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Frequently Asked Questions
What color mode should my files be?
If you send us an RGB file, there is a chance that a color shift may occur and you may not be satisfied with your job.
These colors are in RGB:
These are the same colors but in CMYK:
You should always start and finish your designs in CMYK color mode.
What Resolution Should My File Be?
Low resolution files may be printed as is or will be placed on hold until we receive new files, slowing your turn-around.
These are 72 DPI low res images:
These are the same images but at 300 DPI:
We only accept 300 dpi files and no less.
How Can I Avoid Transparency Issues
Any transparency issue can be resolved before saving your file.
What a transparency problem looks like on screen…After a transparency problem is printed:
To prevent this, never use shadows, glows, or any other transparency (image or otherwise) on top of a spot color. Always convert your spot color to CMYK and flatten before sending.
All of these effects will cause transparency problems.
What is overprint, and how can it ruin my file?
Primarily used to intentionally overlap inks for a number of reasons, overprint can cause unexpected results. We suggest that you turn all overprint objects off before submitting your files.
In this case the logo was set to overprint. The colors from logo are mixing with the colors from the background. Unexpected results may occur if you have accidentally set certain objects to overprint. Always check logos and other artwork before submitting.
How should I set up a Spot UV job?
When creating a Spot UV job, You must include a Spot UV template file along with the regular full color file. The Spot UV template file is used to show where the UV will be placed.
Use 100% K to indicate where you would like the UV. White will indicate no UV. REMEMBER “IF IT’S WHITE, YOU CAN WRITE!”
How do I export a .pdf correctly?
When exporting from any program such as Indesign or Illustrator, use these settings to make sure your .PDF files export correctly. – OR – We also have a PDF Preset (.joboptions file) to make it easy to create a 4over Print Ready PDF. Download the file, then double click. This will install a Preset into all Adobe products (Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, etc..) so you can choose it while saving your PDF. Click here to download. NOTE: Due to Adobe limitations, this preset will not convert all colors into CMYK. You must convert all colors to CMYK before saving your file.
How do I get a grayscale image in a CMYK document?
Grayscale images that are converted to CMYK will have a color shift in the final print. That shift may be green or yellow.
Always check the CMYK values of your grayscale in the final CMYK document. If there are other values other than K in your grayscale image, there is a chance that the color will vary. To eliminate all values other than K, use your Channel Mixer (adjustment layer) in Photoshop, then click “Monochrome” and adjust accordingly.
What is rich black and how can I get it?
Rich black is an ink mixture of solid black, 100% K, with additional CMY ink values. This results in a darker tone than black ink alone. If you print black alone as 100% K, the resulting black may not be as dark as you might like.
We recommend using C 60 M 40 Y 40 K 100 This will give you a deep, dark, rich black.
What is Akuafoil and how do I set it up?
With Akuafoil, you can turn a wide range of CMYK colors, into multi-colored foils. Akuafoil uses a special processed foil system that is applied under 4/c process to create an array of foil colors. It’s simple, affordable, and makes your prints stand out from the crowd. For an Akuafoil job, you must include an Akuafoil/mask file along with your CMYK file. The mask file indicates where the foil will be placed. The file process is the same as spot UV—100% K where foil is placed, 0% where the foil is not placed.
As shown above, the file on the left is the normal CMYK print file. If you want the logo to be Akuafoil, then your Akuafoil mask file should look like the file on the right. The White indicates no foil and 100% K indicates where the Akuafoil will be. Here are some more things to keep in mind when creating your Akuafoil artwork:
- Make sure the mask and CMYK print file are aligned and match up properly.
- Akuafoil works best on lighter colors. The darker the CMYK color, the less the Akuafoil look.
- Do not use very thin or small text and artwork with Akuafoil… Use san serif fonts above 12 point for best results.
If you would like only silver Akuafoil to print, make sure to have at least 15% K in that white area. White in the CMYK file that is 100% K in the Akuafoil file will appear as plain silver Akuafoil. However, for a higher quality plain silver Akuafoil, we recommend to have at least
15% K in that white area.
When creating knockouts in the Akuafoil mask or in the CMYK print file, beware there might be a “Halo” of white around the knockout area. Below are two examples… On the left, a file with a CMYK magenta background with a knockout for the Akuafoil text. On the right, a Akuafoil background with a knockout for the CMYK text.
You can see the white “Halo” in-between the CMYK ink and the Akuafoil. To prevent this, grow/stroke the Akuafoil area in the mask by 1 point. This will allow the Akuafoil to bleed into the CMYK area, reducing the white “Halo” effect. You can also fill in the knockout with a color to reduce the effect further.