 4 color
process, be sure to convert all spot colors to process before
submitting your files. Be sure to convert RGB, CIE-Lab,
and indexed color files to CMYK for process separation before
sending your document to us.
- More information on color...
- Black and White Logos: Scan using bitmap
or "line art" mode at 1500 lpi/ppi and at 100%. Save in
- Screens/Half-Tones (grayscale images):
Scan using 8-bit grayscale mode at 300 lpi/ppi and at 100%.
Save in TIFF format.
- Full Color (process color): Scan using
RGB or 24-bit color mode at 300 lpi/ppi and at 100%. Convert
to CMYK. Save in EPS format.
- More information on scanning...
SUBMITTING YOUR FILE
- Advance Review: The Forms Outlet encourages
communication with our customers in the early stages of a design
project. An advance review can often prevent delays or error
in final output. Send your files before they are completed,
if you wish -- we'll review them and offer suggestions.
- Supporting Files: Remember to provide us
with all linked images and non-outlined fonts along with your
- File Clean-Up: Cleaned up files prevent errors
in output and may save you time and money in the long run. Prior
to submitting your files to us, take time to insure that unnecessary
items are remove from your files. This includes:
- items left on the artboard
- pages not required for output
- unused colors
- unused styles
- Sending Files On Disk: You may submit your
camera-ready artwork and supporting files to us on 3.5"
1.4 MB floppy disk or CD-ROM. Please label your disk with your
name, company name, phone number, file name(s), and software
type and version. Let us know if you need your disk returned
to you. Keep backup copies of your job. Do not send us your
only copy, as The Forms Outlet, Inc. is not responsible for
loss or damage to your electronic media.
- Sending Files Electronically: Your camera-ready
artwork and supporting files can be emailed to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To protect your files from corruption, please compress files
using SIT (Mac) or ZIP (PC). Please keep email files to under
5 MB. Please follow up with us to verify that the file was received
and meets our requirements. Get
Stuffit (Mac)| Get
- Large Files: File larger file than 5 MB should
be sent on disk (see "Sending Files On Disk" above.)
We do not currently have an anonymous FTP site for upload, but
are considering providing one. Let
us know if this would be helpful to you.
- Send a Printout: Provide us a printout of
the file in its finished form showing us the results you expect.
Color inkjet or laser output is acceptable. For mulit-color
files, please submit both a composite output and separations
of the colors in which we are to print. Whenever possible, output
proofs at actual size. For jobs with special folding instructions,
please include a folded sample.
Please let us know the following when
you submit your artwork:
PLEASE CALL IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS: (916) 923-3676