ARTWORK SETUP

PREFLIGHT CHECKLIST

ARTWORK GUIDELINES 

Pacer Label uses and recommends Macintosh files for submitting artwork. Windows files are acceptable as long as the following software programs created them:

  • Adobe Illustrator (.AI .EPS)
  • Adobe Photoshop (.PSD .TIF .EPS .JPG)
  • Adobe InDesign (.INDD)
GENERAL DOCUMENT SETUP

Artwork is considered “ready” when it can be used for prepress and printing without the need for modifications that might incur extra charges or cause delays. Too often, when the order reaches the point of production is it discovered that the artwork is not of a sufficient quality or type required to produce the products. 

These setup instructions will help speed up the production of your project and give your printed piece the best results.

MICROSOFT OFFICE OR WEB GRAPHICS WILL NOT WORK.
  • We always prefer vector art when possible! Only professional software packages may be used to produce artwork that will print reliably. Although programs like Microsoft Word and Publisher are useful tools, they are not capable of producing art files of a quality necessary for professional printing purposes.
  • Vector art can be created with programs like Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer or Corel Draw.
  • If you do not have any of the recommended software programs listed above, you can create a high resolution Acrobat (PDF) file by printing to a PDF file. When creating a PDF file, select “Press Quality” (if available) in the print options dialog.
VECTOR ARTWORK FILES
  • Must be saved in the Postscript Format and contain no empty or stray points or unassigned layers, patterns or colors.
  • All type that has been set must be converted to outlines (curves). If future changes to the text will be necessary, the original font file(s) must be supplied with the art file.
  • All design elements in the file must be a minimum of .25 or .5 points. Do not specify “Hairline” for rules (lines) if your software program gives you that option. Failure to do so may compromise the final printing quality.
RASTER ARTWORK FILES
  • All Raster elements (photographs, scans or other art produced by Photoshop) must be sized to at least 100% of the final printing size.
  • All Raster images must be at least 300 dots per inch at the final printing size.
  • All raster elements in grayscale format unless the artwork is in “Line Art” mode (common for logos and other high contrast art), then the minimum resolution should be 600 dots per inch.
COLOR PROFILES

Pacer Label’s presses are set up for the SWOP Coated ICC Profile. Please use this profile when setting up your documents.

Adobe Creative Cloud users: You can synchronize your color profiles across all of the Creative Cloud applications in Adobe Bridge. Select “Color Settings” from the Edit menu and Select “North America Prepress 2” as your default color setting. This will apply the following settings across all of your installed Creative Cloud applications

  • RGB: Adobe RGB (1998)
  • CMYK: U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2
GEEK TECH TALK – WHY YOU SHOULD USE THE CMYK COLORSPACE 

(Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black). are industry standard printing colors. CMYK colors are different from RGB (Red, Green, Blue) which are used to display colors on your monitor or other digital device. 

The number of colors that can be faithfully printed in the CMYK colorspace is less than what can be displayed on a monitor using the RGB colorspace. Any colors that fall outside of the CMYK color space will be reduced to the closest reproducible color, which can result in unexpected and unwanted color shifts to your artwork.

CMYK Colorspace Chart

CMYK Colorspace

RGB Colorspace Chart

RGB Colorspace

RGB CMYK Comparison Chart

CMYK (smaller) vs. RGB Colorspace

IMAGE RESOLUTION

Pacer Labels recommends that images have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi at the final printing size.

We do not recommend using text smaller than 8pt. in photoshop unless your image resolution is at least 800dpi at the final printing size. For optimal results with text and images, create your artwork as a vector based image (postscript) in programs like Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw.

TRIM BLEED

Artwork should have 1/16″ ( 0.063″ or 1.6mm ) bleed extending past the trim line. This is to prevent minor cutting variations from leaving unintended results at the trim edge.

SAFE AREA

Artwork should have 1/16″ ( 0.063″ or 1.6mm ) “Safe Area” inside the trim line. Do not put critical information or images outside the Safe Area. This is to prevent minor cutting variations from leaving unintended results at the trim edge.

BORDERS

If you want printed borders, they must be placed a minimum of 1/16″ ( 0.063″ or 1.6mm ) inside the trim line and include bleed. This is to prevent minor cutting variations from leaving unintended results at the trim edge.

FONTS

Please outline all fonts used in your document before sending your artwork. If we don’t have the font you have used, it may be automatically substituted for an alternative font.

If you require our prepress art department to modify your file(s), please send file(s) with all fonts intact and included along with your art files.

For acceptable legibility, text should be no smaller than 4 points.

LINKED IMAGES

Adobe Illustrator

  • Please check that all links are embedded.
  • If embedding your images makes your illustrator file too large, you can create a “Package” of the illustrator document with all placed images and fonts. The keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+Shift+P will create a package with all of your links and fonts.

Adobe InDesign

  • Create a package folder containing all of the linked images and fonts used in your document. Using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+Shift+P will create a package with all of your links and fonts.
  • When your packaged folder is complete, create a compressed .zip file of that folder before uploading. That will allow you to send all of the files in one step.

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