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Printing Help and FAQs


Turnaround Time

We start counting the turnaround time when you approve your order to press. If your order a hard copy proof, turnaround begins when we receive proof approval.


Hardcopy proofs are recommended for any job that is colour-sensitive. Hardcopy proofs are the only way to go guarantee that you get exactly what ou want. Turnaround time does not begin until the proof has been approved.

File Types

We recommend the following file formats: PDF, PS, EPS, PSD, TIF and JPG. Some formats produce better results than other. PDF, PS and EPS are vector formats that produce better results for text than raster formats such as PSD, TIF or JPG.

CMYK Colour Mode

The colour mode of submitted files must be CMYK. If your files are submitted using any other colour standard, such as RGB or Pantone, they will be converted to CMYK. Conversion from one colour standard to another may cause colours to shift.

CMYK Colour Mode

Conversion RGB to CMYK

printed in CMYK viewed in RGB

Resolution (dpi - dots per inch)

For an image to print properly, the image must be at least 300dpi at the final printed size. DO NOT try to change from a low resolution to a higher one by increasing the PDI in your image program.

  • Colour and Grayscale raster images (pixel-based/scans) should be 300dpi, (350dpi maximum)
  • Mono raster (bitmaps) should be 1200dpi maximum


  • Lower than the above values will result in a pixelated, lower quality image.
  • Higher than the above values increases file size, processing time and ink density without any quality benefits.
  • Paths Output Resolution (vector/linework/curves) = 800dpi minuimum (usually set in preferences). Lower than this value will result in loss of points and jaggedness in vector paths.

printed from file at 300dpi printed from file at 100dpi

Outlined Fonts

When submitting EPS or PDF files, you must convert your fonts into outlined fonts. Outlining eliminates the need to send fonts with your files, while maintaining a nice, crisp typeface.

Rasterized font- Rasterized Type

Abc - Vector Type

Rich Black

When you want an area of solid black within a document, 100% black (K) does not produce a solid, saturated black. For best results, use Rich Black, as represented by C:50% / M:40% / Y:40% / K:100%.

  Rich Black - (a solid black)   100% Black - (not a solid black)
C=50%M=40%Y=40%K=100% C=0%M=0%Y=0%K=100%

Minimum Line Thickness

If you are using a line border, be sure to make the line at least .25pt. thick to assure the line prints correctly.


Any time an image or colour is printed to the edge of a page, it must extend at least 1/8" beyond the final dimensions of your job to allow for cutting variation. File Setup Printed Version

Bleeds and NO bleeds

With Bleed
No Bleed

Safety Zone

Text or artwork you wish to preserve must be insidethe safety zone which is 1/8" inside the final dimention of your design.

Safety zone

Printing with Borders

When using a border in your artwork, it is essential that your borders be at least 1/4" thick.

Printing with borders Solid border should be at least 0.25" on each side


  • Each file should be placed into a picture box and auto-centred, so the centre of your artwork is the centre of the trim.
  • For vector-based files, it is the centre of all your elements (even locked/ masked/or elements that rest partly/in or fully off the art board).
  • For raster-based files, it is the centre of your canvas.

Trim/Crop Marks

  • Required for vector based files.
  • Preferred for raster based files.


Use separate (single) files for each side of each job (eg. 2 sides = 2 PDFs: 1up front and 1up back)


  • Embed (PDF) or outline (EPS) all fonts used.
  • When converting type to paths/outlines/ curves, remember that stray points still contain fonts. These stray points need to be deleted.


Don't do anything with trapping. All vector elements are auto-trapped in our RIP process, and raster files are not affected.


Do not lock or hide anything (all objects/elements/layers should be visible and selectable.)


No guides are to be present. (Delete/clear them - do not hide them)


Avoid using four colour blacks in vector files, but do add 30% to 50% Cyan to 100% Black for a deep black.

Spot Colour

Set-ups vary for jobs with special colours (eg. Pantones, 1 or 2 colours). Please contact your account manager for instructions prior to submission.

Distiller Job Options

If you cannot use the Whirlwind job options use the standard "Press" or "Print" settings (Do not use "Screen" or "Web")

Placed Images

(in Corel Draw, Freehand and Illustrator)

  • Embed/parse any placed/imported images to create 1 complete file. Do not link them as this creates separate files.
  • If your vector-based art is not centred use trim marks or a blank box to create a centred border outside everything on the page. (see previous page regarding centring of artwork) image - a raster image should be supplied by itself (ie. as a tiff)


  • Use eps for vector-based files. (ie. Freehand, Illustrator)
  • No jpeg encoding


  • Use tiff for raster-based files. (ie. photoshop, photopaint)
  • Only use the "LZW Compression" option if emailing files to us and you have no compression software. (ie. Stuffit, Winzip)


  • Be aware that compression settings will affect quality.


  • Note that Illustrator can save as PDF.
  • Flatten all transparency effects (v9 + only). If you don't, although appearing fine on the screen, there will be problems when it goes to print (check program Illustrator manual for explanation).
  • Do not save as v 7 if your job uses or needs spot colour to be recognized.
  • Note: changes to paths output resolution ( v 9 & below) in the "Attributes" dialog box override the value set in Document Setup.
  • Do not use the "Object>Crop Marks> Make" command. Instead, use "Filter>Create>Trim Marks".


  • If you are using Photoshop v 7 + make sure th e file is flattened before saving. Note that Photoshop can save PDF.

Quark Xpress

  • Avoid sending native Quark files. We prefer to receive PDF files created from Quark.
  • If you have no option, please make sure you include all linked images, all used fonts as well as your Quark Xpress document.

Corel Draw

  • We prefer to receive PDF files created from Corel Draw files.
  • Do not save/export as EPS if you have used gradients (blends/fountain steps) and /or clipping paths and masks.


  • Avoid sending native PM files. We prefer to receive PDF files created from Pagemaker.
  • If you have no option, please make sure you include all linked images, all used fonts as well as your Pagemaker document.


  • Avoid sending native ID files.
  • Note that InDesign can export PDF.

Toronto Office:

1000 Finch Ave. West, Suite 508
Toronto, Ontario, M3J 2V5

New Market/Aurora Office:

Please Call to make an Appointment
East Gwillimbury, ON L9N 0B3

Office Hours:

Monday to Friday: 9am to 9pm EST
After-hours & Weekends
by appointment only


Tel: 416-514-1222
Sales: 416-827-4722
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