Art Setup Guidelines


Download Art Guidelines as PDF

   Download Art Setup Guidelines PDF


The following guidelines are designed to save you time, effort and avoid any additional file set up charges.
Correct preparation of your files is crucial to meeting deadlines. This will help ensure your art and brand shine!


Software Accepted
We use Macintosh versions of the following software. In most cases we can work with artwork created by PC versions of the same programs.

  • Adobe CC: InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and Acrobat


File Set-up Guidelines


Document Setup:
It is important to call BEFORE starting your design if you have not worked with a specific process before.
Request specifications for the specific product you are designing.

  • If your graphic contains photos as well as logos, copy or line-art, set up your document as a page layout in InDesign or Illustrator.
  • When creating a display that stretches across multiple panels, always set your file up as one continuous layout.
    If panels are set up separately our Technical Support department will always contact you for a new layout, which
    could jeopardize your deadline.
  • Include bleed for trimming on all of your graphics. See the specifications below for your particular product.
  • Files may be created at any scale as long as the proportions are correct.
  • Indicate any cutouts, die lines, or placement of overlying images on a separate layer in your layout.    
  • Provide a cut path for complex or custom cutouts in a vector format.
  • Do a Collect or Package to gather correct fonts and linked/placed images. Convert all text to outlines if you are not
    providing us with the fonts used in your files.
  • We always request artwork is sent in its native format with all links and fonts included. Programs like InDesign offer
    the option of exporting your layouts as self-contained PDF files for output. We will require approval of these
    non-native files to print as is with no color adjustments (we will need to “rasterize” or flatten these PDFs).
  • Avoid using auto trace options or making clipping paths using magic wand selections. These typically are not clean
    and smooth. Taking the time to draw your paths will produce the best outcome.
  • If you have specific colors you would like matched, do not use a transparency or opacity feature to
    achieve a certain color. Instead, assign a color value or use a tint.
  • Creating gradients in InDesign or Illustrator can cause banding on the final output. Please create gradients in
    Photoshop and link them into your page layout program.


Color Matching:
It is almost impossible to match provided laser prints when doing image color correction.  Please understand that
color is device dependent. The same digital color will print differently on different output devices and media.

  • Use PMS (Pantone Matching System) Solid Coated numbers for specifying vector file colors. We will adjust spot colors to the closest possible match for the output device and media.
  • If we will be matching against something other than a PMS color, make sure the sample is large enough.
  • Please keep all color profiles consistent across your project's collateral images. Mismatched profiles
    can cause unexpected color shifting and/or inconsistent output. New files will be requested if color spaces do not match.
  • If color needs to be consistent with previous order please include this information on your purchase order.
  • For color matching, all artwork must remain in a layered format.
  • If a Pantone color is specified but coated or uncoated is not, our default is coated.
  • Colors such as flourescents, neons, and metallics cannot be replicated. Please choose a complimentary standard
    Pantone color.


It is very important to provide us with the appropriate amount of bleed. If you fail to provide us with the accurate amount of
bleed our Technical Support department will contact you requesting new files. That could jeopardize your deadline. Design
elements should not be positioned too close to the outer edges of the document. If your output is on fabric and the material
shrinks during heat transfer, those design elements could be cut off.

  • All fabric requires 2 inches of bleed on all sides beyond the final trim size, 4 inches total.
  • Prints on canvas material that is to be stretched onto a frame require’s 2 inches of bleed on all sides beyond the
    trim size, 4 inches total.
  • All other materials require a 1/2 inch of bleed on all sides beyond the trim size, 1 inch total.


Image Resolution:
Resolution specifications apply only to raster files. To maximize image quality do not rasterize vector graphics or fonts.

  • Set up raster files for Lambda Digital Photo Printing at 125 to 200ppi at final output size, file size permitting.
  • Set up raster files for Digital InkJet (UV, Solvent, & Latex)  at 150 to 200ppi at final output size.
  • Set up raster files for Dye Sub Fabric Printing at 100 to 150ppi at final output size.
  • Higher scan resolutions will usually result in higher quality images.  However, lower resolution files resampled (scaled-up, res’d-up, fractaled, etc) to a higher resolution may not yield an acceptable image.

Please Contact These Resources Below for Further Information

  • Preflight (FTP, uploading artwork and file requirement inquiries)
    • 763.525.5900 xt.135
  • Doug Schmeltzer - Digital Manager (file requirement inquiries)
    • 763.525.5900 xt.120


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