Big Wave Design
Digital file submission guidelines
Like building a solid house, building a professional-looking poster, flyer or other printer piece requires a good foundation and good material. For photo-based jobs, that begins with the photographs. Digital photographs need to be the right size and resolution in order to look good in print. Logos also need to be in the right format for best results. Please refer to the guidelines below when submitting photographs, logos and text for use in your printed job.
JPEG (with minimal compression) and TIFF files are preferred. Send them as attachment in e-mail, NOT imbedded in body of e-mail. Do NOT send images imbedded in Word files. Ideally photos should be 300dpi at full size. Photographs taken from the web are generally not suitable unless they are specifically intended for print.
The absolute best formats for logos is EPS or Illustrator (.ai). Fonts must be outlined.
High resolution JPEG & TIFF will work in a pinch.
When sending text, Microsoft Word is preferred. WordPerfect is OK
Please do no formatting (tabs, tables, columns, etc).
UNACCEPTABLE FORMATS: Publisher or Clariswork.
Send text as an attachment, do not paste text into body of e-mail.
Microsoft Word is the preferred format for text articles. Times New Roman 12pt preferred. No formatting will be retained once the copy is placed in graphic design program so anything fancy you do will be undone. All text should be left justified. NO tabs, columns or tables please. Use a single space between sentences, as I will go through and remove all double spaces anyway. In fact, your file should look just like this one!
WordPerfect files are acceptable if necessary, but I will need to convert to Word. Do not send text in the body of e-mail – it often does evil, weird things like remove apostrophes. Let’s make life simpler for everyone and create your text in Word with minimal formatting and send via e-mail as an attachment. And make sure you give your document a name that lets me know what it is and distinguishes it from the many other files I receive every day. Images should NOT be imbedded in Word documents. Clarisworks is evil. Publisher is worse.
Preferred format for logos is EPS with a transparent background. This is by far the best format as it will ensure your logo doesn’t have an ugly box around it when placed on a background colour and it will look good at any size. Fonts must be outlined. When possible, two versions should be submitted: one for placing on a light background, and one that is reversed for placing on a dark background. It wouldn’t hurt to include black and white versions of each logo as well. Other acceptable formats for logos are TIFF and JPEG, but files must be 300dpi Native Illustrator files are fine too, but fonts need to be outlined and image links must be provided. Word and Corel Draw files are NOT acceptable.
Preferred format for photographs is JPEG or TIFF. Optimum file size is 300dpi. Use TIFF for small images and JPEG for bigger ones. See note below about dpi and file size. DO NOT imbed images in Word documents. DO NOT pull images off the web and assume they will work. Again, see note below. Doesn’t matter if images are RGB or CMYK.
A note about images and resolution (size)
Images for printing need to be 300dpi for optimum results. Anything smaller will result in quality loss. Anything bigger will just make the file bigger without increased quality.
Images for use on the web need to be 72dpi. Anything smaller will look bad, anything bigger will make the file take longer to download.
Now the tricky part: DPI (dots per inch) is relative to the size of the image. If a file is 72dpi, but 42” X 28”, once it is converted to 300dpi it will become 10” X 6.5” and can be printed quite nicely. The reverse holds true, which is why most images taken off the web are unacceptable for printed material. If you see a good looking photo on your screen that is 4” X 6” and you download it, once I convert it to 300dpi, it becomes less than 1.5” X 1” big and will look very bad when blown up to 4 X 6. The key thing to look for is the FILE SIZE. If a JPEG photo is under 300k it’s not going to print well. If it’s 1meg or bigger it’ll probably be OK. These are just rough guidelines of course. When in doubt, ask me!
One more thing
Be careful how you name your files! I get many files e-mailed to me every day. If your Word file is called “Article Number1.doc” it’s bound to get lost. If your photograph is named “0346K.jpg” it’ll get lost too.