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Guidelines For Supplying Artwork
Four-Color Process Guidelines Macintosh and Windows Specs ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
Screen Printing Only
ART CONSIDERATIONS
All Printing Methods
General Guidelines

These guidelines cover the most common, though not all our requirements. Even if you do not fully know what all your project requires, we do: The Decal Factory® staff is trained to know, and acquire from you all the necessary elements your artwork and project needs and requires for the professional final product The Decal Factory® is noted for producing.

DECAL FACTORY products use many printing processes, including: screen printing, offset, rotary letterpress, and flexography. While art preparation varies for each method as well as for the product being produced, there are some general guidelines to follow in preparing camera-ready artwork.

For screen printed products, artwork should stay 1/8" from the edge of the decal or continue past the edge 1/8" if the imprint will bleed. If two colors touch on your artwork, the light color should bleed under the dark color by 1/32".

Tighter registration is possible with rotary letterpress and flexography so artwork can be as close as 1/16" from the edge or continue 1/16" past the edge of the label for a bleed. When two colors touch, we only need 1/64" bleed of the light color under the dark color.

For all four printing processes, check with us to see if tones are available and what line screen is recommended.

Contact DECAL FACTORY for specifications on four-color process printing.
If your artwork consists of multiple files, PLEASE use a ZIP utility to make one file, before uploading them. This avoids confusion if several customers are uploading more then one file at the same time, or using the same file names.
If you are printing multiple decals, we can help save you money. View our animation on combining orders for more information.

Windows and Macintosh Specs
Preferred Programs:
  • Adobe Illustrator - CS5 or below.
  • Adobe Photoshop - CS5 or below.
Accepted Programs:
  • Freehand

  • Export file as .ai or eps.
    Send all support files.
    Keep colors as spot.
    Export text as curves.
Fonts:
  • Convert text to paths, curves or outlines (vector art).
  • If this is not possible, send OpenType, TrueType or both screen & printer Type 1 fonts used for the art to be printed.
    Be sure to list all font names used. (We cannot use Macintosh fonts unless they are compatible with a PC)
Support Files:
  • EPS - Illustrator: Save as Illustrator EPS.
  • Freehand: Save as editable EPS.
  • Quark Xpress: Save page as EPS.
  • TIFF or JPG - PhotoShop file saved as 300 dpi at actual size.
  • PDF - File must contain: vector art, high resolution (300 dpi) images for halftones.
  • Bitmap Raster Image - 1200 dpi.
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Screen Printed:
  • Keep art 1/8" inch from the edge or
    continue past the edge 1/8" if the imprint will bleed.
  • If two colors touch, the light color should bleed under the dark color by 1/32".
  • Create a white layer when printing white on clear.
Offset, Rotary Letterpress and Flexography:
  • Keep art 1/16" from the edge or continue past the edge if the imprint will bleed.
  • If two colors touch, the light color should bleed under the dark color by 1/64".
  • Create a white layer when printing white on clear.
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Things to Keep in Mind

In order for us to accurately price you on your item, you will need the following information ready:

  • Size of the item: (dimensions of the actual cut material, not to be confused with dimensions of the printed logo. If artwork will not bleed off the decal there will need to be a 1/8" margin between print coverage and edge of decal).
  • Shape of decal: please let us know if this will be a custom shape. If you are looking for a basic shape i.e. ovals, rounded corner square or rectangle, octagon etc., please refer to insert for stock sizes we carry for these shapes.
  • Number of colors printed: total number of different colors in your design. If there are to many colors to count, this would be a 4 color process print. If you have a design with 3 colors (black, blue green), this would be considered 3 spot colors. Please note: 4 spot colors and 4 color process is not the same. If you are printing on a clear material we recommend backing colors with white (see image below). If using a decal with face adhesive, we will have to start out with a clear material.
    Printing
    (left) White halo around image.
    (middle) White slightly inside image (seen from back).
    (right) white background.
  • Quantity: Please know the quantity you are looking for, or range of quantities. If you are looking for small amounts we will price you the minimum for the item you need.
    Please note: minimum for roll labels start at 1,000;
    Minimum for silk-screened decals 125;
    If you are looking for less than 125 decals please inquire about digital printed decals.
    Please call for minimums on all other items.
  • Material Selection: Because of the wide variety of uses of our materials, we would like to insure that the right products of material is used for your particular application. Identifying how the product will be used or what the decal will be applied to will help determined what material is best suited for you. Material samples are always available at no charge for testing.
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Four-Color Process Guidelines
GENERAL GUIDELINES
All Printing Methods
Four-color process printing is used for reproducing high quality graphics with photo type images. This also works well for small multi color graphics in which the total color count would exceed seven or eight colors. CMYK cyan, magenta, yellow, black format.
Digitally created process images should be created in or converted to CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) format. Some programs, such as Photoshop, default to RGB (red, green, blue) format and must be changed. *Note any color change in the image when converting from RGB to CMYK and adjust colors as needed.
Follow the instructions below for best results when using a scanned image within the art layout.
  • Use an original continuous tone image scanned on a high-end drum scanner.
  • The scan must be CMYK at 300 DPI resolution or higher at actual print size. Most flat bed scanners only scan in the RGB mode. Although these files will look good on the computer monitor, the color information will not convert correctly for a four-color process printed image.

Both created and scanned images must have a resolution of 300 DPI or higher at final print size. Resolution cannot simply be increased in the program if working from a low resolution file. This merely spreads the original pixel information across a greater number of pixels and does not improve image quality. (Most internet images are a low resolution of 72 DPI.)

Scanned images cannot be manipulated. Text, logos, borders, etc. should be created in a drawing / layout programsuch as Illustrator, FreeHand or QuarkXpress. This allows us to make necessary adjustments to the digital file such as adding trap.

Convert all text to paths, curves or outlines. If this is not possible send both screen and printer Type 1 fonts used for the job being printed.

Send a copy of all original supporting files used to create the image. When sending Photoshop files, leave the art in layers (do not flatten or merge layers).

Color proofs are made from the digital file and may vary slightly from your computer monitor or color printer. The final printed product may also vary slightly from the color proof due to the differences between printing and proofing methods.

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ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
Screen Printing Only
Four-color process printing is for reproducing detailed, photo type images. An image with large solid color areas is best produced using glossy spot color inks.

Spot colors should be used in addition to the process image when color is critical such as company logos, text or borders. Large coverage backgrounds may also require a spot color. All spot color information must be defined in the file using PantoneĀ® or Gill-line stock colors.

Image with small white text: Any text that is 14 point bold or smaller needs to be overprinted for registration. There should not be a knock out behind this copy. white
Small text outside the image area: If text color is anything except black and the size is smaller than 14 point bold it should be run as a spot color for registration purposes.

Black text 55 point or larger and large coverage areas should print as spot black.

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ART CONSIDERATIONS
All Printing Methods
For small black text, fine lines or detail lines within an image set black to overprint (no knock out). Small Black Text
Small Black Text
Detail lines within an image. Details within an image
The following examples show how to prepare bleeds, margins and borders. All text or significant parts of the image must be in from the cut line following the same guidelines. Bleeds, Margins and Boarders.
Screen print: Margins and borders are a minimum of 1/8".
Offset: Margins and borders are a minimum of 1/8".
Roll Label: Margins and borders are a minimum of 1/16".
Sublimated: Margins and borders are a minimum of 1/4".
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