We accept files of Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, In-Design and CoralDraw. The best option is to provide us with Native Files. All files should be provided in CMYK. All text, if Black should be K-100% and set as overprint. Any barcode on the game box or tuck box or anywhere on the game should be provided in all Black (K-100%) and not CMYK. If artwork is created in Adobe Illustrator then please forward .ai files. If the artworks are created in Adobe Photoshop then ideally we will need PSD files. If fonts have been used then please provide all fonts in a fonts folder. It is also advisable to convert all fonts to outlines.
One of the most common issues with professional printing is sending your printer graphics files that is in the wrong color space. Here’s what you need to remember about color before you send your file to your printer.
Important Information About RGB and CMYK
Many graphics software programs give you the choice to work in either RGB or CMYK. These are called “color spaces”. Scanners and digital cameras create images using combinations of just three colors: Red, Green and Blue (called “RGB”). These are the primary colors of light, which computers use to display images on your screen. Printing presses print full color pictures using a different set of colors, the primary colors of pigment: Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow and Black (called “CMYK”). This is “4-color process” or “full-color” printing that comprises the majority of magazines and marketing materials you see every day. At some stage your RGB file must be translated to CMYK in order to print it on a printing press.
It’s Best If You do the RGB-to-CMYK Conversion of Your Images
You will have more control over the appearance of your printed piece if you convert all of the images from RGB to CMYK before sending them to us. When we receive RGB images, we do a standard-value conversion to CMYK, which may not be perfectly to your liking. We want you to be happy, so please, take the time to prepare your file properly. We cannot be responsible for sub-par results if you furnish your images in RGB. Even though monitors always use RGB to display colors, the colors you see on your monitor will more closely match the final printed piece if you are viewing them in the CMYK color space.
Be aware that it is possible to see colors in RGB that you can’t make with CMYK. They are said to be “out of the CMYK color gamut”. What happens is that the RGB-to-CMYK translator just gets as close as possible to the appearance of the original and that’s as good as it can be. It’s something that everyone in the industry puts up with. So it’s best to select any colors you use for fonts or other design elements in your layout using CMYK definitions instead of RGB. That way, you will have a better idea of how they will appear in your printed piece.
Here’s a common example: many programs translate the 100% Blue in RGB into a somewhat purple-looking color in CMYK. We recommend a CMYK value of 100-65-0-0 to get a nice clean blue. Working in the CMYK color space allows you to select the CMYK recipe, or “screen build”, that gives you the results you want.
Converting to CMYK Color Space
Here is a list of several common programs with instructions on how to make sure you are working in the CMYK color space. If your program or version is not listed here, don’t worry. Most of these instructions will apply to all versions of a program. If at any time you need further help, please call us for assistance. We are happy to talk you through the steps needed to get your document into the CMYK color space.
Adobe Photoshop (we accept files up to Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Adobe Illustrator CS6 at the time of writing this)
Adobe Photoshop CS6
- If the file already exists select the following menu options:
- Image/Mode/CMYK When starting a new file select CMYK for the mode before clicking OK.
Corel Draw 16
Select each object you want to convert. Select the Fill tool and click Fill Color Dialog. Make sure the Color model is CMYK. For each object with an outline: Select the Outline tool and click the Outline Color Dialog. Make sure the Color model is CMYK.
Adobe Illustrator CS6
- Use the following menu options. For an existing file select Edit/Select All and then Filter/Colors/Convert to CMYK.
- For a new file, select File/New and select CMYK color for the Color Mode.
Four color process is a system where a color image is separated into 4 different color values by the use of filters and screens (usually done digitally). The result is a color separation of 4 images that when transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press with the colored inks cyan (blue), magenta (Red), yellow and black, reproduces the original color image.
Tips for Designing Great Images for Print
- Make sure your images are at least 300 PPI (or 300-600 DPI).
- Use vector formats for text, line art and logos.
- Use image formats with less compression like PNG, TIFF and maximum quality JPG.
What Are Bleeds? Why are Bleeds Important?
A bleed is printed content that extends beyond the trimmed edge of your final printed piece. Bleeds are important because they allow your artwork to be cut without white area. If there is no bleed you may have a small white area around the cutting lines. The bleed should be minimum 2 mm larger than the trim size and should be on all sides of the artwork.