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Printing Guidelines

To ensure the highest quality prints Corvallis Custom recommends that you follow these guidelines.

 Accepted File Formats for Printing
The following are file formats which are the easiest to work with and which provide the best print results:  .ai / .bmp / .eps / .jpg / .pdf / .tif
Please don't forget to "rasterize" your font layers, or “create outlines” if working in Adobe Illustrator (.ai) to ensure accurate printing.

Digital Art Guidelines

Acceptable Mac & Windows Software:



• Photoshop

CMYK or Grayscale, 300 to 400 dpi, flattened, no layers, saved as TIF or JPG. Image size must be set to the trim size plus 1/8" bleed all around if necessary.

• Adobe Illustrator

Save as EPS file, fonts converted to paths or outlines

• InDesign

Save as PDF for Acrobat 5.0, Press or Print Optimized. Remember to include bleed.


Press or Print Optimized for Acrobat 5.0. Include at least 1/8" bleed all around. Images & graphics must be in CMYK format.

Publisher, Word, PowerPoint and other non-graphics software will require charges for conversion.

Preparing Your Digital Files:
Bleeds: Bleed is a printed image, graphic or background that extends beyond the trim edge. For cutting purposes, bleeds must extend 1/8" beyond intended trim.

Borders and text must be at least 1/8" inside the trim edge. We don't guarantee perfectly even borders.

Rich Black:
Black backgrounds run best with a mixture of 40% Cyan, 30% Magenta, 20% Yellow and 100% Black.

Black & White images (line art, logos): 1200 dpi
Color & Grayscale images: 300 to 400 dpi at 100%.

Colors: Color images must be saved as CMYK. Color conversions from Pantone to CMYK may produce unexpected results. There will be a charge for converting RGB images to CMYK.

Color Proofs: Color proofs for high volume jobs can be ordered for an additional charge. Changes made after the proof will incur additional re-RIP charges. Email proofs (softproofs) are available upon request; however, Corvallis Custom will not be responsible for color variations between your monitor and the finished job.

Scanning Services: We are responsible for color matching the media we scan. We cannot be responsible for color matching images scanned elsewhere. Further color adjustments will incur Photoshop charges at $60 per hour.

Booklet work: Files must be arranged in printer spreads.

Acceptable Storage Media:

• CD-R or DVD-R / DVD+R media
• USB media
• Memory Cards - CF I & II / Microdrive, MS / MS Pro, SD / MMC, SMC
• FTP Upload

Turnaround Time

Most proofs will be ready 24 hours after acceptable files are submitted. Rush service is available. Contact Us for a rush quote.

Type size
Type size affects readability. Type is measured by measuring a capital letter from the baseline to the top of the cap.

  • Type an inch tall is equal to 72 points.
  • Most books are set to 10 or 12 point type, newspapers and tool notes are often 8 point.
  • Persons with marginal difficulty in reading (a substantial percentage of the population 50 years of ages older) need 12 points type. Large print materials are most commonly available in 16 or 18 point type.
  • By comparison, 14 point type is considered the minimum size for large-print materials and is usually reserved for footer or areas with limited spacing such as vertical type on a graphic.
  • Ask the user about the size of type required. Many people need 28 to 36 point type.


Type selection
There are many typefaces or styles, some more readable than others. Text in all uppercase letters and in orator type is very difficult to read. Type with fancy serifs must be avoided. Bold and italic type should be used sparingly, and should not be used in long passages. Typefaces that use the largest amount of available space for the character should be selected. Most people learned to read using a typeface similar to "New Century Schoolbook" or a font from the "Times," family which created the patterns that make reading easier. Most of us read by patterns as well as by letter. Helvetica, or sans serif lettering, is also easy to read and a font commonly used. Organizations of the blind recommended New Century Schoolbook, a font from the Times family (New Times Roman), or Helvetica fonts in producing large prints documents.

Line leading
Line leading is the space between lines of type. Print smaller than 11 point has decreased line leading which decreases readability. Large print materials are usually produced with heavy leading, i.e., wide spacing between the letters and lines of print.

Proportional spacing
Readability problems exist when uniform letter widths are used (typewriter type.) Proportional type adds white spacing before and after letters to make up the difference in spacing. This extra spacing deters readability. Non-proportional spacing allows for adjustment between letters to eliminate unneeded white spaces and to allow extra space for wider letters. Because non-proportional spacing increases readability, its use is recommended. Most if not all computers print non-proportional characters to printers.

Justifying both the left and right margins is preferred for large print documents.

Contrast and color
In combination print and background colors, it is best to use colors that will provide the maximum brightness contrast between print and background. Readability of the printed material will be improved if black ink is used on white or cream (preferred) or pastel paper. If colored print and paper are used, two shades of the same color should be avoided and a light color should be used for the background.

Paper with a matte finish (non-glossy) is preferable to "shiny" or coated paper to prevent glare and provide good contrast.

Hyphenation of the right margin should be avoided. Hyphens break up words and require the reader to remember the last syllable of the previous line and refocus on the remaining word part on the next line. Hyphenation increases the problems that persons with limited vision have reading and understanding printed materials.

Line width
Generally there is greater risk of loss of readability when wider lines are used. Line width should not exceed 6 inches for single column text.

If multiple columns are used, columns should be no less than 3 inches.

Block style, an extra space between paragraphs, and paragraphs with an intended first line are acceptable.

PLEASE NOTE: Production time may increase and design time fees may apply if problems are encountered with files that are not set up correctly. Please SeePrinting Guidelines