Preparing Digital Files

At Grass Valley Printers We accept jobs in any form. We can take most anything and make it look good on paper. The information following is only for those that like to do the design and layout themselves.

After you have created the graphics, layout, and text of your project. There is another important step - getting it ready for printing. Following these steps will increase the quality of your printing, the speed at which you get your job back.

1. Begin by using an accepted application program. The following table lists all the applications we support at Grass Valley Printers. The table includes an indication of whether Mac or Windows format is accepted. Please call if you have an application that is not shown or supported on this list.

Mac Windows
Adobe InDesign
Adobe Pagemaker
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Acrobat PDF
Microsoft Publisher
Microsoft PowerPoint
Microsoft Access
Microsoft Excel
Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft Word*

* Microsoft Word is a relatively unstable program when it comes to printing.
Further, it cannot color separate. Do not use Microsoft Word for color print
jobs or for jobs where location on the page is critical.

2. Not all fonts are created equal. Use fonts that will give you consistent and expected results. Postscript fonts are best.

3. Print out your project and thoroughly proofread it. Check for typos, and also make sure your images are where you want them, that graphics are the right size and in the right place. It's always good to have at least one other person look it over, too.

4. If your printing project includes color, check your color definitions. Print out color separations, one sheet for each color. If your project uses black and red, there should be a black sheet and red sheet for each page. If there are more, go back and check your color definitions.

If the project is full color, make sure you only get the process (CMYK) colors when you print out color separations - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black.

NOTE: RGB is a color format for display on computers and won't work for normal printing. Make sure that your project is set up for either spot color or process color (CMYK) only.

5. Check the image resolution. All color and grayscale images should be set at 300dpi and at 100% in the layout program. High dpi on these can make the color too dark and lower resolution can be pixelated.

Bitmap and Lineart graphics images should be set at a minumum of 600dpi.

6. Confirm that all your graphics are properly linked or embedded.

7. Just like your computer's printer, our printing presses need space on the sheet to grab the sheet so the ink cannot go all to the way to the edge. Leave at least 1/4" (one quarter inch) margin on your sheet.

8. If you would like the ink to go all the way to the edge, we can print on a larger sheet and then trim it down. Layout your project for the final trim size, but add at least 1/8" (one eighth inch) extra printing off the sheet. Adding this bleed ensures that when the sheet is trimmed, no white lines will appear along the edge.

9. Print a final proof of your project. If you can print color, print both composite and color separated versions. If your project includes any trimming, two-sided printing, folding, or binding, make a "dummy" that is folded, glued, etc. exactly as you would like it.

10. Gather all your files together - layout file, graphics files, and fonts - and zip or stuff them into one file using PKzip or DropStuff. You don't have to do this, but if you send the files separately, make sure that you send all the files and that they are well organized.

11. Send us the files! Either by uploading them from the website or by emailing them to us. If the files are large (over 10 megabytes) you may have to upload them or bring them in. We accept CDs, ZIPs and floppies.

If you have any trouble any with these steps, please call or email us.

536 Brunswick Road, Grass Valley, CA 95945 • 530-273-1993 Fax 530-273-3893