Use the following information as a general guide
when designing your project. If you have questions
not specifically addressed here, please contact us.
We will be happy to assist you!
Page layout programs such as Adobe InDesign and Quark XPress have the required tools for high-resolution output and proper color separation. Some applications, specifically Microsoft Office, are designed for output on a laser or inkjet printer and generally lack the necessary features for quality commercial printing. For graphics, we suggest you stay with industry standard programs* such as Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, and Adobe Photoshop. UP

The document setup size should exactly match the final trim size of the piece. For example, a business card should be setup to the desired size rather than positioned on an 8.5"x11" page. A 16"x20" poster should be laid out on a 16"x20" page. Do not setup your document in “printer’s spreads.” We use imposition software which requires individual document pages set to the final trimmed size, numbered in chronological order. Making use of master pages keeps the position of elements consistent throughout the document. Any items meant to bleed off a page should do so by 1/8". Bleeds less than 1/8" may trim improperly.

Do not paste graphics into your layout from another program! All images, whether raster or vector, need to be saved as stand-alone files and imported into your layout. Imported graphics should consist of either tiff/psd (raster) files or eps/pdf (vector) files. Formats such as pict, bmp or wmf may not output as expected. Other formats such as gif or jpeg are great for web page design but will not print very well due to their low resolution. The jpeg file format uses “lossy” compression which can significantly degrade image quality. Please remember to include all graphics used in your project when you submit it for printing.

When delivering your job, be sure to include all fonts used in your publication, including fonts used in eps files that are placed into your document.

You will need to know whether your job is to be printed using spot colors or process color. When picking spot colors, do not go by what your screen is displaying. Colors will usually appear more vibrant on the screen than when they are actually printed. Use a PANTONE swatch book to accurately pick colors. Be consistent when assigning colors to elements in your imported art as well as in your layout files. “PANTONE 185 C” and “PANTONE 185 U” will output on two separate plates even though you may have intended it to be one color. Duplicate and unused colors must be combined or eliminated to avoid confusion. Be sure all colors separate as expected. The best way to check this is to use the separations preview in your software. UP

We utilize an advanced workflow which handles all trapping from nearly any publication with any type of artwork. This is very convenient as neither you nor we must manually trap any files; however, overprints that you set or overprints that are automatically set by your software do take affect.

Hard Copy
We need to have an up-to-date sample output of your project, either a pdf or hard copy. Without this the job will be run "as is." Please proof read your project carefully to avoid delays.

File Delivery
We can use all types of transferable media. To send files remotely by FTP, please contact us for access.

  • setup document to correct size
  • graphics saved in correct color mode and file format
  • raster/pixel artwork contains adequate resolution
  • colors are named properly and separate as expected
  • sample output is included and up-to-date
  • graphics, fonts, and everything necessary to print my job is included UP

Final Notes
What has been touched on here is an overview of digital file guidelines. If you have questions or need more specific answers or instructions, please give us a call! We are always happy to run a test file for you if needed. Calling early in the design stage of your project can prevent delays and added cost.

Reach us at 763-425-7900. Email files or technical questions to our department at UP

*Supported Electronic File Formats

  • Adobe PDF 1.7 and PDF/X-4:2008/2010
  • Adobe InDesign CC (Mac/Windows)
  • Adobe InDesign CS (Mac/Windows)
  • Microsoft Publisher 2019 (Windows)
  • Affinity Publisher 1.9 (Mac/Windows)
  • Adobe Illustrator 16/CS6.0 (Mac/Windows)
  • Adobe Photoshop CC (Mac/Windows)
  • Adobe Photoshop CS (Mac/Windows)
  • QuarkXPress 2015 (Mac/Windows)
  • Adobe PageMaker 7.0 (Mac/Windows)
  • CorelDraw! 12 (Windows)
  • Microsoft Word (Mac/Windows) UP

Nystrom Publishing Company, Inc.
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