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The following information is divided into three categories: Large-Format Printing, Offset Printing and Terms and Conditions. Please follow the appropriate guidelines for your project and review our terms and conditions. All posted pricing is for digital files setup to Media Solutions specifications and ready to print.
All images should be setup in CMYK color mode. Duotone images must be converted to CMYK for four-color output. Images submitted as RGB or Pantone will be converted and color may shift.
Size and bleed
We can print files in widths up to 60" on most of our poster and display stocks, outdoor banners can be up to 16 feet wide. Setup your design at 100% scale if your program allows, or at 50% if necessary. Bleeds of 1/8" are needed on any sides where color runs to the edge. Crop any photos or background colors to include the required bleed. Setup all document sizes to the size of the finished piece. Be aware that an optimal resolution for images used in large format printing is from 120 - 150 dpi at 100% of actual print size for posters and lower for banners and billboards. Use of an application like Adobe Illustrator is recommended because it keeps all type in the vector format and allows for setup of documents at 100% of actual print size.
All large-format prints are trimmed by hand. Whether you have a white background or full bleeds, setting up your document size to the exact finished size is important. All bleeds must extend 1/8" beyond the edges of your document setup. Example: the document setup for a 24" x 36" finished print is 24" x 36" but the background with bleed is sized to 24.25" x 36.25" (1/8" extra per side).
File Naming
Front and back sides of offset print jobs must be submitted as separate files. You must indicate which side is front and which is back; as in, "myfile_front.eps" and "myfile_back.eps".
All images must be in CMYK color mode. Duotone images and Pantone colors must be converted to CMYK for four-color output. RGB images must be converted to CMYK and color shift should be expected. The optimal way to design for print is to choose colors based on a Pantone Process Color swatch book, or other table showing CMYK percentage values of the desired color. Unless specified, all color sides will include a gloss UV coating. Other finishes are available for additional charge, and must be specified in your order. Call for options and cost.
Files submitted for digital offset printing should be 400 DPI at the actual size that they will be used. A 4.25 X 6.25 photoshop EPS file in CMYK mode should be 16.2 megabytes. Anything over 400 DPI will be discarded. Please don't include more data than is necessary. Files less than 400 DPI or scaled up from a lower resolution may print with a lower image quality.
When scanning artwork for printing it is usually a good idea to scan at a higher resolution than will be needed for your print, than sample the file down to the 400 DPI resolution needed for printing. When this is done, detail that may not be picked up in a 400 DPI scan, may be preserved and reproduced in your print. Be sure to convert your RGB scans to CMYK for printing
File Formats
Currently we accept the following formats: Photoshop EPS, Illustrator EPS, Tiff, JPEG and Press Quality PDF. See guidelines below (Other File Types) for setup and creation of acceptable files from other applications.
Size and Bleed
We have many standard print sizes, and many custom size options available. For all jobs, a bleed is necessary if a color other than white is to extend "off" any of the four sides. If no bleed is desired (i.e., the background of the business card is white), the file may be built to the cut specifications (3.5 inches wide by 2 inches high for a business card). If a background color other than white is being used, please extend the file size by 1/8" (.125 inch) on all four sides (for a file size of 3.75 by 2.25 inches). This will give us enough tolerance for cutting purposes to ensure that no white borders appear around the edge of your cards.
It is very important to keep all type a minimum of 1/8 inch away from the trim edges for both the postcards and business cards (.25 inch from edge of a full bleed card). This is to ensure that no type is trimmed off.
Rich Blacks
Whenever any areas of black are being used (any design element or fonts larger than 20 points), please use a rich black rather than a single color black. A good mix is 50 Cyan, 50 Magenta, 50 Yellow and 100 Black.
Photoshop EPS and JPEG Files
Bitmap files should be 400 dpi (dots-per-inch) and always in CMYK color mode. Layers need to be flattened, and all vector data must be rasterized. For compressing files to reduce sizes, you can choose to save EPS files with JPEG (maximum quality 10 or higher) compression to reduce the file size substantially.
Illustrator and InDesign Files
All fonts need to be converted to outlines after designing. Run the cleanup filter as well (Object:Path:Cleanup) before saving to eliminate any hidden spaces and points. If embedding bitmap images, it is imperative that the bitmap files are the proper dpi and are CMYK. Once an embedded eps file is created, it is locked, so if there is anything wrong with your bitmap files we can do nothing to fix them. Please make sure your page size corresponds to the size of the job postcard that you are ordering. See Size and Bleed above to ensure proper dimensions. If you are using transparency features, particularly any transparency involving gradients and bitmaps, be sure to flatten the file you are submitting. Check the flattened file for hairlines and other errors you would not want to print.
If you are using QuarkXPress to create your design, you must save the pages out of Quark as EPS files, then open those in Illustrator. (Make sure your page size in Quark is the same size as the postcard size you are ordering including bleeds. See Size and Bleed above to ensure proper dimensions.) In Illustrator, select the fonts and create outlines, and save as an Illustrator EPS. If you get a message saying "One or more fonts could not be outlined because the printer font is missing", then that font will need to be changed to a font that does have printer files. This happens when either a screen font is present and a printer font is missing, or Menu-Styled fonts were used in Quark. Do not use the menu-style options in Quark. It may look good on screen, but if no corresponding printer font exists, your type will default to Courier.
JPEG Files
JPEG files, if at the proper resolution (400 dpi), and saved at high quality 10+ files can be printed with no problems.
PDF Files
Suitable PDF files for printing must be made with Adobe Acrobat Distiller and its Press Quality setting. Other methods of creating PDF files may not be suitable for quality results when printing.
Payment & Terms
Full payment is required with all orders submitted. Check, Visa, and MasterCard are accepted. Fees for orders incurring additional charges will be added as balance due. Credit terms are not accepted.
Tax Exemption
California resale businesses must enclose a signed resale license certificate WITH their first order. If a certificate is not provided appropriate sales tax will be charged.
No File Handling or RIP Fee
If we receive an order and your file conforms to the setup guidelines we will process and RIP your job free of charge. However, computer files that do not conform to the guidelines and require modification by Media Solutions may incur additional processing charges. You will be notified if a computer file does not conform to guidelines, is missing fonts or linked files, or any other problem that would prevent printing the computer file.
File Updates or Order Cancellation
All orders submitted to us as "no proof required" may be printed the same day received and therefore cannot be canceled. If a file update or cancellation of a job is allowed, a fee will be assessed commensurate with the current process status of the order, as follows:
? Pre-flighted files $35 each file. ? Ripped and queued files $65 each file.
A soft color proof (PDF) of your file may be ordered for $10. This will be emailed to you within 2 business days after your file is submitted with payment. A hard copy proof is available for$35. Because of differences in equipment, paper, inks and other conditions between color proofing and production, a reasonable variation in color between the proofs and the completed job shall be expected, and constitute acceptable delivery. Only a Media Solutions proof will be considered an acceptable color proof. Unmatchable color proofs include anything other than those generated by Media Solutions. Should corrections be required they must be done by you and your corrected file resubmitted at which time it will be placed back to the beginning of the queue for printing. Please note that this usually adds additional time to your job.
Files submitted as pure pixel files that are the correct document size and saved in CMYK, will be queued immediately. Because pure pixel files require little or no preflight, qualifying files will be placed in the print queue immediately. If you are ordering our Standard Service the turnaround time will be dramatically reduced if you submit a pure pixel file. We cannot quote a precise ship date for Standard Service, however, pixel-only files are generally printed within three working days from receipt.
The expected shipping date of a project is based upon receiving your printable digital files and attachments required to begin a print run. When printable computer files and all necessary information have been received and proofs (if any) are approved, your file is added to the queue. If the ship date is critical, Rush is available when the production schedule can accommodate. Written price quotes are required for Rush Service.
Standard Service
Prices published on the Media Solutions site refer to Standard Service which varies depending on the product. All shipping dates are approximate and based on the current production schedule. No exact ship date is available for Standard Service. If your schedule is critical request a quote for Rush Service.
Rush Service, call for quote
(415) 665-1077 Rush Service orders will be processed before Standard orders and on a first come first serve basis with other Rush orders. The expected ship date is still determined by current production schedules, but Rush orders generally ship in three to four days.
Reordering a Job (Job File Storage)
Media Solutions will archive a copy of the computer file used to print a job so you can reorder by job number. This is done as a convenience for reordering. We reserve the right to erase saved job files at any time. Note: ANY change to printed job requires a new computer file.
Submission via Zip 100, CD/CD-R, FTP, e-mail Attachment
Deliver your disks via postal mail, FedEx, UPS, bike messenger, or by hand delivery. We highly recommend you send your files using some kind of tracking service. FTP or e-mailed files must be reduced to minimum size and Zipped or Stuffed prior to sending.
Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have.