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Digital Do's and Don'ts

Keep these useful tips in mind when creating files for black and white or color digital printing:


  • Do scan color or grayscale photos at 300dpi (100% size) for black and white printing. For color output, photos should be set as CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow & key - black) and at 300dpi (100% size).
  • Do set black and white line art graphics at 600dpi at 100% size. Higher resolutions will take longer to print without improving quality at all.
  • Do include all fonts, even Helvetica, Times, Symbol, Palatino and Zapf Dingbats. Also, if any placed EPS graphics have utilized fonts, don't forget to include those as well.
  • Do avoid compressing and embedding your graphics. Comprehension may corrupt or distort your graphics, and cause them to print differently than what you expect. Embedding your graphics eliminates any possibility to fine-tune or make corrections to your job.
  • Do include all support graphics (EPS or TIFF) with your print order. Without those original graphics, your images may print in low resolution.
  • Do set up your multi-page layouts as one document - regardless of the number of pages you have. This will save time in production by eliminating the need to set up page sizes and printing instructions. It will also cut down the possibility of nonconformity of pages and print problems.


  • Don't crop or rotate imported TIFF files in your layout program. Use your photo retouching program to bring your picture to proper size and orientation before you place it in your document.
  • Don't enlarge scanned images in your page layout program; it will degrade the quality of your images.
  • Don't convert small type or body copy to outlines in an illustration program. Doing so will make the files unnecessarily large, produce sub-standard looking text and make the document uneditable. Instead, include the font used in the files.
  • Don't create complex paths in Photoshop, Illustrator or other programs. Doing so will make your job difficult or next to impossible to image correctly. Also, keep your control points on vector artwork to a minimum.
  • Don't use the "NONE" background color in Quark Xpress on picture boxes that have TIFF pictures placed in them. Doing so may cause jagged edges along the picture in the final printed job.