Saint Louis Print Group supports Macintosh OS and Windows PC versions of most professional printing graphics applications. In house we primarily utilize the Macintosh platform for artwork creation and processing. Our ability to open your files and see them as you saw them on your screen, requires that you send us all native files, fonts and pictures. We make every effort to follow all provided licensing restrictions accompanying the artwork you have provided such as with fonts and or photographs.
The customer holds all licensing and royalty responsibilities on any printed artwork they provide or approve. We do not own or hold these licenses. We also respect the privacy of our customers artwork and use it only for the orders as supplied. Please contact us with any questions.
Prepress Artwork Requirements
Supplying everything as requested helps, however, unexpected changes may occur from your end to ours. Some typefaces and the options used with them may not transfer from your end to ours. A proof will be provided to verify that your order will print as intended. Please understand that not adhering to the below requirements may cause delays and/or additional cost to your print order. We can help minimize any delay or pricing additions by helping you plan your print project. Please contact us for artwork templates and creation advice before creating and submitting your artwork.
Final File Formats
All-in-one final file formats. These file types can contain all required elements for a print order in one file if prepared properly. These files can be saved from any Adobe Creative Suite or Quark XPress application. Our ability to use these files as supplied without editing requires that these files be created and or saved with the appropriate settings.
Make sure that a CMYK color space is used retaining all spot colors and embed all fonts and full resolution graphics in your files. When choosing PDF creation options look for one stating High Resolution or Press Quality. Contact us with your PDF creation questions. We can help you create a usable PDF.
- PDF (Portable Document Format) (PDF is preferred, as it supports all latest standards including transparency without flattening. Not all legacy applications support PDF.)
- EPS (Encapsulated Postscript)
Native File Formats
Please supply all placed artwork and fonts with native files. We can not print or edit native files without these support files. Please include a PDF of the native files as well.
- Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop and Acrobat Professional). It is always a good idea to include a back saved, IDML version of your InDesign files, to ensure they can be opened. We subscribe to the Adobe Creative Suite and should be able to even the very latest files.
- Quark XPress. We also recommend you include a back saved version of any Quark file you send.
MS Office and Publisher, Windows only graphics applications or other legacy applications fall into this category. Legacy and alternative graphics applications such as Freehand, PageMaker, Corel Draw, Publisher or similar may be used onyl if you can create and supply a PDF from the application that is high resolution, maintains proper printing colors and proves to be editable as needed. Be advised that editing is often required on these non-standard file types.
Please supply your fonts with any native files and/or make sure they are embedded in your final PDF. Font licensing restrictions vary greatly by typeface and creating foundry. We as the printer do not have or hold the license to the fonts you used in your print order, we only use them as supplied for the specific order supplied. It is your job to know whether or not you are following the license restrictions of the fonts you pick correctly.
Many if not most so called "FREE" fonts available on the internet have usage restrictions when it comes to using them on commercial print orders. Other font types such as the newer "Adobe Typekit" fonts are not intended for print at all, they are for usage on the web and in applications on your computing device only. Unfortunately Adobe allows you to place them in your art, but you can't print with them because the fonts can't be embedded.
Please use licensed Open Type, Post Script and True Type versions of the fonts you want, for your print orders. Not following these guidelines could result in font substitution.
All files supplied must be colored with the ink colors you intend to use for final print. CMYK color space retaining Spot Colors is required. Any file that is supplied in a RGB color space will require conversion or may not be usable.
Pictures retrieved and used on print orders from the internet are typically of a RGB color space. They are typically not suitable for quality print work.
Spot colors should reflect the intended final printed paper type. If you are picking colors on your screen for your job, use the library that best matches your paper. Picking colors from the Uncoated Pantone+ Library for jobs printing on uncoated paper and picking colors from the Coated Pantone+ Library for jobs printing on coated paper, goes a long way, to you receiving a product that most closely reflects what you envisioned when picking your colors.
While it is true that the actual Pantone ink used to print is the same regardless of library, the different libraries exist for two great reasons. One is that this shows you how the ink drys and will look on the corresponding paper, coated or uncoated. The difference between them can be very different. This is why many corporations use different colors for their logos depending on if they are printing on coated or uncoated paper.
Two, may be an even bigger consideration. While the physical ink is the same, many designers choose Pantone colors when picking colors with the intent to just convert them to 4 color process, the colors convert to to different CMYK values depending on whether you used coated or uncoated colors. So picking a coated color that is nice and bright with good pop on screen, may result in a much darker color that looks considerably flatter when printed on the final uncoated paper.
The next consideration is that if you are intending for Pantone colors in your job to be converted to 4 color process, this conversion should be made by you. When made on our end, there are many variables that may change this conversion giving different screen values, making it not what you envisioned. Even within the Adobe Creative Suite different applications and versions of those applications and versions of the Pantone Libraries may convert Pantone to process color with different values. All applications, RIPS and workflows may convert colors with different results.
It is very important that color choices start correctly from the beginning. Please request color proofs for 4 color process orders. Pantone orders will match book color. Special spot colors can be created and matched and a draw down provided for your approval. Please provide all color match targets before we generate proofs, not at press time.
For quality output, artwork has resolution minimums and falls into one of two categories, process or line art. A minimum of 300 LPI for process and 1200 LPI for line art are desired, higher is never an issue. Our internal output resolutions are 2400 LPI or higher. An example of process artwork would be a photograph. An example of line artwork would be a type face. Images not originally created at these minimum resolutions or higher may produce inferior print quality.
Increasing the resolution of an already low-resolution file will not improve print quality. It is a common belief that as long as a file is 300 LPI the quality is fine for print. This is only true for photograph resolution. Line art requires much higher resolution to not have jagged edges. Isn't all line art the same? No it is not, line art can be raster based or vector based. With vector based line art, such as that created in Adobe Illustrator, resolution is not an issue as the art is infinitely sizeable. However line art that is created in Adobe Photoshop for instance, type over a photograph, will only be at the file resolution set at the time of creation. So if your going to make line art in Photoshop make sure the resolution is appropriate for quality output. Most graphics retrieved and used for print orders from the Internet are typically low resolution and will not reproduce with good quality.
Our ability to turn your supplied artwork into a quality printed piece depends on the supplied artwork meeting our printing requirements. Templates can be provided for your print order. Our templates show proper print position, wrap and bleed requirements. Templates are available in native and PDF formats.
Our ability to convert your printed sheets depends upon you following the layout we supplied you exactly. We can work with you to customize any of our layouts to meet any specific printing requirements needed. You must use a current layout provided by Saint Louis Print Group. Do not attempt to make your own or use another sources layout.
All dies are different and even minor changes can make a job impossible to cut. All layouts must be supplied with our cutting marks, appropriate wraps and/or bleeds, and maintain the correct guide and gripper location. Layouts must be submitted for approval, either physically or electronically before you print your order.
Please supply a hard copy and/or PDF file with all submitted artwork. Without this we can not verify our work against what was supplied. We take the accuracy of our orders very seriously and know that it is very important to our customers. Please supply us this minimal tool needed to properly evaluate your artwork.
Examples of helpful samples include: artwork PDFs, hard copy prints of current art or previous art with changes notated, prior printed samples for repeats or with changes notated. Faxes of the hard copies are also acceptable when necessary but often can't be used to match size, however content can be verified.
Files may be Emailed or Sent to our company FTP site, please contact us for an account. Files may be submitted on CD or DVD. We can also retrieve files from your web, FTP or other drop site. Please compress (ZIP) all files being supplied electronically. This helps maintain data integrity as files travel across the Internet. The ability to open and create Zip files is native to both Macintosh and Windows operating systems. We also have the ability to open your Stuffit files. If you need guidance to create a compressed ZIP file please call.
Supplying everything as requested helps, however, unexpected changes may occur from your end to ours. Some typefaces and the options used with them may not transfer from your end to ours. A proof will be provided to verify that your order will print as intended. Please understand that not adhering to the above requirements may cause delays and/or additional cost to your print order. We can help minimize any delay or pricing additions by helping you plan your print project. Please contact us for artwork templates and creation advice before creating and submitting your artwork.