How should I save my files for print output?
Preparing digital files properly for print is different than for the web. In most cases, a Press Quality PDF (Portable Document Format) file is desirable. In all cases, the following parameters are best practices:
Color Space: CMYK
Resolution: 300 dpi (Graphics and images pulled from the web are too low-res and will print poorly.)
Fonts: Convert to outlines, embed in file, or supply us with all fonts used in your file.
Export to a PDF file from directly within the application. If we will need to modify your file, use the “Package” feature for bringing to a commercial printer. This will collect all assets (fonts, graphics, etc.) so we shouldn’t have a file conflict on our end.
Once again, PDF files are the most convenient for commercial printing. You can also use the “Pack and Go” feature found under the “FILE” drop-down menu. Be sure to embed your graphics and include the links. This will create a compressed file that we can then expand on our end, with all file assets intact. Because some fonts have licensing restrictions, they may not transfer properly.
Export to a PDF file from directly within the application.
MS Word is a text editor, not suited for design layouts. Also, it restricts the file to an RGB color space, which means colors will shift when printed. It is best to save your Word files as a PDF to avoid formatting corruption, color changes, etc.
What file format should I use when submitting my electronic document for printing?
PDF is the most common and preferred file format for submitting digital documents. With the installation of a PDF print driver on your computer, virtually any program can generate a PDF file suitable for printing. Both commercial and free PDF print drivers are available online for download from different sources.
Once I submit the documents, how long will it take to finish my job?
Simple digital print jobs can often be produced within in a day or even hours of receiving a properly prepared print-ready file. Large format projects typically require 2 to 3 days. In either case, these turnaround times are only intended to give you a general idea. We always work at the speed you require.
What’s the largest poster size you can print?
We can print up to 60″ by unlimited length on our roll fed inkjet printers and up to 48” x 96” on our flatbed UV printers.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, company check, and all major credit cards. We can also set up a business account for you. Contact us for details.
At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics?
For small format printing on the Xerox iGens, resolution should be 300 dpi at the final print size of the graphic. For large format printing, resolution should be 100 dpi at the final print size of the graphic.
Pictures and graphics pulled from the internet are often low resolution, typically 72 dpi or 96 dpi. Avoid these graphics, as they will appear pixilated and blocky when printed.
Also note that you should save all photos in CMYK mode, not RGB mode when possible. Images saved in RGB mode may not print properly. If you are unable to save your image in CYMK mode, please let us know.
Why do the printed colors look different from the colors on my screen?
In short, printers and monitors produce colors in different ways.
Digital devices such as monitors, digital cameras, scanners, and televisions use the RGB (red, green, blue) color model. Called an additive color model, these three colors are transmitted in various combinations to create the full color image you see. By adding one of the three colors in different percentages, the color spectrum is altered. RGB supports a wider spectrum of colors.
Printers use the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) color model, which can reproduce most—but not all—of the colors in the RGB color model. CMYK, also referred to as process color, is called a subtractive color model. This is because what your eyes actually see is the color spectrum that is essentially left over after light hits the printed pieces. Reflected colors are subtracted in various degrees, rendering the final color. Depending on the equipment used, CMYK generally matches 85% to 90% of the colors in the RGB model.
When a color is selected from the RGB model that is out of the range (gamut) of the CMYK model, the application chooses what it thinks is the closest color that will match. Programs like Adobe Photoshop will allow you to choose which color will be replaced. Others may not. This is why we request that a file be created in CMYK for full color printing. Converting RGB colors to CMYK during the printing process can sometimes create unpleasant results.
At MicroPRINT, we use sophisticated color management equipment, such as colorimeters and spectrophotometers, to measure the color from our devices, and then calibrate and create custom ICC (International Color Consortium) profiles to ensure you get the best and most accurate color possible each and every time.
Why will my page count not work for a saddle-stitch book?
We print saddle-stitch books 4 pages at a time. Imagine an 11×17 sheet with two 8.5×11 pages on the front, and two 8.5×11 pages on the back. We nest those 11×17 sheets, fold, and stitch them. For example, if your document contains 13 pages, you can either add 3 pages of content or we can add 3 blank pages for you to create 16 pages, a multiple of 4 pages per sheet.