you scan the images yourself from photographs, save them in either
TIFF or EPS format in CMYK mode. These image formats best preserve
the color and sharpness of your pictures. You
should scan your images using a resolution of 300dpi at the final
dimensions. In other words, avoid scanning at 300dpi and then enlarging
the picture by 200% in your layout program. This will cause color
shifts and blurriness when printing.
files will cause
color shifts and blurriness
enlarged to 200%
are AMAX scans better than mine? Go to our FAQs
Pictures from Digital Cameras
using pictures from your digital camera, they
will only look good on your screen if they are 72dpi JPGs.
Make sure all pictures are high enough pixel resolution for
offset presses. Do the math before using them for reproduction.
For instance, if you have an 2048
x 1536 pixels image at 72dpi, that means you have the
same image about 28" x 21" at 72dpi or 7" x
5" at 300 dpi, so it's safe to reduce or enlarge that image up
to about 7" x 5" in your layout.
RGB JPG looks good on your screen, but it's not good for offset
CMYK Colors Instead of RGB Colors
print full color pictures using combinations of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow
and Black (CMYK). But scanners and digital cameras create images using
Red, Green and Blue (RGB) to display images on the screen. So your
RGB file must be translated to CMYK in order to print it correctly
on offset presses. We
suggest that you do the RGB-to-CMYK conversion of the images yourself.
You will have more control over the appearance of your printed pieces.
And also it's the reason why you select CMYK colors instead of RGB
colors for your fonts or other design elements in your layout.
you won't really notice the color shift in a color photograph,
except you pick a very rich or vibrant colors.
Text Against Images
you significantly contrast between your text and image. If you use
photographs for background, lighten up your photography or enlarge
your text size. This will make your text easier to read.
and bold text
Text and Working with Small Text
best not to colorize small text. Why
not? When the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black plates don't line-up
exactly, this results in misregistration: little colored halos around
the characters. It's best to use colored text on large, bold type,
or smaller sizes down to about 12 point. Otherwise, the words may
be hard to read and the work will look unprofessional. The same thing
happens when using knock-out (white) text on colored background or
magnifications of 10pt. text
on colored background
on solid black background
Trapping & Overprinting
When working with
two colors or more, please note trapping and overprinting help make
your design look good when printed. As mentioned above, don't colorize
small text. Misregistration occurs when different color plates are
not lined-up exactly. Trapping and overprinting is needed in some
cases. If you have any problems, contact our technician for advice
and assistance. We use special software to trap colors and design
elements. And we'll use our experience and knowledge to determine
if we should trap or overprint - that'll save you time and money.
100M and 100C
100M and 100M 100Y
trapping or overprinting
trapping or overprinting needed in this case
Black vs. CMYK Black
If you are printing
process colors, you can avoid some misregistration problems by using
black which contains percentages of Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow with
100% Black. In general, misregistration is less noticeable if there
is at least one shared color between adjacent shapes. The four-color
Black is also a much richer black than 100% Black.
||20C 15M 15Y
is the term for printing that goes right to the edge of the paper.
If you are working on the document you wish to bleed, make the document
with an extra 0.125" all the way around. Make sure that any photograph
or background you wish to bleed passes through that extra 0.125".
Then after we have printed your piece, we will trim off that extra
0.125" all the way around. You'll have color all the way to the
edges of your final piece.
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