File Setup Instructions



Accepted File Formats:

  • .INDD (InDesign) ***Highly Recommended***
  • .AI or .EPS (Illustrator) Works well for smaller files
  • .PSD (Photoshop) ***Not Recommended for Layout***
  • .JPG

First Round of Digital Proof(s): FREE
If Necessary, Each Additional Round of Digital Proof(s): $30
Hard Copy Proof on Fabric: $50 + Shipping
Hard Copy Proof on Vinyl, Paper or Sintra: $30 + Shipping

Double Check prior to uploading:

  • All files and links should be in CMYK color mode.
  • When uploading, call out any PMS colors used. We'll make every effort to match your colors as closely as possible, but exact matches cannot be guaranteed.
  • All non-vector images/photos should be 100 DPI at actual print size.
  • Make sure all links and fonts are included with the upload.
  • Do not embed images into Illustrator or InDesign files.
  • Account for appropriate bleed based on product specs. Typically 1/2" bleeds on all sides. However, most dye-sub fabric printing requires 2" bleeds.
  • Compress your files/folders into a single .ZIP file.
  • Make sure no elements in your design have overprint turned on.
  • Max files size for Uploads is 500MB. Any files larger can be uploaded in pieces or burned to disc and mailed to us.

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO CORRECTLY SET UP YOUR FILES:

Adobe Illustrator (.ai or .eps)

Illustrator works well for smaller files, but is not ideal for large files that contain raster graphics or effects. However, if a design is purely vector based it will typically work at any size without any problems.

Before uploading your files here are a few things to double check:

  • File > Document Color Mode > CMYK
  • File > Document Setup: Make sure your file is the correct final size and includes the appropriate bleeds. Starting with Adobe Illustrator CS4 you can include bleeds in your files.
  • Effect > Document Raster Effects Settings... > Color Mode: CMYK, Resolution High: (300 DPI), Background: Transparent, Anti-alias (Checked), Create Clipping Mask (Unchecked), Preserve spot colors (Checked).
  • It's a good idea to convert all your fonts to outlines (Select Text then go to Type > Create Outlines). However, you can also send us your fonts if you choose not to convert them to outlines.
  • You should always compress your files before sending them to assure a quick upload/download, but this is especially important in Illustrator as files can easily be corrupted if not compressed.
  • You are now ready to upload.

Adobe InDesign (.indd)

InDesign is ideal for high-quality large format printing. The way that InDesign maintains a quick working speed while preserving a high-quality image is by linking files opposed to embedding them and showing a lower resolution screen preview. It also gives you the ability to package all the fonts and links with the click of a button, thus saving the time of manually gathering all links and fonts into a single folder.

Before uploading your files here are a few things to double check:

  • Make sure the color settings and the color seettings of all included links are set to CMYK.
  • Make sure all of your linked images are at least 100 DPI at actual size.
  • Under File > Document Setup, double check the file sizes and make sure they match the sizes given.
  • Do not scale down artwork unless absolutely necessary.
  • Make sure bleeds are included and utilized correctly.
  • Before uploading, package your files under File > Package and then compress your packaged folder before uploading.
  • You are now ready to upload.

Adobe Photoshop (.psd)

Photoshop files are NOT RECOMMENDED for several reasons. First, the file sizes tend to be very large which slows down the entire process. Next, unlike Illustrator or InDesign, Photoshop is not setup for handling bleeds so they must be included in the live image size. Finally, it does not offer a packaging feature to include fonts, so they must be included manually. Photoshop is a useful tool for working on photos (hence the name), but it lacks the abilities of file output programs such as InDesign and even Illustrator.

Before uploading your files here are a few things to double check:

  • Make sure the file is setup in CMYK Color Mode.
  • Make sure your file is at least 100 DPI at actual size.
  • Under Image > Image Size, double check the image size and make sure it equals the final trim size plus bleeds.
  • Under Layer > Flatten Image, Flatten your Photoshop file and save it as the highest quality JPG available.
  • You are now ready to upload.

Tagged Image File (.tif)

These are uncompressed bitmap/raster image files. The main use for TIF files is for high-quality graphics or photos. The drawback is that the file size is much larger than that of a JPG file. Typically, TIF files are overkill for large-format graphics and JPG files are used instead with no reduction in quality.

If you would like us to print directly from a TIF file make sure the bleed is included in the document size. For example, if you want us to print a 10"x10" image the TIF file size will need to be 11"x11". This allows for 1/2" bleeds on all sides, which will be trimmed off after printing.

Joint Photographic Experts Group (.jpg or .jpeg)

These are also raster image files and are commonly used for photographs. Leaving the user the ability to control the level of compression, JPG files are great for maintaining a small file size and also for web graphics. One problem with JPG files is that every time they are saved they are also compressed. This results in reduced image quality, especially after multiple saves. If you plan to save an image multiple times, a good strategy is to save it as an uncompressed TIF file until you are done altering it. At that point you can save it as a JPG to reduce the file size.

When dealing with trade show graphics, JPG files are used for saving images more than any other file extension. The reason being, the graphics are often so large that saving them as an uncompressed file such as a TIF is not practical. The best thing to do is work on your images in Photoshop (.psd) and then save them out as a maximum quality JPG when you are ready to bring them into Illustrator or InDesign. This will reduce the file size quite a bit, but will not hurt the image quality.