Our preferred file format is .pdf. However, we can accept the following formats: .tif, .jpg, .eps, .ai and .indd. With all file formats, we ask that your files be created at the correct size with 1/4" all around (1/8" on each side) for bleeds. Any graphics that include photos must follow the guidelines below for either TIFF, JPEG or EPS.

Print-Ready PDF (.pdf) - PDF is the standard for viewing electronic documents. This could be anything from one page or an entire book. As the .pdf contains all the image and font information within the file, it doesn't require any additional support files to successfully print.

PDF files are easily viewed in Adobe Acrobat Reader which can be downloaded for free here.

Many software programs such as Microsoft Word or Publisher will export to PDF. We do not recommend this options unless you are confident that your conversion settings are correct for commercial printing.

Tagged Image File Format (.tif) - TIF is a raster-based file commonly used for photographic and contone images as well as all types of line-art graphics and imagery involving text. TIF supports the following:

  • RGB
  • CMYK
  • Grayscale
  • Lab
  • Indexed Color

TIF files can be compressed by using an LZW lossless compression approach of JPG lossy compression. TIF files also support layers which means that individual elements within the image can be saved so that they can be edited later. If a TIF has been flattened, however, the layers are lost and can no longer be edited.

For the above reasons, TIF files can be massive - sometimes more than 10x the size of an equivalent JPG file.

Joint Photographic Experts Group (.jpg) - JPEG is a raster-based file originally intended for use in Web applications, but has found a home in the high-end print production markets as well. The JPEG file format can be your best friend if used properly or your worst enemy if implemented incorrectly. JPEG supports the following:

  • RGB
  • CMYK
  • Grayscale

A JPEG file is encoded by using an adjustable lossy compression approach. This means that to achieve smaller file sizes, image data is actually thrown away. In small doses, the JPEG compression approach can be very effective and efficient. However, in larger amounts, the resulting file will contain –noise" and undesired artifacts in the image. Be very careful when preparing JPEG files for use in a print production workflow and keep in mind that it is important to save JPEGs only once - the effects of JPEG compression are cumulative. There is no way to repair a JPEG once it has been compressed.

Encapsulated Post Script (.eps) - EPS files are image files that contain both vector and bitmap information. An .eps is a collection of several image files all in one. EPS can be created using any color space and any image bit depth.

EPS files are composed of two main parts: the preview and the high resolution image data. The preview is necessary to provide a preview for the page layout application. The high-resolution image data are necessary for outputing to a particular device.

EPS is a variation of a PostScript language file and has been built specifically for the print production world. EPS files are not supported in web browsers.

Adobe Illustrator (.ai) - AI is a proprietary file format developed by Adobe Systems for representing vector drawings in either EPS or PDF formats. The .ai filename is used exclusively by Adobe Illustrator.

AI files support both CMYK and RGB color spaces. While .ai files are vector-based files, they can include embedded raster images. Special care must be taken with embedding raster images; while the AI file may be in a CMYK color space, the raster image may be an RGB image.

Any AI submitted for print must include attached images and all fonts must be outlined.

Adobe Photoshop (.psd) - PSD is a proprietary file format developed by Adobe Systems for representing raster images. The .psd file name is used exclusively by Adobe Photoshop.

PSD files support both CMYK and RGB color spaces and can include layers. These include layers with masks, color spaces, ICC profiles, transparency, text, alpha channels and spot colors, clipping paths, and duotone settings.

Adobe InDesign (.indd) - INDD is a proprietary file format developed by Adobe Systems for their InDesign software program. Adobe InDesign is primarily a layout program and can be used to create works such as fliers, brochures, magazines, newspapers and books. Designers and graphics production artists are the principal users creating and laying out periodical publications, posters, and print media.

Include all fonts, linked photos and graphics with your document. InDesign can automatically package documents via the File>Package command.

For any comments or questions feel free to contact us at artdept@notjustprinting.com