The Quick and Easy Way To Get Professional Printing For

Letterhead, Brochures, Newsletters, Envelopes and Custom Forms

Instantly Upload Your Digital File For Printing Quotes and Proofs

 Presentation Enhancements
 A signature Font
 Web Page Design


Have you heard the term "camera ready"? Not too long ago just about everything being printed was first photographed from a laser printer output. The printer used either a daylight or darkroom camera in the process of making a printing plate for the press, the term "camera ready" meant the printer did not have to do any further prep work before making a printing plate. He could take your artwork directly to the camera and create a printing plate.
While camera plates are still used, most printers have now migrated to digital plate processors. So, now the term for when a job needs no further work before taken to the printing plate processor is "Press Ready". This is because most of what West Printing does is print from digital files. We take your digital file, preferably a PDF or a native application like Illustrator, In Design, Quark, PageMaker or Microsoft Publisher and send it directly to a special computer called a raster image processor (rip). The rip is connected to a printing plate processor. In goes you digital file and out come a printing plate for the press. Nifty! But it is not without problems if your digital file is missing a key element.

Missing fonts and/or graphics in your digital file are a real problem. This is common problem in the digital age that can add significant cost to your job and delay the work from being press-ready. Another issue is colors that aren't properly assigned. If you want a one Pantone spot color job, it's not big deal. Give us the artwork in black and we'll put whatever color ink you want on the press.

But, if you have a multicolor item things get more complicated if the colors in your digital file have not been separately identified . The rip won't be able to separate them. You have to understand, you can only put one color on each printing plate. A multicolor printing press has a separate tower for each color to be applied to the print job. So, if you have a multicolor job, say black, yellow, cyan and magenta; each color goes on a separate plate. If the designer does not expertly designate the color separations; black and magenta may end up on the same plate. That won't work. If the designer uses a scanned multicolor graphic that has RGB properties, we can't print it in the Pantone colors you picked without tearing the graphic apart and reassigning the color properties.

Sometimes we can work around color separation problems by using a digital press. This works nicely for multicolor short runs of under 500 quantity but the cost is substantially higher. If problems arise with your graphic files during the quality check routine in our prepress department, our customer service will discuss all of the options with you. It is our intent to give you exactly what you want when you want it.

You should always give your printer provider a hard-copy print out to match with the digital output file. When a file arrives we don't necessarily know how it is supposed to look. We rely on the definitions and properties in the file. Our output devices will certainly render something different than your office ink jet printer. As an example, you should have noticed that the colors you see on your computer monitor are different than what appears on your printer. That is because each uses a different method of rendering the colors. The computer monitor uses RGB (red, green. blue) an additive color model whereas the inkjet printer you may have uses CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, Black) subtractive profile.

Even though we prefer to receive your digitally prepared files in PDF format you can also use native software's collection function when preparing your artwork for your print provider. The collection function varies from software to software. The collection function may be titled "Collect For Output" or as in Microsoft Publisher "Pack and Go". These collection functions are a very important part of completing your job and saving you money when using an outside print provider like West Printing. The collection function does just what it sounds like. It collects all of your graphic files and fonts along with your publication and packages it up nice an neat for you to save to a CD or upload to our website. (See the "Send Us Files Tab on our home page)

When your job is ready you may save it to a CD or upload the files to us. Uploading the file to us is easy. Click on either "Online Ordering" or "Send Us Files" and follow the steps. Takes only a couple of minutes. We will receive notification when a job has been sent to our server and we will contact you right away.

We have some more Q & A below that you may find helpful. But if you don't see an answer you can call us at (419) 246-0857. Someone nice will answer. Or,
you can email

Questions & Answers
1.   Does my artwork have 0.25" bleeds?
Do I need to use CMYK color mode?
Does West Printing accept any file format?
Can you help me prepare my files?
Why is resolution important?
What resolution is needed for my job?
What if my file is missing fonts?
How do I convert text to outlines?
Does my artwork have borders?
What if my file is missing images?
What if my artwork contains gradients?
Question : Does my artwork have 0.25" bleeds?

Answer : If you design artwork wherein the elements (text or graphics) go all the way to the edge of the piece, then you are asking for a bleed. The way printers make a bleed is to print your design on a larger sheet of paper than the final size and then cut it to the final size after printing, thereby creating the look of ink going all the way to the edge.

West Printing requires a 0.25" bleed around the perimeter of your artwork to ensure accurate cutting (e.g., artwork for a 4"x6" postcard should extend to 4.25" x 6.25"). If your image has a white border on all four sides, bleeds are recommended but not required. If your image is not white on all four sides, you must include bleeds in print-ready files. Before submitting your artwork files.

| top |
Question : Do I need to use CMYK color mode?

Answer : Depends. If you are designing a full color item item, the answer is yes. It is especially important to do so if you are designing a full color item using Microsoft Publisher. But, if you are designing an item with 1 or 2 spot colors the answer is no. Use of the Pantone Matching System (spot colors) is a standard in the print industry.
Question : Does West Printing accept any file format?

Answer : No. West Printing accepts print-ready files in any of the following formats: .eps, .jpg, .pdf, .ps, .psd, .tif.

We also accept print-ready files saved from the following design software programs: Adobe Photoshop® CS, Adobe Illustrator® CS, Adobe InDesign® CS, Adobe PageMaker, Macromedia Freehand®, QuarkXpress®, Microsoft Publisher if you have properly packaged/collected all of the graphics and fonts with the design file.

We can also print raster images (.tiff and .jpegs) independent of the application program used to create such designs if they are submitted at high-quality, uncompressed 300 dpi resolution.. We can not guarantee files created in MS-Word or MS-Publisher will produce high-quality images and text. Please refer to your user manual or software vendor for information on how to output a print-ready raster image that meets West Printing specifications.

Please note that if you have an artwork file in any other format (e.g., word document), we encourage you to create a PDF file that can be uploaded to West Printing.

| top |
Question : Can you help me prepare my files?

Answer : Yes, our skilled designers and put together anything you can imagine. Call us at 419-246-0857 or email to discuss your specifics.
Question : Why is resolution important?

Answer : Have you ever seen a printed piece with graphics or fonts that look jagged or pixelated?

Resolution also known as DPI (Dots Per Inch) can be described as the number of dots that fit horizontally and vertically into a one-inch space. Generally, the more dots per inch, the more detail captured and the sharper the resulting image.

Sometimes we get digital artwork that has graphic files the designer unknowingly saved at 72dpi, the common resolution for web graphics. Looks great on the screen and ugly on paper.

For an image to print properly, the image must be at least 300 dots per inch (dpi) at the final output size. If your file is not 300 dpi, you can not simply increase the dpi from a low resolution to a higher one by increasing the DPI in your imaging program.

Question :What resolution is needed for my job?

Answer : For most printing jobs, 300 dots per inch (DPI) is the minimum resolution to guarantee acceptable printing results. For larger products such as large format posters and banners, we recommend sharper resolution which can range from 300 to 1200 dpi, depending on the intended use of the printed piece.
| top |
Question :What if my file is missing fonts?

Answer : It is important that you supply all fonts used in your layout. If you do not supply fonts in your artwork file, we will request that you resubmit your files with fonts included. Generally fonts are a non-issue if you submit your file as a properly created PDF. A PDF that has been properly created will embed all graphics and fonts. Neat!

Otherwise, If you have vector artwork and your file is missing fonts, you can open your file in Illustrator, select "Create Outlines", save your fonts, re-save your artwork file, and then upload it.

If you have artwork that is rasterized, you can open your file in Photoshop and select "Flatten the Layers", re-save your artwork file, and then upload it.

Please do not submit your fonts separately from your file because it is critical that we receive your print-ready file with fonts included to avoid any printing issues.

Question :How do I convert text to outlines?

Answer : All text within your files must be converted to outlines with the outline set to zero to eliminate the need for fonts. Consult your software application "Help" menu or user guide. It is a simple but important process.
Question :Does my artwork have borders?

Answer : If your artwork contains borders, you must make sure all borders are 1/4 (0.25) of an inch wide on each side of your artwork. In addition, you need to add a 1/8 (0.125) of an inch bleed on each side of your artwork. This approach will ensure proper cutting and help the finished product maintain a symmetrical appearance. If your border is not at least 1/4 (0.25) of an inch wide on each side, you risk creating a border that looks uneven.
| top |
Question :What if my file is missing images?

Answer : If your file is missing the images you desire, you should re-save your file properly so that the images will not drop out during printing.

We do not normally accept images by themselves. The only exception is if you engage one of our graphic designers to help you with your project.

Otherwise, you must place all images in your artwork, preferably by linking them, and make sure to save your files properly. Please refer to your software program manual for more information on how to save your files properly. For example, if you are using a vector-based software program such as illustrator you must make sure you are using tif file images to place, then when saving to an eps or pdf you must embed the images. If you are using Photoshop, you should flatten all layers before saving to keep all images and text in place. Sounds complicated, but it is all a part of getting your job prepared for printing with the fewest hassles and delays.

Question :What if my artwork contains gradients?

Answer : Gradients are commonly used in printing and in most instances produce good results. Gradients can be represented in a file as a mathematical equation (Vector) or rendered by the application into a series of pixels (Raster).
| top |

We now offer the additional solutions to you!

Presentation Enhancements
We offer a wide variety of items...including color copying & transparencies.

Signature Fonts
Let your computer "sign" your name!

Web Page Design

Ask Steve for more information on how West Printing Co. can be an asset to your company. We guarantee that the services we deliver will help you make more money. Now, isn't that the reason you buy media in the first place? Because we treat each client like family, you know you are going to get our very best effort every time. No foolin!

Get profitable marketing and print "How-To-Do-It" tips you can use today



© 2008 West Printing Co