File Prep

  • Print File Preparation

    1. File preparation – All files should be in one of the following formats;

    • PDF – save as High Quality Print(use all default settings).

    • EPS – save as CS5 EPS as the RIP software does not work with CS6. Please embed all linked images and fonts.

    • AI – save as CS5 AI as the RIP software does no work with CS6. Please embed all linked images.

    • TIFF – save as uncompressed PC/Windows TIFF.


    • Jpeg – save as maximum quality(12), absolutely no compression.

    2. Files MUST have all type and strokes converted to outlines. 3. Files MUST be at full scale unless they are larger than AI or PS can handle.  These may be at 50% or 25% scale, the dimension scale must be indicated in the file title or outside the artboard. 4. Bitmap images, even those embedded in an EPS or PDF should be at the proper dpi when at full size.  Do not try and send very large images at high dpi, this does not make the print quality any better.  The following rules should be applied to bitmap resolution;

    • 11×17 or smaller prints – 600 dpi

    • larger than 11×17 up to full poster size(24×36) – 300 dpi

    • larger than poster size and up to 4’x8′ – 72 to 150 dpi

    • very large files – 36 to 72 dpi

    5. Double-check all print PDFs for transparency issues.  Poor use of embedded images and their transparencies will often cause white blocks in the printing process. 6. Include desired trim lines:  If you would like trim lines, place the outlines where desired. 7. Clearly indicate any white space or areas outside the visible artwork that must be included in the final product. Only include the necessary artwork in the file.  When creating your art work, choose the art board dimensions to match the dimensions you want the printed product to be, and include the desired white space.  When sending multiples in one file clearly indicate the exact dimensions and number of each print job. 8. Always preview any print PDF in Adobe Reader not your design program.  Common errors will often be spotted in this simple step.  If you are sending your print job other than full scale, set the view scale at that much higher to look for print issues.  If designing at 50% set the view to 200% to see what it will look like at full size. Look closely and ensure your resolution will be acceptable, make sure all elements are present and appear as you expect them to.   Cut File Preparation 1.  All cut files MUST be at size.  If this is not possible all scaled dimensions must be indicated in file title or inside the working file. 2. All type and strokes must be created as outlines. 3. A single cutable object must have all of its components merged together, this includes strokes and any holes or voids.   Die Cut File Preparation 1.  All diecut files MUST be at size.  The physical limit to what can be diecut is 48″ wide by 144″ long. 2. All diecuts should have a safety zone and bleed of at least 1/8″ each. 3. All diecuts must be on their own layer in the EPS or AI file and indicated as such. 4. All diecuts must have a stroke 0.25 pt in thickness composed of 100% Magenta Spot Colour.  This spot colour swatch must be named CutContour. The name of the swatch has to be spelled exactly as indicated for it to work. The RIP software removes this item and uses it to create the cut file. Alternately you can download the dieline swatch here. upload it to your swatches folder in illustrator and use the swatch for any die cut line in your vector program download the swatch here.   File Preparation – Colour Accuracy At Fritzworks, we produce in-house colour ICC profiles for all of our different printers but unfortunately by its very nature CMYK digital printing cannot match all desired colours due to its reduced colour gamut as compared to RGB. If colour accuracy is critical and the order size is large, it is best to order a test print of your colours first for verification, as Fritzworks does not guarantee colour accurate prints.

    • Colour shifts between different prints and medias may occur, especially if they are printed at different times.

    • Vector art such as text and logos will print differently when rasterized in your file or exported as a tiff or bitmap, as it will be processed as an image rather than vector art.

    • Your colour accuracy will always be better if the document set up in your application is set to CMYK mode rather than RGB. (Images can remain in RGB if you wish.)

    • Pantone spot colours will print more accurately and more consistently if they are left as a spot colour in your file rather than converting it to CMYK.

    • Naming of spot colours is important so that they can be recognized by any Pantone spot colour matching system. They must match the exact Pantone Convention in name and case.  Use the pantone colour library swatches if in doubt.

    • A lower colour percentage of a Pantone spot colour is treated as a CMYK colour in our Pantone spot colour matching system, so it is best to select a different Pantone spot colour that is lighter, but in the same tone.

    • Any Pantone spot colours that interact with a transparency in your file will be disregarded by our Pantone spot colour matching system. Be very aware of the use of transparencies in your files, especially PDFs.

    File Preparation