TKO Graphix strives to provide you with the highest quality services available. The quality and correctness of your files will impact the production time, cost, and final printed product. We’ve put together these guidelines to help you prepare your files. If you have any questions regarding file setup, please give us a call.
Adobe Photoshop (.psd or .psb), .eps, .tif, .pdf
Provide layered files when possible
Adobe Illustrator (.ai or .eps), .pdf,
Provide layered files when possible.
Assign PMS color swatches for accurate color matching.
• All images must be embedded (not linked).
• All fonts must be provided or the type must be converted to outlines.
– Additive Color. Used in electronic displays like computer monitors, TV’s, digital camera’s, etc. It provides a wider color gamut than CMYK. It is comprised out of the colors red, green, and blue. Since RGB is emitted light, when you combine (add) all 3 colors together, the result is pure white. If you’re designing a website or anything that will be presented on a digital screen, then RGB would be a better option, as it gives you a wider and more vivid color selection.
CMYK– Subtractive color. Used in printed products. Originated from printing processes that required individual plates for each color laid down individually then allowed to dry. It is comprised of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. The “K” is black, the letter “K” stands for “Key” which included “key details” in the artwork like shadows. If you combined cyan, magenta, and yellow- the result would be a very dark brown. Black is added to ensure a true black is available. Because it is printed, the material absorbs (subtracts) wavelengths of the light being reflected. You should use CMYK for anything you design that is going to be printed.
For example, CMYK doesn’t very accurately represent shades of blue, and instead interprets them as more of a purple. This is problematic with digital printing if your brand colors are a bright vivid blue. A possible solution for this would be screen printing or offset printing, which allow any color to be printed as a “spot color”. This means blue ink would be used, instead of trying to approximate the blue by using cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks. These processes are generally more expensive, because a special screen or plate has to be created for the single color and also cannot be used on photographic images. It’s important to understand that some colors cannot be represented with CMYK. Fluorescent colors generally cannot be digitally printed.
It is ideal to send your files in a vector format if possible for the highest quality. However, with photos and images it’s necessary to ensure you have the correct resolution. Please note that incorrect resolutions will result in a pixellated or blurry final product. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding resolution.
Recommended PPI for exterior graphics:
50ppi (file needs to be set up at full size)
Recommended PPI for interior graphics per viewing distance:
|3-5 feet||300 PPI|
|6-9 feet||150 PPI|
When you use text in your artwork, it’s created with a font. A font is a digital file stored on your computer that allows you to change the typeface to a wide variety of options. Fonts can be purchased online
, and many are pre-installed on your computer.
When the artwork is saved, the information is stored in a file. But, when the file is sent to the print shop it may open with an error explaining the font isn’t installed on the printers computer. The font is not embedded in the file. There are two options to get around this problem.
Send the Fonts
The first choice is to send the font files used in your artwork. But this isn’t a foolproof option. The exact fonts used must be sent, and there are many varieties of a single font. Fonts like Helvetica or Times New Roman have dozens of variables such as weight (the thickness of the letters) and derivatives (like Helvetica Neue.) It’s easy to inadvertently send the wrong version.
Outline your Text
The foolproof method is to outline your text (sometimes called convert to curves). When outlining your text, the software no longer associates a font with it, and the letters and words become a vector shape. It’s important for you to keep your original non-outlined file because once you outline the text it can no longer be edited. Save a separate copy with the outlined text and send it to the printer.
There are too many software programs to share instructions for all of them. The most common program is Adobe Illustrator. In Illustrator, outlining your text is very easy. Right before you save your file to send to the printer, select all (PC: CMD+A, Mac: ⌘+A) then outline your text (PC: CMD+SHIFT+O, Mac: ⌘+SHIFT+O). You can also go to the “Type” menu and select “Create Outlines”. Save your file and you’re done!
If you can select the text with your cursor, the text is not outlined.(Below)
Once the text is outlined, you will see “nodes” along the edges.(Below)
For other programs consult the help guide in the program, or search the internet with a phrase such as “How do I outline the text in [PROGRAM NAME]”.
Did you know inserting an image into a program like Adobe Illustrator
or Adobe InDesign
, and hitting “Save” doesn’t save the file? The program saves where
the image is located on your computer not the link itself. Problems occur when files are moved between computers (or printers.) When the file is opened on another computer or moved on your computer, a warning will appear saying the document is missing links.
What are links?
Links are any image you insert into the file. Examples include .jpg, .tif, .pdf, or .psd. They’re called “links” because the program creates a connection or “link” to the location of the image on your computer. It does this for a variety of reasons. It limits the file size allowing efficient opening and editing of the document. It also gives you the freedom to independently edit your linked images without having to replace them in your document after every change. For instance, lightening one of your images in Photoshop; after you edit and save it in Photoshop, it automatically updates the image in Indesign or Illustrator.
Embedding the links can prevent issues when opening the file. Embedding a link saves the image in the file and can be opened on any computer. Embedding the links will increase the file size dramatically, so it would be wise to save the file, with the embedded links, as a separate file and leave your original file intact for future editing.
How to Embed Links
The following instructions are applicable only for Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Indesign. If you’re using a different program, try searching the web with a term like “How to embed images in [PROGRAM NAME]”. Please note that not all programs use “links” and will automatically embed the images.
First, you’ll want to locate your “Links” panel. This can be found under Window > Links.
Above is what the Links panel looks like. It will have a list of the images used in your file.
To embed links, select the images you want to embed, and then click the options menu.
Then when the menu opens, select “Embed Image(s)”.
The icon on the right will appear when the image has been successfully embedded. You’re done!
Using a competent printer, like TKO Graphix
, is one way to ensure a professionally completed project, but it’s never a bad idea to eliminate problems on your own. By embedding your images in your file, you’re taking the extra step toward a smoothly completed design and…eliminating frustration.
Cut to Size or Shape
After your artwork has been printed, normally there is extra blank material around the print that needs to be cut off. In order to ensure your project has full ink coverage from edge to edge and is finished to the desired dimension you require, the background of your design needs to be a little larger than your requested size to allow for small variances in the cutting process. Whether your project is being hand cut, guillotine cut, or cut on the router– it’s an imperfect process. Having bleed allows the print to be edge to edge, with no slivers of white from the blank material and no reduction of size. Here’s a graphic to explain.
Banners with Pockets and Pole Pockets
To reinforce vinyl banners, extra material is folded backwards and welded, taped, or sewn to the back of the banner around the edges. Bleed allows for the imperfections of the fold to prevent white material from showing on the face of the banner. Pole pockets are the same as regular pockets, except they are left open so a pole can be slid through. A standard pocket with grommet shown on the left. Notice how the bleed shows on the back side? On the right is an example of a pole pocket
How much bleed you need to supply depends on the product, the printing process, and many other factors, so it’s important to discuss this with the art department of the printing company. Building bleed into your file is simple, but you should always consider it from the beginning to prevent any problems later.
Use the form below to upload your files. Do not refresh your browser or click “Submit” multiple times. When the upload has successfully completed, you will be automatically redirected to a success page.
This form only accepts a total combined size of 1GB. If you have multiple files under 1GB, you can come back to this page and upload as many times as needed. Please zip multiple files. If you have a file larger than 1GB, we can accept files from your favorite file sharing service (Such as Dropbox, Hightail, Google Drive, etc). We also accept physical media such as flash drives and DVD’s. Contact your sales representative for more information.
Total size of upload cannot be more than 1GB