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FAQs - Files
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I don't have a photo editing or illustration software to design my piece.
Printdog.com does not currently have online design tools. However we do know a few applications you can use that are free-of-charge.
*Note: Printdog is not responsible for any detrimental effects these applications may have. The following applications are suggested, but not recommended for professional design work. It is up to you to decide whether or not to pay for a professional design.
Online Photo Editing
Both these editing platforms work in pixels and RGB. Printdog will convert your colors to CMYK, but we do not assure color consistency. Pixlr's max output is 4000 pixels on each side (13.33" x 13.33" at 300 dpi). Use
to determine how many pixels you need. EX: For a standard business card put in 2.25 x 3.75 (this includes the bleed). Set the DPI to 300. The output is 675 pixels by 1125 pixels.
Free Vector (Illustrator) Editing Programs
Open Office [Draw]
(Mac, Windows, Linux)
Free Raster (Photo Manipulation) Editing Programs
(Mac, Windows, Linux)
Is my file format acceptable and ready to upload for proofing?
Printdog will accept only PDF, TIF, and EPS. For copies we accept PUB (Publisher) and DOC (Word). Please save your work according to your print project to expedite proofing. The file size can be no more than 100 megabytes. We request that you do not send .jpegs, .bmps, .pngs, or any other unspecified file formats. Printdog.com does not accept file formats other than those specified in the specifications of the product. If you do not submit the right file format you may be charged extra for file format conversion.
How do I know if my print project is at the right resolution?
The print resolution refers to the number of pixels required to display an image to a computer monitor. Any scans or images must be saved at a 300dpi at 100% of their size. Anything lower will jeopardize a crisp and sharp print reproduction and will not be accepted.
What is the safety zone?
An area composed of at least 1/8" within the final trim size containing critical images and text. It is recommended that all important text and artwork not extend beyond this area.
What is Printdog's accepted color model?
Your print project must be a CMYK color model; no RGB or pantone color modes will be accepted because the colors will not be replicated the same way that they appear on the screen. The CMYK color model is based on the color reflected off of the light of the printed material. The subtractive colors, cyan, magenta, and yellow are the primary colors that absorb light. Combining these primaries at different percentages produces many of the colors in the visible spectrum. We do not Pantone color match our online products. Please request a quote for Pantone color matching.
What are bleeds and what are Printdog's bleed requirements?
The edges of the artwork are called the bleed area. If no bleed area is provided in the artwork, the design will contain an unwanted white border around the edge of the artwork. If the product you are ordering has bleeds it is
that you have them. Ensure that any background colors and design elements are stretched all the way to the edge. All artwork must contain a minimum 1/8" (.125") bleed on all sides unless otherwise indicated. When generating the file into the proper format, do not use any crop or printer's marks as these will increase the dimensions of the design file.
How do I know if my image's resolution is compatible for print?
Printdog requires a minimum 300dpi resolution at a 100% output. If you are using digital camera images, you should have the ability to adjust the settings of the camera to a 300dpi of the intended photo size. The megapixels on your camera will determine what the highest resolution of your camera is. If you are cropping a photo, you will reduce how many megapixels it contains. Also, you will be unable to increase the resolution of a digital photograph after it is taken, unless you reduce its printed dimensions. If your images come from a scanner, set the scanner resolution to a 300dpi at the images final print size. Web sourced images typically have a 72dpi resolution, have the RGB color model, and are much too low of a quality for printing. Lastly, if you need to increase image resolution, just reduce the dimensions and shrink the image.
Will my font files be accepted?
No. Please convert all fonts to outlines or they will not be accepted. If you are using Adobe Illustrator, to convert your font text to an outline just select the text, click "Type Menu," select "Type", and then click "Create Outline". Your text should now have a blue outline. Save a copy and re-upload. If the file is from Photoshop simply flatten the image. Do not use fonts smaller than 8 pts. Note that small or very narrow fonts may not render well on print against dark backgrounds.
Will my lines or borders show in print?
All lines on your artwork should be at least .25 pts thick. Remember: while you may be able to see thinner lines on your screen that does not mean they will show up on your printed piece. For borders we recommend them to be 1/4" thick and 3/8" from the bleed line. We however do not recommend borders and do not guarantee perfect trimming for any print product.
How do I compress my files?
File compression is usually a safety precaution when submitting digital files over the internet. When your files hit the internet their code can be corrupted or stripped and prevent the identification of an original file type. To compress a folder or file on a PC just right click the item, then click "Send To," and select "Compress (zipped) Folder." If you would like to
contents, just right click and select "Extract All" to take the folder out into a separate file, within the same directory.
Will I receive a proof prior to the printing process?
Proofing is optional. Digital PDF format proofs cost $5. Hardcopy proofs vary in price, but are usually $35-$75. All submitted files are pre-flight checked to ensure that no errors appear in font, bleed and size. In the case that your file contains an error you will be notified. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR FINAL FILE TO ENSURE NO ERRORS. For information on reprints, refunds and cancellations see the Terms and Conditions.
What is the difference between raster and vector images?
It is highly suggested that your design be done in a vector-based program such as Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. Printdog does not guarantee the results of artwork created from a raster-based program or format and is not liable for any artwork seen as unsatisfactory to the client because of his or her use of rasterized images, especially those that are low resolution and/or in RGB.
In some cases we may terminate an order if artwork is not able to be given that will produce a high quality output as a part of Printdog's quality control initiative. If a rasterized design is given and it is acceptable Printdog disclaims any liability for the end result. In some cases a "raster warning" will be included in one of your status update emails, informing you that pixelation may be present on your printed piece.
- A computer image that is composed of an array of PIXELS arranged in rows and columns. Example: A bitmap (BMP).
- Raster images and programs are best used for photographs and images with subtle shading.
- A low resolution raster image, when enlarged, will pixelate—an effect that displays individual single-colored square elements. When using lossy compression methods such as the JPG file format visible artifacts may be shown in the presence of dithering.
- Images made up of mathematical PATHS and CURVES that can be scaled or edited without affecting image resolution.
- Vector images and programs are best used for page layout, type, line art, and/or illustration.
- Vector programs are not good tools for photo editing, however you can import them into a vector program at a high resolution and size and maintain its sharpness and quality.
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