Black and White Printing
Printing Services offers full black and white copying services. You may send us your job electronically or bring in a hard copy format. Preferred electronic file is PDF (Portable Document Format) and PDF files under 16 MB can easily be submitted by email, on a CD or USB flash drive. Please contact us for more information and questions.
Printing Services offers full color copying services. You may send us your job electronically or bring in a hard copy format. Preferred electronic file is PDF (Portable Document Format) and PDF files under 16 MB can easily be submitted by email, on a CD or USB flash drive. Please contact us for more information and questions.
Printing Services can print posters up to size 12x18 inches in color. Click here to look at poster templates. Preferred electronic file is PDF (Portable Document Format) and PDF files under 16 MB can easily be submitted by email, on a CD or USB flash drive.
Printing Services offers a number of finishing services, including folding, cutting, stapling, laminating, hole punching and binding. Please contact us for more information.
We support the following programs on both Mac OS X and Windows XP Professional operating systems: Adobe Creative Suite 5 (Photoshop CS5, Illustrator CS5, InDesign CS5 and Acrobat 7.0), Microsoft Office 2011 Mac and Microsoft Office 2010 for Windows (Word, Publisher, Excel and PowerPoint).
This section serves as a guide to help you correctly setup your files for error-free production.
When to use a layout program versus an illustration or photo-editing program for your layout
The layout program InDesign is better for projects with multiple pages and relatively more body text, especially if that body text goes through the whole project.
Illustration and photo-editing programs, such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, are better for projects that have only 1 or 2 pages, and are dominated by graphics and large type rather than body text.
If you are working in an illustration program (Illustrator) or a photo-editing program (Photoshop), we recommend that you create your document at the full bleed size.
If you are working in a layout program, such as InDesign, we recommend that you create your document at the trim size and include the specified amount of bleed for your product (.125").
- Layout file resolution should be 300 dpi at 100% of the final output size.
- Image file resolution should be 300 dpi at 100% of the image's final output size.
CMYK vs. RGB
Print uses the CMYK color system (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) - not RGB (Red, Green and Blue), which is meant for screen displays.
Create your document in CMYK mode.
Keep in mind that many of the bright values produced by your monitor cannot be reproduced in print.
How to make sure your document is CMYK:
- Go to the Edit Menu and choose "Color Settings"
- Make sure you are in Working Space: CMYK: "U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2."
- The RGB value will not affect your design.
To change color settings:
- Go to the Edit Menu and choose "Convert to Profile"
- Change the Destination Space to CMYK: "U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2" and click OK.
- Go to the Image Menu and choose "Color Mode"
- Check mark will appear next to current color mode
- Select CMYK Color
- Go to the File Menu and choose "Document Color Mode"
- A check mark will appear next to current color mode
- Select CMYK Color
Spot colors are printing inks of colors that are specially mixed according to a recipe. They are chosen from color matching systems and swatch books. They are generally used as a complement to black or to achieve an exact color that CMYK process colors cannot provide.
Spot colors are optional. Some factors to consider in deciding whether or not to use spot colors are:
- Cost/budget - spot colors added to a 4-color job will significantly raisethe cost. Carefully choose and define all colors in your files as either CMYK or spot.
- The practical limits of offset presses keep the possible number of color plates to 6 at most. When spot colors are used, a more typical run is a 2-color (black + spot) or a 5-color (CMYK + spot) job.
Be sure that spot colors used in your graphics files are named exactly the same as in the layout file.
To help keep our campus message consistent and to save you time, we've developed production templates for a few print forms. These templates are already set up with the correct size, color and bleed characteristics for a good print document.
Why use print templates?
- The pre-sized production templates have been carefully constructed according to industry standards.
- The production templates have non-printing production indicators such as trim lines, safety margins, bleed lines, fold lines and panel indicators. These are useful to the designer and the printer.
- The production templates have been built to accommodate a wide variety of printing scenarios.
Using the production templates will ensure that your dimensions and specs are correct.
When you have finished designing, make sure to send your file to MMR for brand review.
Use our prepress checklist to get your file ready for print
What is Prepress? Prepress refers to everything that happens to make sure a job is correctly prepared for printing. This is when you catch the errors that could hold up the job on press. For trouble-free printing down the line, it is important to get your design in the best shape possible. Please follow the prepress guidelines below before sending your project to Printing Services.
Prepress can be broken down into 4 steps
- Manually check and adjust your layout and graphics files
- Package your job
- Create a preview PDF file
STEP 1: How to manually check your files
- Extend bleed artwork to bleed lines
- Check that important content is within safety margins
- Check and edit colors
- Check that process colors are CMYK (not RGB)
- Check that spot colors are converted to CMYK or, if desired, carefully defined and applied as spot
- Trash unused color swatches
- Check and edit fonts
- Make sure there are no missing or inactive fonts
- Check that fonts are styled in their "true" form (in other words, unaltered by artificial "bold" or "italics" options in the application)
- Check that linked graphics are up to date
- Tidy by deleting unused elements, elements on the pasteboard, and empty boxes
- Check layers
- Create a color proof to check your document for color quality, spelling and layout.
STEP 2: How to preflight
What is preflight? To preflight a job essentially means to check it for technical errors to make sure it is ready to print. The process involves running your layout file through preflight software, or a preflight plug-in, that systematically checks for font conflicts, misused colors, missing graphic links, etc. - any issues that could be a problem for the printer.
- Note that preflight is an automated function, while manually checking that your document is correctly laid out can only be done by a human. That is why the two steps go hand-in-hand, and one cannot replace the other.
- The way you run preflight depends on what application you used for your layout file. InDesign has a built-in preflight and/or job-collecting functions, while Illustrator and Photoshop files have neither.
- For an InDesign layout, simply open the document and select "Package" from the File menu.
- Preflighting will result in a report listing conflicts and errors with your files. This is normal. Part of preflighting is fixing errors and running it through again until you get a clean report.
STEP 3: How to package
Packaging your job is an automated process for gathering all of the active components of your job - layout, graphics and fonts - into one new, neat job folder. As with the preflight procedure, the way you collect your job depends on the program your layout file was created in. Adobe InDesign lets you "Package."
STEP 4: How to create a preview
Creating a preview PDF of your file will allow you to see your print-ready file before sending it to print. As with the preflight procedure, the way you create a preview PDF depends on the program your layout file was created in. In Adobe InDesign, simply open the document and select "Export" from the File menu. Choose the option "Printable PDF" from the window view and click "Save."
- File is saved in acceptable format (PDF, Portable Document Format)
- File is named properly
- Layout document size is correct
- Layout document is sized to its trim dimensions
- Layout graphics files are in CMYK color mode (not RGB)
- The layout file's graphics are linked and up-to-date
- Spot colors, if any, have exactly the same names as in the layout document
Document Color Settings
- The working space is CMYK (U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 for InDesign)
- Colors used in the document are 4-color process (CMYK), not RGB
- Process colors are properly defined and named
- Spot colors, if any, are properly defined and named
- Unwanted spot colors are converted to process/CMYK
- Unused colors are deleted
- Duplicate colors are merged
- Layout and graphics files have a resolution of 300 dpi
- Bleed artwork and/or background color(s) are pulled to bleed (i.e. extend at least .125" past the trim edge)
- Important content is within the safety margins (i.e. placed at least .25" before trim edge)
- All extraneous graphic elements are deleted, including empty box frames, elements on the pasteboard and extra guides
- Text is checked for bad breaks, extra spaces and not enough space
- Empty pages are deleted if not necessary for the layout
- Print a hard copy proof and visually check for errors
- Read every word
- For high quality printing results, image file resolution should be saved at approximately 300 dpi (dots per inch) at 100 percent of the image's final output size.
- For sufficient printing resolution, digital images should have a resolution of 300 ppi (pixels per inch).
- Simply increasing the DPI setting for your graphic file does not improve the resolution.
Vector graphics (e.g., logos, clip art and shapes)
- are made up of points, lines and curves that are based on mathematical equations.
- are resolution-independent, which make it possible to freely move, re-size or modify the graphics without losing detail or clarity.
- are editable when imported into a vector-based graphics application.
- are ideal for artwork, such as logos, that will be used at various sizes and in various mediums.
Raster graphics/bitmaps (e.g., photos)
- are made up of pixels.
- use ppi (pixels per inch) as an indicator of resolution.
- cannot be enlarged without lowering their resolution.
- should be cropped with care, because cropping reduces the number of pixels in an image.
- can only be edited in image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop.
EPS vs. TIFF (vs. JPEG)
- Illustrations, clip art and logo artwork should be vector EPS files.
- EPS produces excellent results for documents that combine raster (images) with vector (text).
- IMPORTANT: Images with text should be saved as EPS with fonts embedded
- Images without text should be saved as TIFF.
- JPEG format is a lossy (some data will be lost) compression format that doesn't work well for high quality print.
- Re-saving a JPEG file as a TIFF or EPS won't bring back lost data that occurred during a JPEG compression, but it will hold the quality where it is rather than continually degrading each time it is edited and saved as it would in JPEG format.
- If you must work from original JPEG files, start with high resolution (300 ppi) JPEGs saved at zero compression (or as close to zero as possible) - not screen-friendly 72 ppi JPEGs.
Images from the Web
- Images from the Web are at a resolution of 72 ppi and will not work well for high quality print.
- For printing, all images should be CMYK, grayscale or black and white. No images should be in RGB.
Converting from RGB to CMYK
- Every time you do a color conversion, you lose a bit of color quality.
- IMPORTANT: Do all your corrections, then save as RGB and convert. Don't convert and then try to make more adjustments.
- If you convert to CMYK and then re-convert to RGB, that RGB conversion will never be the same as it was. Never make the conversion without making a backup copy of the RGB image, because you can't go back to the original RGB image.
- Please note that JPEG files are almost always in RGB.
Managing colors within your files:
- When choosing colors, do not rely on how colors look on screen. Consider the significant difference between what the eyes see, what the monitor displays, what the proof looks like and what a printing press can produce. When choosing key colors, even CMYK colors, consult swatch books for a sense of how they will actually print.
- Process colors should be defined as process CMYK and named by their color values (i.e., "C=0 Y=0 M=100 K=0" rather than "Magenta").
- Spot colors should be defined as Spot, not CMYK.
In the final stages of your project:
- In Adobe, make sure all colors used in your project have corresponding swatches.
- Make sure you have not used the same color under multiple names. Merge them into one.
- Trash unused color swatches.
Have additional questions? Contact us >>