Click here to download a printable tips list in PDF format

If you’re creating an electronic file that will be transmitted to Dual Graphics for publication, use the following tips when preparing:

For a brochure, catalog, or any text type reading material, use a page layout program such as QuarkXpress, Adobe Pagemaker, or Adobe InDesign. Avoid creating text pages in Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Freehand, or any other drawing or photo-imaging application. Avoid using Microsoft Word or Publisher. These programs have many output problems, such as the inability to produce CYMK separations and the low-resolution output of images.

Make your document/page layout the exact size that you want your printed piece to be. For example, if your piece is a 20 x 24 inch poster, make your document size 20 x 24. Do not make the document bigger and then add manual crop marks.

We strongly recommend not using TrueType fonts when creating your piece. Instead, use Postscript fonts, formally called Adobe fonts. TrueType fonts not only create problems in type wrap around, especially when cross-platforming (going from PC to Mac), they also create problems when ripping to a high-resolution image device.

Don’t apply style commands (such as bold or italic) to a typeface. Instead, choose the bold or italic version of the font directly from the font menu. When you stylize your fonts in the font pallet, it may print correctly on a laser printer, but sometimes it will not output correctly to a high-end image setter.

Make sure the pixels-per-inch image size in your Photoshop files are twice the target line screen. For example, if you want to print with a 175-line screen, make the pixels-per-inch 350 at reproduction size. (Pixels-per-inch is the same as dots-per-inch.) However, bitmapped images or line drawings should be 600 dpi.

The rule of thumb in creating gradients or blends is to create them in Adobe Photoshop. Create them on a transparent layer, and before you flatten the layer, add four pixels of noise with the noise filter. Gradients created in QuarkXpress, Illustrator, or Freehand will result in banding if they are any longer than a few inches.

Do not enlarge a placed Photoshop, or pixel-based file, in your page layout program by more than 20 percent, as this reduces the pixels-per-inch.

Bleeds in your page layout file should be .125 (or 1/8) inch.

Convert all RGB colors to CMYK, especially in photographic images.

Make sure that your Pantone color is correctly specified as a process color (screen mix) or as a spot color in your page-layout program.

It is imperative that you provide us with the fonts that you have used. You must send the files containing both the screen (bitmapped) fonts and printer (outline) fonts.

Provide us with the original or parent Freehand file along with your EPS file.

Provide us with all linked graphics, including ones that are placed in Illustrator or Freehand files.

Make laser prints of everything and indicate color breaks. Please include the latest update; make sure that the laser print matches the file you give us. If the laser print is reduced, please indicate this on the proof. If you are uploading your files to our FTP site, please fax your lasers or let us know and we’ll pick them up. It is always a good idea to include a good quality laser or plotter proof with your files. This lets us see what you intend your project to look like. This will assist us in giving you the best possible result, while reducing the chance of errors, omissions, costly changes, and time to produce your proofs.

If you have any other questions about your files, email us at