RGB indicates Red, Green, and Blue and is primarily used for electronic and photography purposes. These 3 colors combined in various percentages create any color in the visible spectrum. Various products use RGB because it offers the widest range of colors.
What is grayscale color mode? What is rich black?
Grayscale color mode, also known as black and white color mode, is composed of two colors: black and white. It is used to reproduce an image with different shades of grey.
A computer monitor represents only one form of black. In print, there are several ways to represent black, including “rich black.” Rich black is a darker, deeper black that combines a percentage of all the four CMYK inks. The values to create rich black for coated stocks are: C = 30, M = 30, Y = 30, and K = 100. The values to create rich black for uncoated stocks are: C = 20, M = 20, Y = 20, and K = 100. For gray densities, we recommend that the file have the following color values: C=10, M=10, Y=10. For the K value, anything under 100 would be considered a gray
What are image tones and highlights?
Continuous tone imagery contains an infinite range of shadows and mixed colors.
Duotone: Halftone reproduction of an image using 2 colors.
Halftone: Continuous tone imagery through the use of dots.
Middle tone: Tone in an image conveyed by highlights and shadows.
Highlight: Lightest part in the image.
It is imperative that you convert your files to CMYK, since this is the only color mode that we accept for printing. Any other color mode will not produce optimal printing results. Most commercial printers accept RGB images; however, using images that are in RGB color mode may ruin the appearance of the final printed material.
RGB color mode combines three colors, Red, Green, and Blue. Your computer monitor, scanner, and digital camera all use a combination of these three colors to produce the final colors. Presses, however, require four different colors, CMYK, to produce the final printed material. Thus, RGB must be converted to CMYK for print.
You can convert a file from RGB to CMYK, but cannot convert a file from CMYK to RGB. If you attempt to do so, some of the image data in that file may be lost and become unrecoverable.
Keep in mind that your image may be created in RGB, but it will print in CMYK.
RGB color mode may look sharp on your computer screen; however, it will not print as it appears.
Convert RGB files into CMYK in Photoshop by simply clicking on Image > Mode > CMYK.
Four color process is a method of printing that uses dots of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black to recreate the continuous tones and to produce a printed image that matches the coloring of the original image.
CMYK indicates Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Keyline (Black). These 4 colors of ink are used for offset printing. Cyan is a shade of blue found in the 4 primary color printing process. Magenta is a shade of hot pink found in the basic 4 color printing process.
We require that you provide us with print-ready digital files in CMYK or RGB color mode depending on the product type. Provide all black and white artwork in grayscale color mode. We do not accept any other color mode.
Color options for pre-press printing are divided into three categories:
Full Color Front/Full Color Back, or Four over Four (4/4): Four-color print job with color on both sides of the paper.
Full Color Front/Grayscale Back, or Four over One (4/1): Full-color print job on the front, and black and white (grayscale) on the back.
Full Color Front/Blank Back, or Four over Zero (4/0): Four-color print job on the front, and no printing on the back.
File Formats & Size
What is the maximum file size acceptable for uploads?
Maximum file size for uploads: 100MB (megabytes) per file.
Before uploading your file, make sure to check the image size. In Photoshop, click on Image > Image Size, and proportion your image correctly.
Recommended: To reduce file size, please upload in .jpg format. For all other file formats, ensure all layers are flattened.
There really isn’t a difference between a .TIF and a .TIFF, or a .JPG and a .JPEG, except that one uses an extension with three letters, the other with four. The files are the same, and will remain the same even if you change the file from the three-letter extension to the four-letter extension. For example, if you change a .TIF to .TIFF, the file will still open up the same; the only difference will be in the file name.
The two different file extensions for the same file type derived from Windows, which required files to have a file extension of no more than three letters. Thus, the original .TIFF files were abbreviated to .TIF to meet this requirement. Macintosh platforms, however, did not limit the file extensions to three letters, since the longer the extension meant the more descriptive. This is why Macs use file types with four extensions.
The following formats are acceptable for uploads: TIF, .TIFF, .EPS, .AI, .PSD, .BMP, .GIF, .JPG, .PNG, .PDF. Recommended: To reduce file size, please upload in .jpg format. For all other file formats, ensure all layers are flattened.
- TIF (Tagged Image File) – High-quality graphics format that is often used for storing multi-colored images. Supports layers, multiple pages, raster images, vector images, lossy compression, and lossless compression.
- TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) – High-quality graphics format that is often used for storing multi-colored images. Supports layers, multiple pages, raster images, vector images, lossy compression, and lossless compression.
- EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) – PostScript file used primarily in the transfer of images to different operating systems.
- AI (Adobe Illustrator file) – Vector graphics file that uses paths connected by points.
- PSD (Photoshop Document) – Image file created by Adobe Photoshop; supports various types of Photoshop image options, including image layers, adjustment layers, etc. We recommend that .PSD files be flattened prior to being uploaded.
- BMP (Bitmap) – High-quality graphics format which allows it to produce large file sizes and uses image compression algorithms that can decrease file size.
- GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) – Uses lossless compression that may not degrade the quality of the image. GIFs store image data using indexed color, with a maximum of 256 colors.
- JPG (Image Compression File) – Compressed image format that uses lossy compression; commonly used for storing realistic photos (digital photos), since it is able to compress substantially with minimal loss in image quality.
- PNG (Portable Network Graphics) – A bitmapped image format with lossless data compression. Gradients come out smoother and do not have the distortions that may appear in a .JPG. Used mainly for archiving files. Does not support CMYK.
PDF (Portable Document Format) – The most preferred file format to be set in pre-press quality. Ideal for viewing on multiple computers, because it preserves the formatting, fonts, and other elements within the document on different computers, as well as when it is printed.
A vector image is an image made up of lines and curves that are stored as mathematical formulas, and can be moved freely or modified without losing detail or clarity. Whereas a bitmapped image will lose clarity when rescaled, the vector graphic can be scaled indefinitely without losing clarity.
The example below shows the effect of a bitmap graphic versus the vector graphic. When zoomed in, the bitmapped image appears jagged, whereas the vector graphic appears clear and crisp.
Bitmap means a map of bits (or pixels) that form a picture. Thus, a bitmapped image is an image comprised of pixels. Though bitmaps store images in high resolution, they do not rescale very well, and tend to appear jagged when zoomed in, and blurry when reduced in size. Bitmaps are ideal for storing digital images. Whereas a bitmapped image will lose clarity when rescaled, a vector graphic can be scaled indefinitely without losing clarity.
The example below shows the effect of a bitmap graphic versus a vector graphic. When zoomed in, the bitmapped image appears jagged, whereas the vector graphic appears clear and crisp.
High-quality images can be obtained from:
High-resolution stock photography
High-quality scanned images
Digital cameras with a high quality of 2.4 mega pixels or more
Remember – DO NOT take any images from the Internet, because most images you will find on the web are protected by copyright laws, and these images are not high resolution
Monitor resolution is much lower than the resolution of printers, so just because an image looks sharp on the screen, doesn’t mean it will print well.
If purchasing an image from a royalty-free website, please make sure that you choose a high-resolution image of 350 dpi.
Your original file needs to be created at a resolution of 350 dpi (150 dpi for signage). If a file is created at a low resolution and manually changed to a higher resolution, it will not change the quality of the image. The only difference it would make is that the file would be rescaled, and the density of the pixels or dots would change, not the number of dots or pixels in the file.
When you take a picture from a digital camera, it must be set at a high resolution in order to result in 350 dpi. We recommend you do this because you cannot change the resolution of a picture after it has been taken. Whenever you change the dimensions of an image or picture, the resolution changes also. The more you reduce the dimensions of a picture, the higher its resolution becomes. For this reason, we ask that you make sure that you save the picture at 350 dpi.
Image resolutions can change if the image is resized or scaled in the page layout application, or if the image is resized or scaled when the file is converted to the PDF format.
In order for an image to print correctly, all file formats must be submitted at a resolution of 350 dpi at 100% of the final print size. When file resolution is lower than 350 dpi, the final print will have a substantial drop in the image quality. For signage, please submit files with a resolution of 150 dpi.
A resolution of 350 dpi means 350 dots per every inch in the design.
Resolution is also known as dpi (dots per inch) or ppi (pixels per inch). It indicates the number of colored dots or pixels that make up one image. The higher the dots per inch/pixels per inch, the greater the resolution and the clearer the resulting final print will be.
LPI, or lines per inch, is a measurement of resolution that uses a halftone screen. LPI measures how close together the lines are in this halftone grid. The higher the lines per inch (or the closer the lines are together), the better and clearer the image will be. In order to determine the appropriate image resolution needed for print, the combination of your printer’s DPI and the required LPI must be observed. Whereas the DPI determines the number of dots per inch, the LPI is also needed in order to determine the frequency of the lines containing the dots, per inch of the halftone grid. Once these two elements are calculated, the correct resolution can be determined. The image usually must have 1.5 to 2 times as many dots per inch as lines per inch. Center City Print prints with 200 lpi for high-quality, beautiful, final prints.
Typefaces & Fonts
Please follow the following steps before you submit your files.
- Fonts must be embedded in PDF files. (Some fonts have copyright restrictions and will not embed in PDF Files.)
- Embed all images and outline text in Illustrator files.
- Quark Express: Fonts and images must be included with all files submitted. (Mac only)
- Flatten all layers when working in Photoshop.
When creating a file with a vector-based software such as Illustrator, follow these steps to outline fonts:
- Select “Type”
- Select “Create Outlines”
When trying to outline fonts in Photoshop, simply just flatten the image.
Embedding a font means storing your font information in the file so that when your file is opened on a different computer, the fonts do not vary in appearance. If your fonts are not embedded, a different font may be substituted for your document. To prevent these variations, embed all your fonts in PDF files.
Decorative typefaces, also known as ornamental or display fonts, are embellished typefaces with unique proportions and shapes. These shapes and proportions reinforce the message or theme behind the words. Decorative typefaces are a popular choice for artistic work and are a vital element of a great design. They are intended for decorative purposes such as for headings and titles, and are generally not suitable for body text.
There are numerous types of decorative fonts, including Amazone, Brush Script, and Apple Chancery, seen in the example below.
Serif and Sans-serif are typefaces that are commonly used for body text. Serifs are the smaller lines on the main strokes of letters and numbers. The structure of the serifs is considered less harsh for reading large body of text, which is why newspapers and books often use this type of typeface.
A typeface without serifs is called Sans-serif (the word “sans” is French for “without”). Sans-serif typefaces are commonly used for electronic media. Since the computer screen has lower resolution compared to printed material, Sans-serif fonts are easier to read and follow than Serif fonts.
Orders Approved and Payment Processed By 11AM EST: Turnaround time begins that day.
Orders Approved and Payment Processed After 11AM EST: Turnaround time begins the next business day.
For example, if an order is approved by 11AM EST on Tuesday, and the Turnaround Time for the product is three days, printing will be completed on Thursday. If the order is approved AFTER 12AM EST on Tuesday, printing will be completed on Friday.
Additional Holiday Turnaround:
Please be advised that during the holiday season, our standard printing turnaround time will be extended by an additional (2) two business days due to an increase in volume. Thank you for your cooperation.
Orders that will be picked up: Please allow up to one additional business day after the turnaround to prepare packages for pickup.
Orders that will be shipped: Please allow one additional business day for receipt of labeling and billing information before counting turnaround time for shipping from UPS. For example, if you are quoted a shipping time of 3 business days from February 3rd, please allow the first day for Us to relay your information and for UPS to pick up, and the following 3 business days/non-holidays for your shipment to arrive.