File Preparation

Select a link below to see more information:

File Formats
File Resolution
File Format Set Ups
Setting up your mailer to be USPS Compliant
Link to the Domestic Mail Manual on usps.com:
Inks
Size
Data Formats
Postage Permit
PDF Writers
 
File Formats

We accept files from 4 graphic applications (Quark Xpress, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator). It is best if you can send us your art files in a PDF format, just make sure all the art is at lease 300dpi (dots per inch). We have a further explanation of file resolution and file format setups below.

If you are using any other application please save your files in one of these formats listed (PDF's, EPS, or TIFF). In all cases please convert all your fonts to outlines.

Below are instructions on how to save your files to make them print ready.

    * Corel Draw:
      Saving your Corel Draw file as an Adobe Illustrator EPS
      - Embed all Images
      - Convert all your text/copy to outline fonts
      - Export as Illustrator EPS

    * Freehand:
      - Embed all Images
      - Convert all your text/copy to paths
      - Export as Illustrator EPS or PDF

    * PageMaker:
      Saving your PageMaker file as an EPS
      - Embed all Images
      - Convert all your text/copy to outline fonts
      - Export your file as an EPS using the below settings: Postscript Level 2, CMYK Mode, TIFF format, and Binary

    * Publisher:
      You will need to have the full version of Adobe Acrobat PDF. If you do have the full version of Adobe Acrobat PDF please follow the steps below.
      Under File, Print, select Adobe PDF writer
      Under Properties select Press Quality and Save your PDF

 
File Resolution
 
• Save all photos in CMYK MODE, not RGB MODE. Images saved in RGB mode will not print properly.

• Images or photos should be saved at 100% (full size) and placed in your document at that size or smaller at a resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch). Enlarging an image in your layout could cause the image to start looking blurry or bitmapping.

• You should know that photos under 300 dpi will start to look blurry. Keep in mind that most images taken off the Internet are 72 dpi and far too low resolution for printing.
 
File Format Set Ups

Many layout programs have collecting or packaging functions that will automatically collect your document, fonts, and all art.

When possible, it is recommended to use these functions because without any or all of these elements we will be unable to print your postcard.

- Enclose all screen fonts and printer fonts
- Include all placed images
- Make sure your files are set with proper bleed, trim and safety areas.

    • Bleed: All art trimming off the edge MUST be pulled out 1/16" beyond the trim line

    • Trim: This is the guideline where the card will be cut

    • Safety: All art and text within this safety area will assure that nothing will be trimmed off during the cutting process. A 1/16" guide in from the trim should work fine.

Below is a visual reference template on file set up for all postcard sizes.

 
 
Setting up your mailer to be USPS Compliant

When mailing a postcard, you need to have the return address on the back of the card. However, you cannot place the return address too close to where the mailing address would be, because the Post Office might read the return address as the mail-to address. If you cannot avoid this, then invert the color by making the text white, and put a colored box behind it. The Post Office will not read inverted colors.

The picture below details how you should lay out the back of the card.

 
Link to the Domestic Mail Manual on usps.com:

For more information on how to set up your design to mail properly, please see the United States Postal Service’s Domestic Mail Manual.
 
Inks

All our jobs print CMYK. If your job has Pantone or RGB colors in it, they will be converted to CMYK. This will sometimes drastically change the appearance of colors.  We will send you a PDF proof so that you may see this.

 
Size

In order to print correctly, double-check the size of your document.
 
Data Formats

We accept data in 2 formats: XLS and CSV. XLS is a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet. CSV is an acronym for “Comma Seperated Values.” Both are industry standards, and most programs can export either of these formats, if not both.
 
Postage Permit

If we are mailing your job, make sure to leave room for a Postage Permit in the upper section of the Mailable Area. Generally Postage Permits are a 1” square, but in cases of a smaller postcard, can be as little as .75” square.
 
PDF Writers

Free of Charge PDF Writers

PC Version – this program is FREEware – you NEVER have to pay for it!
     CutePDF - www.cutepdf.com
     CutePDF requires Ghostscript - http://download.cutepdf.com/download/converter.exe

Mac Version – this program is SHAREware – you get a TRIAL version.
     PRINTtoPDF - http://www.jwwalker.com/pages/pdf.html

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