While other formats will work, for the best quality prints, files should be imported in the following format:
1. EPS format (Encapsulated Post Script).
Saving to EPS format is possible with such programs as Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw by using the File - Save As command. Use all the program default settings for the EPS format except those specifically mentioned below. (Make sure TIFF 8-bit Color is selected)
2. Save with fonts imbedded.
Saving to EPS format with fonts imbedded is possible with such programs as Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw by using the File - Save As command. Before saving a window will appear which will gives you this option.
3. Resolution = 300 dpi or vector based.
If the label design was entirely designed in Adobe Illustrator, dpi does not apply because it will be vector based. If portions of the design, such as photographs, were imported make sure the image you are importing is at least 300 dpi.
4. Save in CMYK color mode.
Setting the color space should be done before you begin designing or picking colors. However it can be changed at any time before you save as EPS.
5. The page size of the file should match the image size.
In other words, all proof information should be removed from the document. We only need the image itself. This is referred to as the Art board in Adobe Illustrator.
Other common artwork mistakes:
Here is a list of the most common mistakes that customers make when preparing their artwork for digital printing. (Send this to customers that you expect will be needing digital printing services from your CX1200/CX1000.)
1. Missing Fonts
You might have this wonderful fancy font in your artwork, but if the print shop doesn’t have it, when they open your file they will get an error message. The best way around this is to always outline your fonts before sending in your file or imbed the fonts within the EPS file.
2. Missing Bleed
If you want your color to print all the way to the edge of your label you need to include a bleed. For example, if you want to print a 3″ x 5″ label, the size of the artwork you would create would be 3.125″ x 5.125″. Also, you need to leave some space around the very edge of your label that is free of text. The reason this is needed is because during die-cutting the label material can drift ever so slightly (up to 1/32″), so you need to make allowances for this in your artwork.
3. RGB vs CMYK
Most digital color printers today (including your little desktop inkjet) print in CMYK, also known as four color process. However, all computer monitors display color as RGB (Red-Green-Blue). Now if you create your file for the RGB color space, the color is going to look different when printed on a CMYK printer, so it is always a good idea to create your artwork as CMYK.
4. Improper File Resolution
Many times people send a file of a picture or graphic that was on their web site and expect their printer to create a nice looking label from it. Unfortunately, in most cases the file on the web site is very low resolution, often as low as 72 dpi. If a file is printed at that resolution it is going to look terrible, a resolution of 300 dpi is recommended for best results.
5. Tight Borders
If you want a thin border on your labels that prints right near the edge, or bleeds off the edge, you are just asking for trouble. While label printing technology has advanced a great deal, there is still some very slight movement when printing and die-cutting your labels. While this movement is only a very small fraction of an inch, if your border is near the edge of the label it will be noticeable. Our advice if you really want a border, is to make it a thick one (more than 4 point). That way the slight movement will be much less noticeable.
6. Missing Graphics/Links
If you are using a newer version of Photoshop or Illustrator (CS or CS2) this is less of a problem, but for people using older versions it is still a major issue. All your graphic elements should be embedded into your document before sending them for production, otherwise when your file is opened there may be missing graphics or links.
7. Unsupported Software Format
There are dozens of different software programs you can use to design your labels. Most will export into the CX1200 preferred format: EPS. Make sure you receive artwork in EPS format.