What types of images will work ok?
Will my printed piece look exactly like it
does on my computer monitor?
Can I put text over an image?
What are bleeds, and do I need them?
Low-resolution images don't print well.
It's best if you do the RGB-to-CMYK conversion
of your images.
types of images will work ok?
you are scanning the images yourself from photographs,
it is better to save them in either tif, or eps format.
These image formats will most accurately preserve the
color and sharpness of your pictures.
File formats like gif or jpg compress
the picture's color and pixel resolution and this can
cause color shifts and blurriness. Since jpg and gif
are the most predominant image formats on the web, it's
not a good idea to simply lift an image from someone's
website and use it in your layout.
You should scan your images using a
resolution of 300dpi at the final dimensions you intend
to use, so that your colors will look smooth and hard
objects will look sharp. In other words don't scan at
300dpi and then enlarge the picture by 200% in your
layout program! This is another reason why you should
not use images that are lifted from websites; they are
probably only 72dpi in resolution and will look very
blurry if printed on a printing press.
If you are using pictures from your
digital camera, they will work just fine if they are
jpgs; the quality of jpg images from digital cameras
seems to be much better than jpgs that are used on the
web. You must do the math to make sure that it is high
enough in pixel resolution, however. For instance, if
your camera puts out a typical image of 1280 x 960 pixels
at 72dpi, you get about 17" x 13" of photograph
(at 72dpi); this is the same amount of detail as an
image which is 4" x 3" at 300dpi. It's therefore
safe to reduce or enlarge that image in application
up to about 4" x 3" in dimension.
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my printed piece look exactly like it does on my computer
are some small differences. Scanners and digital cameras
create images using combinations of just three colors:
Red, Green and Blue
(RGB). These are the colors that computers use to display
images on your screen. But printing presses print full
color pictures using a different set of colors: Cyan
(blue), Magenta (red), Yellow
and BlacK (CMYK). So at some stage your
RGB file must be translated to CMYK in order to print
it on a printing press. This is easily done using an image
editing program like Adobe® PhotoShop®.
Note: It's best if
you perform the RGB-to-CMYK conversion of your images.
You will have more control over the
appearance of your printed piece if you convert all
of the images from RGB to CMYK before sending them to
us. When we receive RGB images, we do a standard-value
conversion to CMYK, which may not be perfectly to your
liking. We want you to be happy, so please take the
time to prepare your file properly. We cannot be responsible
for sub-par results if you furnish low-res images or
Be aware that it is possible to make
colors in RGB that you can't make with CMYK. They are
said to be "out of the CMYK color gamut".
The translator gets as close as possible to the appearance
of the original and that's as good as it can be. It's
something that everyone in the industry puts up with.
So it's best to select any colors you use for fonts
or other design elements in your layout using CMYK definitions
instead of RGB. Please read RGB
to CMYK Conversion for instructions on getting the
results you want.
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I put text over an image?
careful about using photographs for backgrounds. If
you put text (any color) on top it can be very hard
to read. So the secret is to lighten the photograph
a lot - more than you may think is necessary. Use a
photo editing program such as Adobe PhotoShop.
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are bleeds, and do I need them?
is the term for printing that goes right to the edge
of the paper. The way to do this is to make your document
.25" larger in both dimensions. For instance, if
the final size is 8.5" x 11" then make your
document 8.75" x 11.25". Draw guides on the
layout that are .125" from the edge all the way
around. Now create your design with the idea that the
layout will be cut off where those guides are....because
that is precisely what is going to happen. Make sure
that any photographs or backgrounds that you want to
bleed go clear out to the perimeter of the document,
past the guidelines. After we have printed your document
we will trim off that extra .125" from all four
sides of the document. The result is that your document
will have color all the way to the edges of the paper.
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images don't print well.
images, particularly 72 dpi jpg images commonly found
on the Internet, look jagged and blurry when printed
using crisp, professional lithography on glossy stock.
For best results, we recommend that your images be at
least 300 dpi (dots per inch). Our "Design Tips"
page has a detailed explanation of how to make sure
your images turn out best.
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best if you do the RGB-to-CMYK conversion of your images.
will have more control over the appearance of your printed
piece if you convert all of the images from RGB to CMYK
before sending them to us. When we receive RGB images,
we do a standard-value conversion to CMYK, which may not
be perfectly to your liking. You can use popular programs
such as Adobe Photoshop or PhotoDeluxe to perform the
conversions. Please read RGB to
CMYK Conversion for a detailed explanation of this
We want you to be happy, so please,
take the time to prepare your file properly. We cannot
be responsible for sub-par results if you furnish low-res
images or RGB images.
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