High Contrast Mode:



Frequently Asked Questions About Artwork

Q What files types do you accept for artwork?

Vectored files (hover over option with definition of a vectored file) in the following formats AI, EPS and PDF. We will look at every file that is sent to us and notify you if we need new artwork. If you are unable to provide us with the requested art, we will have one of our graphic artists recreate the artwork for you for a fee. We will notify you ahead of time of the fee before we start on the project. We will keep your artwork on file for all future requests.

Q Why do we need high resolution images?

High-resolutions files ensure that the final printed output is of the highest quality, capturing all the details of the original image or design. High resolution files provide more detail on the printed image and reduce blurriness. They can also better represent colors, gradients, and subtle variations in the design. When printing, especially in large formats the image or design needs to be scaled without loss of quality. High resolution files allow for scaling without the image becoming fuzzy or pixelated, maintaining the integrity of the design.

Q Does all artwork have to be submitted online?

Artwork needs to be emailed to your account representative or submitted via our web portal.

Q Will I receive a Proof?

We will email you an artwork proof in PDF format for all 1-color and 2-color projects. On straightforward 4-color projects, such as business cards or postcards, we will issue a PDF artwork proof unless you specifically request the hard CMYK proof option.
On more involved 4-color projects, we strongly recommend a hard CMYK proof. If the project involves finishing operations such as binding or folding we recommend a physical mock-up as well.

Q Will the colors on the Proof be Accurate?

When viewing PDF proofs on your monitor or from your desktop printer keep in mind there will be a slight variance in color, so we cannot guarantee the printed color(s) will match the PDF preview. However, the PDF proof will be a close representation of the finished piece.
We ask that all uploaded files be designed in CMYK and uploaded in CMYK. If you send us an RGB file, we will need to convert it to CMYK which will alter the color from your original file.

Q What does Bleed mean?

"Bleed" means that the ink coverage goes all the way to the edge of the paper. On the other hand, printed pieces that show a white border at the edge DO NOT bleed.

To produce a piece with a Bleed, it must be printed on paper larger than the final page size and then trimmed down to the proper size. To make sure no white area shows at the edge after trimming, the artwork must be designed to be larger than the final cut size.

To set up your file to accommodate a bleed, be sure to extend the artwork area 1/8" beyond all bleeding edges of the page. This will allow plenty of room for trimming. An exception is Envelopes, which are not trimmed. So if the artwork on an Envelope bleeds, only extend your artwork 1/16" beyond the edge(s) that bleed.

Q What are some Common Problems with submitted files?

The most common problems we encounter areā€¦

  • Improper set-up for Bleeds: Make sure to extend your artwork 1/8" beyond the edges that Bleed. Also, do not put important information or borders too close to the edges that get trimmed off. An exception is Envelopes, which are not trimmed. On Envelopes, only extend your artwork 1/16" beyond the edge(s) that bleed.
  • Poor Image Resolution: Images must be at least 300 dpi for proper clarity. Do not use images from the web because they are generally low resolution and will appear pixilated (jagged and blurry) when printed.
  • Text and Grammar Issues: Make sure your text has good contrast against its background. Also, avoid the use of small text, especially if it is white text against a colored background. Make sure to proof your file for spelling and grammar errors before forwarding it to us.
  • Crop Marks: Please include the crop marks on your artwork and make sure they are properly placed. Also please remove all unnecessary crop marks.

Q Process Colors vs PMS (Spot) Colors

Process and PMS (Spot) are two different systems for generating colors. Formax offers both. Process colors are created by applying separate layers of 4 colors - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK) - in various concentrations on the paper. By mixing these 4 colors, just about any imaginable color can be created. CMYK 4-Color Process is commonly used for printed matter that contains photographs.

PMS colors, also known as Spot colors or Pantone Matching System colors, are specific color formulas that will reproduce accurately in print. Instead of simulating colors by combining multiple colors as in CMYK 4-Color Process, PMS colors are pre-mixed from existing color formulas and assigned a standardized number. Using a PMS color provides assurance of having consistent color regardless of when or where the printed piece is produced. However, because PMS ink colors are specific formulas, there is usually an upcharge.

PMS colors are commonly used for a logo or text that requires a consistent appearance, such as on business stationery. It is very important that you don't use PMS Spot colors in your artwork design if you are printing in CMYK 4-color Process. When designing for CMYK 4-color Process, it is always a good idea to refer to the Pantone Process Book and then use the Process color that is closest to the desired PMS Spot color. Otherwise when your PMS Spot color converts to a CMYK Process color, it could yield a result you weren't expecting.

Upload Your Artwork