We prefer vector art (illustrator CC) with all imported graphics and fonts. Type and images must not print closer than 1/8” to the dieline unless it is bleeding beyond the edge of the card. If there are bleeds, they must be 1/8” past the dieline.
Customer Support: 562-431-2594
Accepted File Types
Acrobat XI PDF
Standard card size is defined as 3.370 inches wide and 2.125 inches high/long. The thickness is 0.030 inches. This is the size that is commonly referred to as CR80 and encompasses all financial cards and most other common cards.
CD and DVD ROM
E-Mail (compress the ﬁle)
Images and Photos:
Must be at least 300 dpi (we will accept up to 2400 dpi). Anything less may result in poor quality. Save as CMYK PHOTOSHOP, TIFF or EPS format (in layers if possible).
All supported images should be “linked” rather than “embedded” so needed adjustments can be made. Send the links ﬁles at the time artwork is submitted.
Acrobat PDF ﬁles often need to be edited, which necessitates having the original created document (the ﬁle would be created in). For example if the original document was created in Illustrator or Photoshop, it is more eﬃcient to edited those ﬁles rather than a PDF.
If a PDF is the only providing artwork, PDF ﬁles need to be vector output or high resolution.
Include all type fonts (screen and printer fonts) when you send the job. Or convert all type in the document to outlines (note that converting type to outlines the document type uneditable.)
Text should be editable built in one of the above programs or text that has been converted to outlines. Please avoid providing text as raster images unless special eﬀects are being used (note that converting the type to outline means the document will then not be able to be edited).
A vector ﬁle is composed of points and lines. This type of rendering style produces a much cleaner image with a much smaller ﬁle size. This is a good ﬁle type for logos and trademarks. Adobe Illustrator is a popular software program that produces vector ﬁles.
Raster ﬁles are composed of pixels, or small colored squares. This is the ﬁle type most digital photography is composed of. Vector ﬁles are not capable of producing the generous number of colors that help to create depth and shading. A popular software program for producing raster ﬁles is Adobe Photoshop.
A Little About Type in Photoshop
Photoshop is a wonderful program that in the last few years has expanded the capabilities of the designer tremendously. But it is not the place to set type. When working with type the objective is to have clear crisp letters that the audience will be able to easily read. Unfortunately, Photoshop is incapable of producing this kind of lettering. The only exception to this should be when you are applying eﬀects to DISPLAY type in Photoshop, it too is rendered IN those, such as bevelling, embossing, inner glows etc. These eﬀects should not be applied to regular body copy.
As we explained above Photoshop renders ﬁles as small squares of color. When type is set in Photoshop it too is rendered of those same small squares.
When that ﬁle is then sent to the printing press it is converted to small dots of black and white. These dots will cause the type to look fuzzy and gray.
It is best to set type in a page layout program like Quark or InDesign where it will be sent to the process as vector information. Adobe Illustrator is an acceptable program for setting type.
Bleeds, Buffers and Die Lines
When laying out artwork it is always GOOD to keep in mind how the cards are produced. First the ﬁnal adjustment ﬁles are sent to Platesetting to output to plates then sent to an oﬀset printing press where the ﬁnal adjusted ﬁles are sent to the output device of the platemaker. After plates are made, the plates are put on the press and the graphics are printed on the plastic substrate. Printed sheets are then laminated with extreme heats and pressure, producing the ﬁnal laminated graphics. The extreme heat & pressure needed to laminate can cause color shifting, dot gain and shrinkage in the sheet.
We Ask That You Include:
0.125” (1/8 inch) BLEED (sometimes called background art) must extend beyond the die cut marks by 1/8 of an inch.
0.125” (1/8 inch) BUFFER. The BUFFER is the space between the die line and the LIVE area. It is critical that important information like text or logos do not encroach on this BUFFER area. Art in the buﬀer area risk being cut oﬀ.