Common Mistakes

Files are submitted with improper or missing bleeds and safety margins.

Bleeds and safety margins exist to ensure your job will look its best after trimming. Be sure to include the extra 1/8th inch of bleed noted on the template by the dashed line. This will avoid unintended white borders on the trim lines of your job. All text, important images, and barcodes will need to be at least 1/8th inch inside the cut lines. This is called the safety margin and is the inner, solid, red line in the template. Spine text should be 1/8th inch away from the top and bottom cuts and 1/16th inch from the left/right cuts and the fold.

Fonts are not included or are incompatible.

If you are supplying files in a page layout program such as Quark be sure to include a folder with ALL of the fonts included in your artwork. Acceptable font formats include Mac True Type, Postscript, dfont, and Open Type. You can find fonts on your hard drive. On the Mac OS 9 or earlier, fonts are typically found in System > Fonts. In OS X, there are several possible folder locations:

Do not send windows fonts such as Windows True Type Fonts. They are not compatible with our Macintosh operating system. If you are using Windows fonts, or are having trouble finding where your fonts are stored on your system, there are other possible solutions. If you are using Adobe Photoshop you can rasterize your text layers by going to the Layer>Rasterize>Type pull-down menu at the top of your screen. You can also flatten the type layers into other layers or flatten the entire document. In Adobe Illustrator, fonts can be turned into outlines by selecting your text and going to type>create outlines in the top pull-down menu. These solutions, which are actually quicker and easier than copying your fonts to a folder and supplying them along side your art, make your text difficult or impossible to edit. If spelling errors are found or there are changes to song names or liner notes, additional charges may incur for us to fix them or time will be lost while you fix and resubmit your files. If you are submitting files in Quark or InDesign you must supply the fonts. If you are submitting your files in .PDF format be sure to check the box "embed all fonts" in the settings>edit PDF settings>fonts dialog box in your Acrobat Distiller.

Also, be sure not to use font sizes less then 5 pt for inserts and tray cards and 6 pt for CD faces.

A common issue when using Photoshop for typesetting is setting the anti-aliasing method incorrectly. To set it correctly, first set your resolution to 600 PPI. When text is selected with the type tool, a window appears in between the font size window and the text alignment window that is designated with the letters "aa" (anti-aliased) and a pull down menu with several options. Choose "none" from this screen. This will result in your text printing with crisp edges. Applying anti-aliasing to text blurs the edges slightly which will result decrease the sharpness of your text upon output.

Color space and/or resolution are not set up for CMYK offset or digital printing.

Your files should be supplied in a CMYK color space with a resolution of at least 300 DPI, with the exception of CD faces with Pantone spot colors for silk screening. Submitting your files as RGB will require us to make the conversion to CMYK and may result in an unavoidable shift in colors. Files submitted at a resolution less that 300 DPI will print blurry and jagged (72 DPI and 96 DPI are standard resolutions for images found online. We strongly recommend not using artwork optimized for online viewing). If you are using a digital camera consult your manual to get the highest possible resolution settings. Typically a digital camera will take a 72 DPI picture at a very large size (ex: 20 in X 25 in) which can then be scaled down using the image>image size dialog box in Photoshop's top pull-down menu. Be sure to uncheck the "resample image" check box at the very bottom. Then adjust your resolution from 72 to 300 DPI. You'll notice the dimensions of your image will decrease significantly, making it a more manageable size, usually between an 8X10 and a 4X5 inch picture. If you are scanning images, set your scanner to 600 DPI for color images, 800 for black and white photos and 1200 for text or line art. If your software supports multiple passes, set it to 2 or 3. Scanning is not recommended for images containing large amounts of text, especially if the text is small.

Not all the components of a job are supplied.

With the amount of files necessary for any given or DVD package, it is easy to overlook one or two important pieces. If your job has a 2 sided tray card, make sure you created both sides. If you ordered posters and do not want us to make you our standard poster with the insert cover on it, make sure to supply the file. This also includes linked files with in layouts and Illustrator files. Make sure all your images and fonts are included in your upload or mailed disc. Illustrator files do not require you send the linked file for printing but if the file requires any additional editing, we will only be able to perform the changes if the link is supplied.

CD Face artwork is incompatible with the silk-screen-printing process.

Silk screening is much different than the offset and digital printing process used on booklets and inserts. Any part of an image falling outside of 15%-85% will be either white or black respectively. If you plan to submit a CD face with half tone images (Images with black, white, and all in between grays i.e. black and white photographs) be sure they have relatively high contrast. Gradients are not recommended, as they tend to suffer from banding when printed. It is also important to think about the number of inks in your package. Black and white each count as one color. If white is not selected as a color, the silver of the CD face will be your background which can produce some very attractive effects but can also cause images to appear differently than intended. The inks used are Pantone spot colors, and when used in silk-screening, do not behave in the same way the traditional process colors behave. If you are unfamiliar with separating CMYK files into spot colors, don't worry, color separations and trapping are part of your CD's package and will be performed by us. Just plan your design according to the amount of colors you've decided on. Simple and clean usually works the best.

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