Artwork FAQ

Here is a list of some of our most frequently asked questions regarding artwork, guidelines, and file submissions. If you have any questions, or are providing your own artwork, you can send them to our graphic design department at [email protected].

If you purchased an item that included *Free Design, you can send your graphics, font selection, background color, font color and photos to [email protected] and we will prepare a proof and email it to you for your approval within 24-48 hours in most cases. (not including holidays and weekends)

*Free Design means we will arrange the information you send to us at your request including photos, clip art, logos, etc. You must provide high quality, high resolution artwork or vector art in order for you to get high quality results. *Free Design does not include logo design or vectoring artwork, though they are available at additional costs if you need them.

If you are designing your own banner, you must create it in actual size at 72 to 100ppi minimum.

If you have NO IDEA what any of this means, you may want to check out our Professional Layout & Design Service.

What file types do you accept?

Acceptable Files:
JPEG – High Resolution Photo
EPS – Encapsulated Post Script
AI – Adobe Illustrator
PDF – Adobe PDF
PSD – Adobe Photoshop
TIFF – High Resolution Photo
CDR- Corel Draw

Non-Acceptable Files:
GIF – Graphic Interchange Format
JEPG – Low Resolution Web Photo

What size should my text be if I want to view my banner or yard sign from a distance?

This depends on what the final output size will be, and its viewing distance.
Please reference our Scale & Resolution Example Chart and Letter Visibility Chart below:

When should I scale down my artwork?

It is not always necessary to scale your artwork down but here are a few good things to know.

Vector Art –  Will your file be over 200″? If yes you will want to scale it down by half. While Illustrator has a maximum document size nearly 228″. Acrobat and others will only read up to 200″ resulting in lost artwork. So while the artwork looks ok in Illustrator, it will not print correctly.

Raster Art – Will your file be over 30,000 pixels along either axis? If yes you will need to reduce the resolution of the file to reduce the overall file size to 30,000 or less. This will maintain the correct file size and aspect ratio. Don’t be worried about losing quality. A 30,000 pixel document at 150dpi is nearly 16′ and would not be viewed close up anyway.

Should I include any fonts with my files?

No, please ensure all fonts are outlined prior to file upload. If using Photoshop, please provide the flattened file only.

Should I include crop marks on my artwork so you know where to cut?

Absolutely not. Please do not include crop marks, color bars, registration marks or any other indicators that you do not want printed on the final piece.

Can I add a border to my banner or yard sign?

Yes, but it’s not recommended. Borders are an issue because all substrates will vary from batch to batch making exact cuts very difficult. We recommend that you do not design your file with a border. If you do, we will not reprint an order with borders of varying widths. If you absolutely must have a border, make it at least 2 inches in thickness, however we still do not recommend borders.

What is overprint and how can it ruin my file?

Primarily used to intentionally overlap inks for a number of reasons, overprint can cause unexpected results. We suggest that you turn all overprint objects off before submitting your files

What is rich black and how do I get it?

Rich black is an ink mixture of solid black, 100% K, with additional CMY ink values. This results in a darker tone than black ink alone. If you print black alone as 100% K, the resulting black may not be as dark as you might like.

100% Black On-Screen:

100% Black After Print:

We recommend using
C 60 M 40 Y 40 K 100
This will give you a deep, dark, rich black.

How do I get a grayscale image in a CMYK document?

Grayscale images that are converted to CMYK will have a color shift in the final print.

Always check the CMYK values of your grayscale in the final CMYK document. If there are other values other then K in your grayscale image, there is a chance that the color will vary.

To eliminate all values other then K, use your Channel Mixer (adjustment layer) in Photoshop, then click “Monochrome” and adjust accordingly.

Do I need bleed for my files?

Coroplast – No bleed. Ensure you have .25″ white border on all sides of your artwork, do not add crops. For 18×24 yard signs, artwork should be a maximum size of 17.5 x 23.5 inches.

Magnets – No bleed. Make artwork exact size of finish magnet. Do not add crops.

13oz Vinyl – no bleed, no crops – make your artwork exactly the size you are ordering. We suggest you keep any important text / artwork 2 inches inward from the edge of your artwork as to avoid any elements being cut off / hemmed over.

What color mode should my files be in?

If you send us an RGB file, there is a chance that a color shift may occur and you may not be satisfied with your job.

You should always start and finish your designs in CMYK color mode. Never use PMS or Pantone Colors.

Are there any color issues to consider when setting up files for signs, magnets, or banners?

Coroplast – Due to the nature of Coroplast, most of your light colors and/or pastels are more susceptible to streaks, fingerprints, smudges, and smears. Cyan and Light Cyan are often an issue as the ink does not penetrate the substrate heavy enough to cover some of these smudges or fingerprints. When setting up your files, try to avoid large areas of solid light colors and gradients. If you must have a large area of solid color, try to keep your T.A.C. (Total Area Coverage) above 150 if possible. This means that when you add up all of the CMYK values, your total will add up to 150(%) out of a full 400% build. i.e. Rich Black T.A.C. is 240% C-60 M-40 Y-40 K-100.

Magnets – Our magnetic substrate is especially prone to fingerprints and scratches. If you follow the T.A.C. as mentioned above in the Coroplast portion of this FAQ, you should be fine.

My file contains a transparency, will it print OK?

No. Even the smallest transparency issue will cause problems with a printed file. It is always best to flatten any file you send to us. Outline fonts and ensure that your file is in CMYK mode for best results. We consider flattening transparency part of basic file setup and will not check for this issue. If you are uncertain how to flatten transparencies in your file or if you would like us to explain how to check for transparency problems please contact us prior to submitting an order.

May I submit multiple artwork files for a single order?

At this time, we can only accept 1 piece of artwork for any single job of any quantity.

What settings should I use to create my PDF in Adobe Illustrator?

Different versions of Illustrator have different presets in the “Save PDF” dialog. The PDF presets in Illustrator CS will not save the PDF to the correct document size if any artwork extends past the edge of the document size. It will include all objects, including those that are not visible, producing a PDF with excess white space. This will produce a PDF that is the incorrect size. If not caught prior to submission it will not print as intended.

For Illustrator CS2 and above it is recommended to use the “High Quality Print” preset.

Every file is different and it is not feasible to include all possible issues in this FAQ. It is always best to double check your PDF for size and excess white space before uploading.

I am making a double-sided directional sign with arrows. What do I need to consider to make sure the sign comes out correctly?

When using arrows on a double sided sign, special care will need to be taken with the direction of the arrows. If you want the arrows on both sides of the sign to point the same direction when the sign is printed the arrows need to be setup in opposite directions on the production files. It’s complicated, we know. See the example illustration below.

What is the radius of the rounded corner magnets?

Our rounded corner magnets have a 1/2″ radius. If you would like assistance setting up your rounded corner magnets, please email us at  [email protected].

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Got a different question?

Email us at:  [email protected]