What applications do you use?
For in-house production, we use Adobe Creative Cloud: Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, and Photoshop CC. We also accept older files from the Creative Suite applications. If you have questions about other formats, just ask.
What if I don't have those applications?
Depending on the requirements of your job, we may be able to use your Microsoft Word or Publisher files. If we're producing a simple black and white or one color job, the chances are better than if you need a complex, multicolor job.
If you need to submit a Word or Publisher file, please include your original file, a PDF, and all fonts-even if it's a common font. If you're bringing it in, please include a printout of your job. If possible, send us any graphics files (like clip art, photos, or logos) that you have included in your document. If you give us your tiff, jpeg, wmf, or eps files, we're more likely to be able to fix your file if there are any problems. If your file will be printed in one color, create and print it in black and white for best results. The color in printing comes from the ink on the press, not the color on your printout.
I have a file, but I can't open it. What should I do?
If someone, especially a designer, has sent you a file that you can't open, chances are good that it's exactly what we need! Many professional graphics programs create files that can't be opened by the applications you're most likely to have on your computer. Be on the lookout for files with extensions such as ".ai", ".eps", ".psd", ".pmd", ".ind", or ".fh_". These are all files used in professional graphics, and we can use them!
Can't I just send you a PDF?
Maybe. All PDFs are not created equal. The usability of a PDF depend on the application used to create it and the user-defined settings. If you created your PDF from InDesign or Illustrator, it's probably okay (depending upon the settings used). However, PDFs created from Word and Publisher are less reliable. The only way to find out if they are usable is to send them to us and let us take a look at them. Regardless, it's always best to send the original files as a backup, even if you're sure the PDF is good!
I have something I downloaded off the internet. Can I use that?
Probably not. JPEGs and GIFs aren't well-suited to print use, and are probably too low resolution anyway. Web graphics are almost always 72 dpi (dots per inch), which works great for a monitor. However, we print with 300 dpi graphics. That means that you would have to reduce the image to one quarter of its original size to get good results.
Another issue with web graphics is copyright. The creator of a graphic owns all rights to that graphic, not you. Sure, it isn't likely that you'll be taken to court over the graphic on your business card, but is it really worth the risk? It has happened! So stick with a reliable source of clipart. One option is to use dingbat fonts, also known as "clip fonts." And if you own Word or Publisher, Microsoft's web site has clip art and photos you can download and use.
Occasionally a source will provide links to Window MetaFiles (.wmf), EPS files, or TlFF files (.tif). If that's available, download it to your computer's hard drive. Even if you can't open it, you can still submit it with your job. Plus, both Word and Publisher will allow you to import those files.
Why shouldn't I use JPEGs or GIFs?
JPEGs and GIFs work great for the internet. However, they are poor choices for print. They're popular file formats because they produce very small files, much smaller than TIFF or EPS formats. But they create those smaller files by throwing away data. This may not show up on your monitor, but it will show up in print! Plus, every time you open a file and make changes to it, save it, and close it, you lose more data. And when it comes to files, less data means lower quality.
Sometimes, though, all you have is a JPEG. In fact, most digital cameras output images as JPEG files. That's fine; they're usually of very high quality, and it's the file size that will determine its usefulness. But if you want to change that file, don't write over the original image! Instead, save the modified copy with a different name. That way the original, higher quality file is still there if you (or we) need it.
What type of file should I use, then?
For images such as photos, a TIFF or a Photoshop native file (.psd) is a much better choice than a JPEG or GIF. If it's clip art, WMF and EPS formats (or Adobe Illustrator files, if you have them) are a better choice. These types of images don't suffer from the jaggies so prevalent with JPEGs. They can be freely enlarged and reduced, just like type.
6057 New Peachtree Road • Doraville, Georgia 30340 • 770.458.7454