artwork guidelines

Please read all of the guidelines and requirements on this page. Complaints resulting from failure to follow the guidelines outlined in this document will not be accepted.

Because of variations in output and viewing devices, we are unable to accept complaints about color variations unless all Color Matching guidelines (below) have been followed and included.

Artwork Submission Process
Artwork should be sent out/submitted the same day the order has been placed to avoid delays
After receiving your file, it will reviewed for printing requirements. If the file does not meet all necessary requirements, you will be contacted.
If corrections are required, you may make these changes yourself and resubmit the file or choose to have us make the corrections (if we are able to do so). Additional costs may be incurred if corrections are required to prepare your file.
After the file has been approved we will send a physical or email proof (10-15% of actual size) for your approval. You can expect to receive this proof within 24-48 hours from the time we receive your artwork. We will proceed with printing only after your approval.
Delivery lead time starts AFTER proof has been approved.

General Guidelines
Files should be created in CMYK color mode. Converting from other modes may distort colors, shapes or images.
File should be 100-120dpi at full output size for large format items, or up to 300 dpi for smaller items
Convert all fonts to outlines and/or include all fonts used. If unsure send all fonts used.
Logos and line based objects should remain in vector format whenever possible
Do not embed placed files or images
Do not embed color profiles in placed images or Photoshop files
Include both a layered file and flat file. This allows us to make minor corrections if necessary.
Only send files relevant for output.

Accepted File Formats
Adobe Illustrator CS2 (or earlier) (.ai or .eps)
Adobe Photoshop CS2 (or earlier) (.psd or .tif)
A layered version is required for color matching (see Color Matching below).
Call to check if other formats are acceptable, if you cannot provide one of these formats
Die-Line / Profile Cutting MUST be supplied as a vector file

File Size and Bleeds
When designing your artwork remember to incorporate:
  The live visual area of the graphic. The area you will be able to see once the graphic is installed.
  The printing bleed of 0.25in. and any other required bleeds.
  Any elements that will be cut out, blocked or excluded.
Extend all images and/or background colors to the outside edge of the template
Keep all important graphic elements (images, text, etc.) within the viewable area.
If after printing, the graphic will be trimmed, please allow space for trimming by not placing type or logos too close to the edge of the viewable area.

File must be at least 100dpi at final full output size
All images used must be at least 100dpi at final full output size
Higher resolution images are accepted, but generally do not produce better graphic output.
Do Not use web site images (jpg, jpeg, gif). These images are generally low resolution (72dpi) and are unsatisfactory when enlarged to banner dimensions. For this reason jpeg, jpg and gif files are not acceptable.
When using stock photography images, be sure to purchase the highest resolution version that your budget will allow.
Logos and other line or text-based objects should be in vector format, not rasterized.

Color Matching
We use CMYK printers to create these graphics. Because of this, 100% reproduction of defined colors is not possible.
When colors are critical:
Differences between colors in the printed piece and original file can occur at many different stages. Because of the variations in different output and viewing devices we are unable to accept color variation as a reason for complaints unless all of the following guidelines are followed:
  Indicate Pantone values for all critical colors.
  A layered version of the file must be included
  When this is provided we will try our best to match required colors. Again, because we use CMYK printers to create these graphics 100% reproduction of defined colors is not possible.
  Without all of the above information, color deviations as a reason for complaints will not be accepted
  Note: Variations in color or shading are often a result of viewing on un-calibrated equipment (monitors, printers, etc.). Colors will often appear different when viewed on two different monitors or output devices. Without accurate color information, we have no way of ensuring that expected colors will be acheived.

Submitting your Files
Customers are responsible for sending all required artwork to Rapid Signs Corp. We are unable to retreive artwork from locations other than our FTP server or mailed media.
Files under 250Mb may be submitted using our FTP server:
Please compress all files and folders using the ZIP file format.
Files must be named using your order number (ex. OE_123456.zip).
Rapid Signs Corp. is not responsible for delays due to improperly named files.
Please e-mail us when your upload has completed.
Your order number should be in the subject of the message.
This allows us to verify that we have received your artwork.
FTP Server information:
Please contact us to obtain our FTP server information.
Files over 250Mb and mailing submission:
Please write your order number (OE) on the disk and envelope
We accept the following media:
CD-R (No CD-RWs)
Do not send CDs or DVDs without a case or sleeve