Artworks & Files FAQ / Frequently Asked Questions/File Requirements
Please note before reading the FAQ. Printers will not be held responsible for any design related issues provided by the client. A PDF version of the Artworks & Files preparation can be download here.

1. What type of files should I send?

We recommend saving as a .PDF
You may also send the file in the following types:
jpg, jpeg, psd, tif, tiff, eps and ai

We prefer that you send .PDF and .EPS files with outlined fonts. These files are easier to handle and will likely speed up your turn-around. Remember to add crop marks and flatten your files before uploading.

2. What color mode should my file be?

RGB (Red-Green-Blue) is the color of the light emitted from your computer monitor, and from TV's. Use RGB if you are taking photos specifically to be viewed onscreen, such as the internet, or for a CD or emails. RGB usually also works well for printing from your home or office printer.

CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) is the color of inks used in the offset printing process. Use CMYK if you are sending your photo to be printed, such as preparing a postcard to be professionally printed for a gallery invite.

If you send us an RGB file, there is a big chance that a color shift may occur (Wash out look or too much red in the skin tone) and you may not be satisfied with your job.

Color will look like this in RGB Mode on your computer:

The job will be printed like this in CMYK Mode:

Color will look like this with pictures in RGB Mode:
(Wash out look or too much red in the skin tone)


Color will look like this with pictures in CMYK Mode:


* Very important: You should always start and finish your designs in CMYK color mode. (Document color settings & Color mode in Photoshop)

3. What resolution should my file be?

Low resolution files may be printed as is or will be placed on hold until we receive new files, slowing your turn-around.

This is 72 dpi low res images:

This is the same images but at 300 dpi:

We only accept 300 dpi files and no less.

4. How do I get nice, clean edges on my texts & graphics?

A raster graphic is an image made of hundreds (or thousands or millions) of tiny squares of color information, referred to as either pixels or dots.
vector graphic uses math to draw shapes using points, lines and curves. So whereas a raster image of a 1” x  1” square at 300 dpi will have 300 individuals pieces of information, a vector image will only contain four points, one for each corner; the computer will uses math to “connect the dots” and fill in all of the missing information.

Raster = Photographs = Great color detail, but can’t get sharp edges. Enlargement also becoming blurry. (Adobe Photoshop)
Vector = Fonts/Logos = Ability to enlarge without losing quality, but limited color detail (Adobe Illustrator, InDesign or QuarkXPress)

To get nice, clean edges. Always use vector based program to for the fonts/logos. (Adobe Illustrator, InDesign or QuarkXPress)


5. How should I setup my bleed and crop marks?

Bleed must extend past the cut-line and will be trimmed from the product during the final cutting phase. When the image is required to extend all the way to the edge, bleed is needed to preserve the finished look and the quality of the final product.

Please keep all text at least 0.125" inside the cut-line.

- The bleed for Standard Products is
- The bleed for Booklets and Presentation Folders is

We recommend using our templates at all times.

Marks & Bleeds-01

When sending an .eps or .pdf, make sure you include crop marks so we can cut the job correctly.

Marks & Bleeds-02

here to go to our production templates.

6. How thick should my borders be?

Yes, but if the border is too close to the cutline, it may be cut off-center slightly. We cut through many sheets at a time, so watch your borders to avoid an unwanted mistake.


7. How can I avoid transparency issues?

Any transparency issue can be resolved before saving your file.


To prevent this, never use shadows, glows, or any other transparency (image or otherwise) on top of a spot color. Always convert your spot color to CMYK and flatten before sending.

All of these effects will cause transparency problems.

8. Should I send a proof/Sample file?

When sending artwork, do not send extra files, like proofs or samples, because they might get printed. Only send the files you need printed.
We are not responsible for these kinds of files being printed. Unless requested by one of our employees, DO NOT send files that you do not want printed.

Sample&Proof Files

9. What is overprint, and how can it ruin my file?

Primarily used to intentionally overlap inks for a number of reasons, overprint can cause unexpected results. We suggest that you turn all overprint objects off before submitting your files.

     On Screen View                                               After Printing
In this case the logo was set to overprint. The colors from logo are mixing with the colors from the background. Unexpected results may occur if you have accidentally set certain objects to overprint. Always check logos and other artwork before submitting.

10. Can I submit a front and back page in the same file?

No. We are now specifically set up to process one side at a time, and this requires that each side of a job must be on a separate file.

Front & Back Files

Not separating files will cause delays and you might have to send the files again. Remember to separate the pages of your .pdf files as well.

11. How should I setup Spot UV job?

When creating a Spot UV job, You must include a Spot UV template file along with the regular full color file. The Spot UV template file is used to show where the UV will be placed.
Spot UV
Use 100% K to indicate where you would like the UV. White will indicate no UV.

12. How can I make sure my blues do not come out purple?

When using a blue in your design, make sure to leave at least a 30% difference in your Cyan and Magenta values.
C-100%, M-100%, Y-0%, K-0%

Blue is close to purple in the CMYK spectrum. Remember, use a low amount of magenta whenever using high amounts of cyan to avoid purple.
Example: C-100%, M-70%, Y-0%, K-0%

13. How do I export .PDF correctly?

When exporting from any program such as Indesign or Illustrator, use these settings to make sure your .PDF files export correctly. Export settings for .PDF files:

Adobe PDF Preset is set to: Press Quality

Compatibility is set to: Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3)

Compress Text and Line Art is set to: Off

14. How do I get a grayscale image in a CMYK document?

Grayscale images that are converted to CMYK will have a color shift in the final print. That shift may be green or yellow.


Always check the CMYK values of your grayscale in the final CMYK document. If there are other values other than K in your grayscale image, there is a chance that the color will vary.

To eliminate all values other than K, use your Channel Mixer (adjustment layer) in Photoshop, then click "Monochrome" and adjust accordingly.

15. What is rich black and how do I set it up?

Rich black is an ink mixture of solid black, 100% K, with additional CMY ink values. This results in a darker tone than black ink alone. If you print black alone as 100% K, the resulting black may not be as dark as you might like.

Rich Black
We recommend using:
C: 60
M: 40
Y: 40
K: 100

This will give you a deep, dark, rich black.

16. Why does my business card crack around the edges?

Cracking of the edges of a business card sometimes occurs when the card contains high values of ink, as in dark colors. Close up of business card:


This usually happens on a small amount of cards in the run. To prevent this, use lighter colors or if you must use dark colors, use as little ink as possible.

17. What is banding?

Many things can cause banding. Banding can be caused by the program that it is exported from, such as Indesign or Corel. Also, too many gradient steps, for example going from a very light color to a dark color, in a small area will cause banding.

Close up of banding:
banding 2

To prevent this, check your digital files before sending. If you use a gradient, make sure it has enough room for a smooth transition.

18. Why is there cracking on my scoring job?

When a job is coated with UV then scored and folded the job may begin to crack. During use, the cracks will become bigger and the ink may start to chip off.
Close Up Scoring:

Score Cracking_1

Cracking is normal when coated jobs are scored and folded. Ordering the job without UV will help but may not prevent this. As the job is used and folded more and more, cracking will eventually happen.

19. How do I set up an envelope with bleed?

Download the templates for setting up an envelope with bleed.

20. How can Pantone colors affect the colors on my job?

Pantone colors can affect your order is the color conversion between a Pantone color and CMYK. All of our normal printing is done in CMYK unless you specifically order a Silver, MU, or Custom job. If you use Pantone colors in a job that will print CMYK, your job might print with undesirable colors. Here are some examples of what the Pantone color looks like in the Pantone color book and what the CMYK print will look like:

If you send in a job with Pantone colors, the CMYK conversion will change the Pantone color. Before sending your order, make sure all Pantone colors have been converted to CMYK.

Pantone colors can also affect your file is when you use transparent images.
Here is what a transparent image looks like on screen:


Here is what a transparent image looks like after printing:


You can see the image is no longer transparent on top of the Pantone color. These white areas will show up during printing.
To fix this issue, convert all your Pantone colors into CMYK before sending your order. If you need to have a Pantone color in your art, for example when doing a Blue PMS 072 job, you must create a clipping mask around the image so the white area will not show up. This must be done before submitting the order.

21. How do I use JJ Printing templates?

Our Templates are a great tool to create artwork that can be printed faster, easier, and more accurately. If you are using Illustrator, you can use our specialized EPS templates. If you are using something other then Illustrator, download the JPG version.

Here is what each of the lines mean inside the template:

Template Marks

These templates will help you identify where the cut line, bleed line, and safety line, are located along with other information so you can design your art correctly.
Some of our templates are labeled as OUT and IN. This means that there is some folding involved with the template. OUT means the FRONT of the job and IN means the BACK. During the upload part of your order, remember that OUT is the FRONT and IN is the BACK.

22. What is JJ Printing's standard round corner radius?

We offer 1/4" and 1/8" radius round corners to all of our customers. The image below shows the two different radiuses for comparison.

Round Corner

23. How do I count pages for multi-page booklets?

The outside cover is “Page 1”, the inside cover is “Page 2” and so on. Please take a look at the sample below to see how they are set up. The sample below is for an 8 pager.

Count Pages