Here are a few tips and general information about submitting your photo and logo art files to ELEMAREdesign.
300 dpi minimum
What does that mean? 300 dpi means 300 dots (or pixels) per inch. ELEMAREdesign recommends you submit image files at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi at the size to be used, or larger. Images submitted at a lower resolution may be acceptable for print use, but can result in a softer image or a ragged (pixelated) appearance in the final product, rather than the sharp quality you seek and we pride ourselves in designing for you.
Important note about using a scenic photo or graphic from the Internet. Typically, photos on a Web site have been re-sized and optimized for fast loading. Web images are generally only 72 dpi. Optimizing makes the file smaller and more efficient by dropping some of the color information. That one-two punch is great for fast page loading, but the jump from 72 to 300 dpi is too great a leap for the picture to retain its colors depth and detail needed for print quality.
If you are absolutely in love with a scene or graphic you've seen on the Internet, submit the file or Web site URL as a reference. A comparable print quality alternative may be found, or the graphic redrawn or rebuilt. This extra service will incur added cost, which is determined by the extent of the work required to rebuild or redraw the graphic. You will be told of the additional cost before any work begins.
The best, most economical thing to do in every case is to submit photography as it was offloaded from your camera – not otherwise resized, cropped, or optimized – and submit print quality or vector logos and graphics.
CMYK and PMS Colors versus RGB
CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) are the color pigments used in 4-color (full color) printing. Most colors can be composed through various combinations of these 4 pigments (except fluorescent and metallics). Commercial offset printing predominately uses CMYK; therefore, all files for printing will be prepared in this color mode.
PMS (Pantone Matching System) colors are premixed inks used to create specific colors required for some applications. If a company has selected a PMS color for their logo, selecting a PMS ink will assure that the colors match in all print jobs. PMS colors are always more expensive to print, and some printers will request an additional set-up fee as well. For that reason, ELEMAREdesign only uses CMYK in print designs we originate.
For more economical printing, existing designs that use or include PMS colors can usually be converted to CMYK, which can provide a close representation of the color selected. However, printers do not guarantee exact color matching. (Talk to your printing professional for more information.) If your existing design uses PMS and you want to keep it, we will use the PMS palette.
RGB (Red, Green, Blue) are the primary colors used to create all colors on any display that emits light (computer monitors, televisions, and projectors). It is a totally different technology from CMYK, which is ink. RGB is the color format used for Web design.
Artwork submitted to ELEMAREdesign as RGB files intended for print pieces will be converted to CMYK format before the design process to minimize undesirable color variations in the finished print product. There are certain colors – particularly blues – that may not convert well from RGB to CMYK. Every effort will be made to match the original color(s) in hue and vibrance, although some color-shifting may result from converting RGB files to CMYK. ELEMAREdesign will note problematic conversion issues during the design process or proof review, so you can be the final judge of color matching.
A bleed is an extension of your background color or image that “bleeds” beyond the intended trim size of your piece, which allows your finished piece to have color straight to the edges. Bleed gives your piece a polished, professional look, and is highly recommended. However, some commercial printers charge an additional fee for bleeds because of the extra steps involved with trimming the finished work. Please ask your printer!
If your commercial printer of choice charges more for a bleed and if that cost is a consideration for you, your color design can be modified to include a .25 white border on all edges. We do not charge for this conversion, but please note that the extra border means the active area for your text and images must be smaller and may affect the layout.