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File Preparation Guidelines




All Raster/bitmap images must have a resolution of at least 300dpi.
Please allow for an 1/8” bleed on all outside edges of your artwork. i.e. if your finished final product is 4x6 your document needs to be set up as 4.25x6.25. Additionally, please keep all text and critical images at least 1/8" in from the finished final cut line. Please do not include printer's marks. If you have any questions about what this means, please ask us for a template.
Images MUST be flattened. (this applies to Raster/bitmap/Photoshop images)

Files we accept:

We would prefer to receive PDF files….If you are unable to supply us with a PDF we also accept these types of files: JPEG, EPS, TIF, PSD, AI.

Must include outlines for all fonts if you are submitting an AI, PDF, or VECTOR based file, additionally make sure that all images are embedded in the file and are NOT linked!)

For InDesign files:

Outlined text
Select all text, the go to Type / create outlines

Embed an image within the document
Rather than link to a file that you’ve placed in a document, you can embed (or store) the file within the document. When you embed a file, you break the link to the original. Without the link, the Links panel doesn’t alert you when the original has changed, and you cannot update the file automatically.Embedding a file increases the document file size.

1. Select a file in the Links panel.
2. Choose Embed File in the Links panel menu. The file remains in the Links panel marked with the embedded-link icon

File Submission: Front and Back documents should be set up as two separate pages. Do not create both sides in a single file or page, and please do not set your project up as a 2-up or 4-up etc.....

All files must be submitted in CMYK color format. (Unless noted otherwise)

If your order requires SCORING OR OTHER SPECIAL PROCESSES, please place the order and put the special instructions in the NOTES (or relevant menu selections) section on the order form. Once you have sent the special instructions, please contact our office so we can make sure all of your files are set up correctly.

If you add a BORDER to your print project, please note: It should NOT extend beyond the safety margins. This means, the border should extend no further than an 1/8-inch from the edge of the finished dimensions. For example, if you submit a 4x6 flyer, the border should not extend beyond 3.75x5.75. This is not a guarantee that the card will be printed exactly centered, but it is the safest bet. If there are any movements, regardless of how slight, the cards may still appear off-center. The best way to handle this is to remove any and all borders from the artwork.

**Setup for SPOT UV / FOIL / DIE CUT processes:
When setting up a design that includes special effect print processes, in almost all situations, we need to be supplied with a vector file. This can be either a .AI, PDF, or EPS file. When setting up your vector file, your finished file should contain one layer for all printable date, and then one layer (to be used as a map guide) for all special effects printing. Please be specific in the naming of your layers, so that it is understood which layer pertains to which print process. For example, if you are submitting a business card that uses SPOT UV, your file will contain two layers. The first layer will be labeled "PRINT LAYER." This layer will contain all information that you wish to be printed. The second layer will be labeled "SPOT UV LAYER" and will include a vector outline / map that shows explicitly where the SPOT UV (spot gloss) will be applied too. This layer is only a guide layer to show where the SPOT UV effect will go, and should not include any other print objects. The above process applies to using FOIL, or custom shape / die cutting. In all of these cases, you will include one print layer, and an additional layer to map out where each effect (foil, spot uv, or die cut) will be applied. If you are unable to create a usable file, in most circumstances we are happy to assist you in creating a file that will print to your criteria. If you are unclear about how something will print using effects, we can provide you a digital proof that will explicitly show how your project will print.

Black color: for true rich black colors please set your black to


Cyan: 40%
Magenta: 40%
Yellow: 40%
Black: 100%

 :: TRADE STANDARDS: With digital and offset printed products, please be advised that colors in the artwork may shift up to 15% even if the artwork is correctly formatted in CMYK. About 90% of our products are printed in a gang-run so it is not possible to do an exact color match. However, we will try our best to get the closest match possible. Artwork provided in RGB may shift more than 15% since a conversion to CMYK may be necessary. In these cases, we cannot be liable for the outcome. Additionally, we allow up to a 1/16-inch for cutting tolerance. Please be advised of this tolerance when setting up the margins of your artwork.


Please contact Patrick for general questions regarding file setup.



Applications supported:
We support most Adobe products such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. With most image files from raster programs, like Photoshop, the general rule is 600 dpi at half the finished size and 300 dpi at finished size. Additionally, files created in programs such as Microsoft Word, Publisher, and PowerPoint are usually unusable due to poor image quality. We can re-create them using our inhouse programs or you can use your own art team to create a layout that would lead to a better result. Phoenix Media (Portland's Best Digital Printing Company) recommends Adobe Illustrator for your layouts.

Recommended File Formats:
Vector files are best for most situations. Illustrator files that end with .eps or .ai will you give you the best results. Let us know if you have a different file format — we have solutions for almost any file type.

Tip: All vector files should be saved in EPS format (Standard EPS or Adobe Illustrator) and should be fully editable as they will be subject to being either scaled or rotated.

Fees may apply if your files are not set up properly. In most cases we can set up your files to be press ready with a minimum charge of $35.00.

Please contact Patrick for questions regarding large format file preparation.

By following these steps you ensure a fast and easy turnaround. If you are experiencing trouble, you can always email us or call the office. We will be happy to help you through the ordering process.

Thank you,

Phoenix Media Staff