Q: Does my artwork have 0.125” bleeds?
A: Inkworks requires a 0.125” bleed around the perimeter of your artwork to ensure accurate cutting (e.g. artwork for a 4” x 6” postcard should extend to 4.25” x 6.25”). If your image has a white border on all four sides, bleeds are recommended but not required. If your image is not white on all four sides, you must include bleeds in print-ready files.
Q: Do I need to use CMYK color mode for 4-color process printing?
A: Yes. If your files are submitted using any other color standard, such as RGB or Pantone, they will be converted to CMYK during preflighting. Conversion from one color standard to another may cause color to shift.
Q: Does Inkworks accept any file format?
A: Inkworks accepts print-ready files in any of the following formats: .eps, .jpg, pdf, .psd, .tif. In other words, Inkworks accepts print-ready files saved from the following design software programs: Adobe Photoshop® CS, Adobe Illustrator® CS, Adobe InDesign® CS, Adobe Pagemaker, Macromedia Freehand®, QuarkXpress®.
We can also print raster images (.tiff and jpegs) independent of the application program used to create such designs if they are submitted at high-quality, uncompressed 300 dpi resolution, 8 bit, CMYK color mode. We cannot guarantee that files created in MS-Word or MS-Publisher will produce high-quality images and text. Please refer to your user manual or software vendor for information on how to output a print-ready raster image that meets Inkworks specifications.
Please note that if you have an artwork file in any other format (e.g. word document), we encourage you to create a PDF file that can be uploaded to Inkworks.
Q: How should my PDFs be prepared?
A: There are many ways to prepare PDFs depending on the page layout software you are using and whether you are using a mac or a pc.
Inkworks requires that all fonts be embedded and the images be at least 300 dpi with no compression. Color images should be CMYK and all black type and line work should be 100% black with no cyan, magenta or yellow added. Pantone (spot) colors and RGB color can be converted to CMYK at Inkworks with workable results, but the colors may shift.
Q: Can you help me prepare my files?
A: If file preparation support is needed, you may consider engaging the Inkworks partner, Design Action Collective, to prepare your files quickly and cost effectively.
Q: Why is resolution important?
A: Resolution, also known as DPI (Dots Per Inch), can be described as the number of dots that file horizontally and vertically into a one-inch space. Generally, the more dots per inch, the more detail captured and the sharper the resulting image. For an image to print properly, the image must be at least 300 dots per inch (DPI) at the final output size. If your file is not 300 DPI, you can not simply increase the DPI from a low resolution to a higher one by increasing the DPI in your imaging program.
Q: What resolution is needed for my job?
A: For most printing jobs, 300 dots per inch (DPI) is the minimum resolution to guarantee acceptable printing results. Bitmapped images of type or other line work should be at least 800 DPI
Q: What if my file is missing fonts?
A: It is important that you supply all fonts used in your layout. If you do not supply fonts in your artwork file, we will request that you re-submit your files with fonts included. Most page layout programs have a “collect for output” “package for printer” or a similar function that will organize your file with all of its images and fonts neatly arranged in the proper folders. If you have vector artwork and your file is missing fonts, you can open your file in Illustrator, select “Create Outlines,” re-save your artwork file, and then submit it. However, the fonts must be loaded on your end first. If you have artwork that is rasterized, you can open your file in Photoshop and select “Flatten the Layers,” re-save your artwork file, and then submit it. If you are using live fonts in Photoshop and you would like to keep them as vectors, you must leave the layers containing font intact, and you must provide all fonts used.
Q: Does my artwork have borders?
A: If your artwork contains borders, make sure all borders are 1/4 (0.25)” wide on each side of your artwork. In addition, you need to add a 1/8 (0.125)” bleed on each side of your artwork. This approach will ensure proper cutting and help the finished product maintain a symmetrical appearance. If your border is not at least 1/4 (0.25)” wide on each side, you risk creating a border that looks uneven.
Q: What if my file is missing images?
A: If your file is missing images, you should re-save your file properly so that the images will not drop out during printing. We do not normally accept images by themselves. The only exception is if you engage one of our graphic designers to help you with your project. Otherwise, you must place all images in your artwork and make sure to save your files properly. For example, if you are using a vector-based software program such as Illustrator, you must make sure you are using .tif file images to place, then, when saving to an .eps or .pdf, you must embed the images. If you are using Photoshop, you should flatten all layers before saving to keep all images and text in place.