We would love for your print file to be delivered to us in Adobe Illustrator format, or an Illustrator compatible .pdf file. We are currently on CS5 so no saving down is required. Large and bulky Photoshop files are unecessary and often incur art charges due to the amount of work involved to make them screen print or letterpress ready. As a general rule typography should always be laid out in vector format. ALL fonts must be outlined and all linked files (ie. tiffs, or bitmapps) must be included in file delivery. Failure to deliver files with fonts not outlined and placed files unlinked, will result in increased turnaround time.
If you are a designer who loves to work in Photoshop that is totally fine by us but we ask that you take each layer down to a bitmapped tiff for delivery. This will take a 200 MB file and reduce it to 5-10MB. Bitmapps tiffs are great for screenprinting and is explained in the paragraph below. We then ask that these bitmapped tiffs are assembled in an illustrator file or illustrator compatible pdf and then sent over.
We would love to have at least 1/8 inch bleeds on full bleed posters. All smaller posters are a final size of 18X24”. This is a standard poster size and the untrimmed paper comes in 19X25 and 20X26 formats. If we are asked to ship posters outside of our standard dimensions additional charges may be applied for custom shipping requirements.
A little advice on setting up your files for screen printing and letterpress:
Often times artists make files more complex than necessary. The concept of screen printing and letter press is realatively simple in that we are either printing or not printing. Screen printing is an advanced stencil process where ink is allowed to be pushed through a screen that is either open or closed. Because of this, gradients and Photoshop filter effects are often times unachievable. There are ways to achieve gradients in screen printing and that is done with halftone or bitmap textures. Bitmap files are perfect for screen printing because they act the same way a screen does. The pixels are either black or white, just like on a burned screen, its either printing or not.
Please include any printing notes and special instructions with the final art delivery. Also include a low resolution mock up of the final art as it is supposed to look as a printed piece. A mock up of your art along with printing specs will have to be approved before printing begins.
For Screen Printing: We use TW Graphics ink. It is durable, waterbased, and no harsh chemicals are used in our printing process. We clean up with a degreaser. We find that a Pantone Solid Uncoated color reference is the best color specification we can accept. TW inks are not pantone specific but we can get custom pantone numbers mixed from the factory, this takes time to do and there is a charge applied. Minimum orders of custom pantone inks have to require at least 1 quart of ink. While we do not guarantee any specific color matches we will assure you we will give you the best effort to match a Solid Uncoated Pantone reference. We ask never to reference a Coated book as those are too vibrant, and shiny in nature. Please note that all pantone references are on white paper. If we are printing on a colored stock, anything but white paper really, ink colors will be affected by the color of the paper. Adding white and black concentrates to inks makes them opaque. For instance: If a light blue is required and it needs to be opaque as possible, please make a note of it. Light blue on white paper is a transparent ink and will show through anything printed below it. This effect can totally be used towards an artists’ advantage using multiply and transparency effects to add multiple more colors in the design.