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Scanning your own Images (Not from Digital Camera)
If you are scanning the images yourself from photographs it is better to save them in either tif, or eps format. These image formats will preserve the color and sharpness of your pictures the best.
File formats like gif or jpg compress the pictures 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 follows that it's not a good idea to simply lift an image from someones 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 them 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!
Digital Images from Digital Camera
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 though. 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 so it's safe to print.
If the image measures at 1 x 1 at 72dpi, then the image is not safe to print.
Typically, just upload your files directly from the CD given by your photographer and everything should be fine.
For best results please e-mail or upload your files directly from your CD (try not to download the images onto your desktop- this will lower the resolution of the files.)
Will my printed piece look exactly like it does on my computer monitor?
There are some small differences. Scanners and digital cameras create images using combinations of just three colors: Red, Green and Blue (called "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 (called "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 called Photoshop.
Creating your own files
If you are planning to create your own layout for your order, we accept files created in Quark Express, Photoshop or Ilustrator (.eps).
If you are sending an illustrator file, please outline all the fonts. If sending a Quark Express file, please include the fonts and all the images for the file.
What Size should you create your files in?
All need to be 300 DPI Resolution
For headshots- make sure the file size 8 x 10. (No bleed)
8.125 x 10.125 (with bleed)
For zed cards- make sure the file size is 5.5 x 8.5 (No bleed)
5.625 x 8.625 (with bleed)
For Business Cards- make sure the file size is 3.5 x 2 (No Bleed)
What are bleeds, and do I need them?
Bleed is the term for printing that goes right to the edge of the paper. The way to do this is to make your document .125" too big in both dimensions. For instance, if the final size is 8.5" x 11" then make your document 8.75" x11.25". 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. Then after we have printed your piece we will trim off that extra .125" all the way around and voila! You have color all the way to the edges of your piece.
What ICC profile do you use?
In Photoshop we use U.S. SHEETFED Coated V2.
Not Sure We Can Print From Your File?
If you are not sure that your file will work, you can send it to us and we will examine it to see if there are any major flaws that would prevent us from printing your job.
ęSpotlight Printing & Graphics, DBA., Caerus Enterprises Inc. • 11574 Trask Ave., Garden Grove, CA 92843 • 888.954.8467 • Info@SpotlightPrinting.Net