Phone: 336-768-2810

File Prep

Setting up your digital files

File Formats Accepted: We prefer PDF, or high res EPS. Please, no bleeds or crops marks.

Bleed: No bleed or crops please.

Scans/Resolution: For optimum quality, scans and bitmap images used in a layout must have a resolution of at least 100 and up to 150 dpi at 100% of size at which they will be printed. Do not up-res low-res files. And please don't send 300 dpi files.

Express Graphics Default ICC Color Spaces

  • RGB: Adobe RGB
  • CMYK: US Web Coated (SWOP) v. 2


Keys To Predictable, Consistent Color:

  1. Build your files within Express Graphics default ICC color spaces.
  2. Understand that ALL files have an intended correctly associated ICC profile, even if it is not embedded within the file itself.
  3. Keep RBG files in RBG and CMYK files in CMYK.  Don't convert files from one space to another unless you know why you are doing it and understand the potential consequences.
  4. Adobe products allow you to set color settings for each application. Please use the setting North America Prepress 2. These are the settings we use.
  5. Do not "design to the monitor". All monitors change color over time. A printed proof of your file is the best way to see what colors are really there.

PANTONE Color Advice:

  • Build ALL your critical PMS color elements as vector graphics.
  • Designate all your PMS colors as SPOT colors. Our digital printers produce the best possible PMS match by using proprietary CMYK formulas that our RIPs determine automatically. For this to happen you MUST designate all PMS colors as SPOT colors within your layout application. Failure to set up PMS colors as spot colors will force your application to apply a CMYK build that may or may not be the best formula for our printer. 
  • Use the default PMS naming conventions given by the design packages. Don't make up your own naming conventions.
  • Use only Pantone Solid COATED colors. They will have names like Pantone 236 C. If you use Pantone Matt or Uncoated (Pantone 236 M or Pantone 236 U) colors you will not get the results you are expecting.
  • Digital printing equipment cannot reproduce PMS metallic colors or most PMS neon glow colors. Consult a Pantone Solid to Process Guide for typical results.
  • Bitmap graphics such as those created in PhotoShop do not typically store PMS colors as spot PMS. While you may be able to choose a Pantone color to paint with, PhotoShop actually applys an RGB or CMYK build based on your ICC color settings. These colors will NOT reproduce as true to the original color as the vector based SPOT colors mentioned above. Bitmap files created in Adobe RGB color space that have PMS colors will be closer to the true PMS color than those created within any bitmap CMYK file.