FILE PREPARATION

If you are a current or potential client of ZebraGraphics, please review the following information carefully. File preparation is a necessary and precautionary step you must take before submitting artwork to be printed. Following these standards will prevent delays or additional charges for corrections. Changes or corrections are billed at current hourly rates. This file preparation information is provided free of charge.

Formatting

Your images and artwork should be at least 300 dpi. Images that start off as 300 dpi and are reduced will have a higher resolution. Images that are 300 dpi and are enlarged will have a lower resolution. We don't recommend enlarging images over 30%.

Check your file name:

Ensure that your final file is one of the following formats that we can accept. Your file name must end with one of the following examples:

  • a_ZEBRApostcardfront.pdf
  • a_ZEBRApostcardfront.psd
  • a_ZEBRApostcardfront.ai
  • a_ZEBRApostcardfront.indd
  • a_ZEBRApostcardfront.jpeg
  • a_ZEBRApostcardfront.tiff

Media:

  • We support the following formats:
  • USB Memory Stick
  • SD Cards
  • DVD
  • CDR/CDRW
  • Cloud or Online Storage

Via FTP (contact us for details)

High resolution files may be created from many current layout applications. If you need help in doing this, please feel free to contact us. In InDesign, choose FILE > Adobe PDF Presets > High Quality (include crop marks, bleed marks and page information). In InDesign, be sure to setup the bleed information. This can be done in FILE > Document Setup > Bleed = .125 on left, right, top and bottom.

Layout Applications:

Use one of the following (Mac or Windows version) to assemble your ad layout AND indicate which was used and the version on your order:

  • InDesign

Microsoft programs, such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc. often present obstacles which are sometimes difficult to overcome. Publisher can be acceptable, but please call for details on how to prepare. Ideally, an exported PDF from these programs would be the best option.

IMPORTANT:

Include a printed sample of your layout as a guide and color samples of images or artwork for color matching. These items are important for verifying that the final product closely matches the concept of the designer. We will not be responsible for the finished product if these samples of layout and colors are not included with your order.

Documents may be converted to PDF files but must be saved in PRINT format and embed the fonts and graphics in your Save preferences.

Linked Artwork:

Designs created in drawing programs like Illustrator should be saved in EPS format (with preview) and included with the layout.

Application Support

We support the following applications:

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • InDesign
  • Corel
  • Adobe PDF (High Resolution)

Please review this with our production manager.

Scanned Images:

Scanned images need to be at least 300 DPI at actual size for optimal printing quality. Save in CMYK (for 4 color process printing). All JPEGs and GIFs are in a format other than CMYK. Make sure to scale and rotate your images before placing them in the document. Allow at least a .125" bleed for trim when design is required. We are not responsible for color reproduction from customer supplied scans.

File Names:

We work on Macintosh systems which have few restrictions. However, keep in mind that file names should normally not be longer than 18 characters and should be in lower case. Also, it is safer to use underscores ( _ ) instead of spaces in a file name. (Example of a good file name: file_name.tif) (Example of a bad file name: file name.tif)

Do Not Use:

Spaces, dashes, periods, capital letters, slashes, dollar signs, hyphens, commas, etc.

Note to PC Users:

Do not change the file extensions, i.e.: .tif, .eps, etc.

IMPORTANT NOTES!

If you have any questions or hesitations about file preparation, please don't hesistate to call for specifics BEFORE you send your files. It can save you money on costly edits.

  • Create documents at actual size.
  • Apply bleed as necessary.
  • Import images and color art at 100%.
  • Indicate fold lines, score lines, perf lines.
  • Consider fold lines, etc. when placing type in your document.
  • Allow 5/8" for hole punching and keep copy and pics from this area.
  • We recommend no less than 3/16" margins, 1/4" for catalogs with more than 40 pages.
  • Check font usage and include all screen and printer fonts used in all files.
  • Include all files linked to your document. DO NOT store files in your document.
  • Include a printed sample of your layout and a color sample of images and artwork.
  • Allow at least 3/8" margin on envelope and postcard designs. Our presses require this for gripper.

Common Problems to Avoid

The following are the most common mistakes made in submitting a disk for your product. These can cause costly delays that may not be expected.

Keyboard Fonts:

This happens when you select the Bold and Italic from the Style list instead of selecting the Bold and Italicized font. The ImageSetter will not recognize keyboard fonts and type will default to the basic.

Bleed:

We require 1/8" bleed (.125") for any picture or color background that bleeds off the edge of the piece. This means the picture or background must extend past the trim line 1/8". Copy / Images 3/16" from trim line: Copy or images that do not bleed should always be at least 3/16" (.185") inside the trim line.

Stored Files:

When files are imported into your document such as images or scanned artwork, we need the original file you imported. These files should be LINKED TO not STORED IN your document. Even if you store them, we need the original scan or artwork to be able to process your file. In most layout applications, you are normally only viewing a PLACEHOLDER.

CMYK images versus RGB:

While most, if not all, programs will allow you to place RGB images, it is required that you convert all RGB images to CMYK format. Since our presses are four-color, it is necessary that they have the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (K) plates intact. Colors in the scanned images or other artwork in the layout must be converted to CMYK process colors to print.

Illustrator files:

Be sure that your artwork is selected and converted to CMYK process. Also, please convert fonts to outlines before saving and sending your file.

InDesign:

This application has become a more widely acceptable program for page layout and design. The majority of our staff specializes in this program. To collect all files and fonts necessary in order to send to ZebraGraphics, choose FILE > PACKAGE >. The program will automatically preflight the document and then it should give you a "Printing Instructions" box. It would be very helpful if you filled in as much as that information as possible. After you do this, click on the "Continue" button. It will ask you to name your folder and let you choose where to save it to. When you click on the Save button it will give you a Font disclaimer. Click OK. It should then begin saving (packaging) your files. After is complete, you will see a folder with the necessary contents. This folder is what you need to send to ZebraGraphics in its entirety for us to go to press with.

Note to PC Users:

Do not change the file extensions such as .tif, .eps, .P65. Files cannot be read by our Mac system without these extensions and if there are too many characters it will shorten the name and then may require the files to be relinked in the document. The following file name is acceptable: pic_boy.tif