The following general rules apply to all files submitted to Vision for conventional, digital and offset print.  These are items we have found to be critical to the successful completion of your orders within our workflow. If computer time exceeds the estimate, you will be notified.

Please review order confirmations and digital files carefully. Files needing modifications or formatting may be subject to additional charges based on Vision’s current rate of prepress services. To avoid additional charges, please consult your project manager and use the following guidelines for file set-up. Correct preparation of digital files is crucial to timely delivery of your project. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Vision Project Manager.

General Guidelines

  • Provide hardcopy laser prints of the files to be printed or provide a low resolution PDF directly to your Sales Rep or CSR.
  • Always include complete written instructions including file names, contact name, and phone numbers.
  • Make sure your name is on all disks, artwork, color guides, etc.
  • Confirm changes required which differ from quoted project.
  • Do not submit original files, always submit a copy.

Media Guidelines

You can upload your file to our FTP site, or submit the following media.

  • CD-ROM
  • DVD
  • USB Key/HDD
  • Email (Under 10 mb)

Recommended Software

  • Adobe Illustrator CC or below ( all fonts must be converted to outlines).
  • Adobe Photoshop CC or below – (including all layers, paths and channels).
  • Adobe InDesign CC or below – (including all placed images, logos, fonts and other elements).
  • Adobe Acrobat 9+
  • Quark v.9 (Quark v.10 files will need to be saved down to v.9 or supplied as print-ready PDF’s)

Acceptable File Compression Formats

  • Zip
  • Stuffit

Acceptable Image File Formats

Please note, optimal CMYK image resolution is 300 dpi at final size and optimal resolution of raster type is 600 dpi at final size.

  • PDF
  • EPS
  • TIF
  • PSD

Layout & Finishing Requirements

  • Document page size should be the final trim size of the piece. If not, trim marks should be clearly present in the file.
  • Design elements that touch the edge of the page should bleed 0.125ʺ″ beyond the page edge, with exceptions noted. A bleed of 0.0625ʺ″ is acceptable for most digital print jobs.
  • Live type and art elements that do not bleed but come close to the page edge should be at least 0.125ʺ inside the edge of the page.
  • On saddle-stitch books, please provide files as single pages in reader order. Do not provide printer spreads.
  • Perfect-bound books that have no crossover or bleed at the spine/inside edge may be produced as if a saddle-stitch book (see above requirement).
  • Perfect-bound books that have crossover or bleed at the spine/inside edge of the page should be provided as single pages, not spreads and those elements at the spine/inside edge of the page should be made to bleed 0.125ʺ beyond the spine/inside edge.

Type, Copy & Line Art

  • Type, logos, and illustrations must be provided in one of the formats listed above.
  • Convert files that are RGB to CMYK (Caution: Color mode changes may produce unexpected or unacceptable color shifts that may not be detectable on a monitor.)
  • When using a four-color process, please convert all spot colors to process colors, with the exception of…
  • Die-lines and varnish plates should reside on a separate layer named and/or be a spot color named “Die-line” or “Varnish”, respectively. Do not flatten, rasterize, or embed them into your artwork, or convert them to process.
  • We will trap your files as necessary. We recommend that you do not provide files already trapped.
  • Please notify us if there are overprints or trapped objects in your files that you want us to retain. Standard workflow is to “knockout” all colors and trap them according to our own specifications.
  • Please notify us if you have used transparency effects that interact with a spot color. Such effects include shadows, blurs, and glows as well as the layering of .psd files with spot-colored objects placed in Illustrator and the layering of .ai and .psd files with spot-colored objects placed in InDesign
  • Please do not set white objects to overprint — they will disappear from the printed page.
  • Please do not apply registration color to any live type or artwork.
  • Please do not exceed 320% total ink coverage, for any printing process.
  • For offset print, please set rich blacks at 40c 40m 20y 100k.
  • For digital print, please set rich blacks at 60c 40m 0y 100k.

The following general rules apply to all files submitted to Vision for large format print. These are items we have found to be critical to the successful completion of your orders within our workflow. If computer time exceeds the estimate, you will be notified.

Please review order confirmations and digital files carefully. Files needing modifications or formatting may be subject to additional charges based on Vision’s current rate of prepress services. To avoid additional charges, please consult your project manager and use the following guidelines for file set-up. Correct preparation of digital files is crucial to timely delivery of your project. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Vision Project Manager.

  • Always include complete written instructions including file names, contact name, and phone numbers.
  • Make sure your name is on all disks, artwork, color guides, etc. Provide hard copies with PMS callouts, dimensions, quantities and any other pertinent information.
  • If uploading digital files to an FTP, we require low resolution PDF files of your project for quality control.
  • Confirm changes required which differ from quoted project.
  • Do not submit original files, always submit a copy.

Media Guidelines

You can upload your file to our FTP site, or submit the following media.

  • CD-ROM
  • DVD
  • USB Key/HDD
  • Email (Under 10 mb)
  • Portable Harddrives

Recommended Software

  • Adobe Illustrator CC or below ( all fonts must be converted to outlines).
  • Adobe Photoshop CC or below – (including all layers, paths and channels).
  • Adobe InDesign CC or below – (including all placed images, logos, fonts and other elements).
  • Adobe Acrobat 9+
  • Quark v.9  (Quark v.10 files will need to be saved down to v.9 or supplied as print-ready PDF’s)

Acceptable File Compression Formats

  • Zip
  • Stuffit

Acceptable Image file formats

  • PDF
  • EPS
  • TIF
  • PSD

Type, Copy, and Line Art

  • Type, logos, and illustrations must be provided in one of the formats listed above, not as bitmapped art.
  • Depending on output size, do not place type close to the edges of your document. For example, on a billboard, do not place type closer than 3 inches (in actual size) to the visible edge of the layout.
  • Trapping of files is not required
  • Include a hard copy (color or black and white) of each file. This will help identify the contents of your disk and provide us the means of preflighting the file. If uploading digital files to an FTP site, we require low resolution PDF files of your project for quality control.

Bleed Requirements

  • Artwork that extends to the final trim must include bleed.
  • Bleed amount can vary anywhere from .25″ to 1.0″. To determine what bleed specifications are required, please contact your Vision Project Manager
  • If your artwork is large enough to require paneling, please leave this up to Vision’s prepress department. This will ensure proper overlap for installation. You may communicate panel break requests through your project manager or note the request on your low-res PDF you submit along with your hi-res artwork.

High Resolution Images

All raster images should be placed into your layout at 100% scale. If you discover that you need to scale up the hi-res file to achieve the desired cropping, recreate the file at the appropriate size or scale it to size in Photoshop. For detailed information about resolution please refer to the guidelines below.

In most instances it is unnecessary to build your files with raster images at offset resolution standards. The following guidelines are based on print size and viewing distance.

A good rule of thumb is:

  • Close viewing distance: 150-200 dpi at final output size
  • Midrange viewing distance: 50-75 dpi at final output size
  • Distant viewing distance: 20-50 dpi at final output size

Color and Color Matching Requirements

Convert files that are RGB, Duotone, Grayscale, or Bitmap to CMYK (Caution: Color mode changes may produce unexpected or unacceptable color shifts that may not be detectable on a monitor.) vector files.

  • Colors can be Process or Pantone callouts.
  • Specify both beginning and ending PMS colors for any graduated blends.
  • Provide a physical sample (printed sample, color proof or swatch) to match.
  • When creating a color tint using PMS percentages, make certain to note that it is a tint value.
  • A Press proof can be produced for client approval.
  • It is not necessary to provide a hard proof, but if color matching is required on a supplied client proof, contact your project manager to discuss and we will match your color(s) Additional cost for color matching.

Note: Desktop inkjet printouts or color laser printouts are not recommended as color samples to match.

  • Please provide data as an Excel file.  Column heads will be used as tags denoting the position of the variable on the page.  Each row is a data record, all the cells of which will appear together in their respective tagged positions on the printed piece.
  • Make sure your data is updated to the best of your ability before submitting for print.
  • Remove extra columns that do not appear as variables in the printed piece.
  • Keep Column heads short and concise.
  • Mail certification software will verify addresses against zip codes, and notify us of errors but will not catch grossly misspelled entries, use of nicknames or custom titles created by someone other than the recipient.  Please review your entries closely.  Negligence to do so could potential result in embarrassing or insulting circumstance.
  • Capitalization is retained in the printed piece and should stay consistent throughout your data.  Should the same data appear more than once with a variation of capitalization (i.e. Initial Caps in one place, and ALL CAPS in another), then the data must be duplicated to as many columns and formatted to the correct capitalization.
  • Avoid the following in the typesetting on your variable piece: fractional type and leading sizes, horizontal or vertical scaling or skewing, tracking and kerning, stroked type, raster effects (drop shadow, glows, blurs, etc.)

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