How to make your printing project a success

Crisp Lines

Please do not use Adobe Photoshop for your text. Edit photos or add special effects to your design in Adobe Photoshop, then place the artwork into your application to add the text. This will give you sharp crisp graphics on your project without having it look fuzzy. Use Adobe Illustrator or another vector program like Adobe InDesign, QuarkXpress, or Macromedia Freehand to get clean lines on your line art.

Rich black

Text fonts less than 18pt bold should be 100% black only with 0% cyan, magenta, or yellow. For text heavier than 18pt bold and for large solids it makes sense to use rich black. There are many rich black formulas you can choose from depending on your use case, but for a neutral rich black that works well in almost any scenario we recommend 40% Cyan, 30% Magenta, 30% Yellow, and 100% Black.

Don’t place text too close to the edge of the document

Do not place your text any closer than .25″ (1/4”) to the edge. We recommend a margin of .375″ (3/8″) from the trim line.


Photos must be CMYK with color mode at 300 dpi resolution.


Convert all RGB images to CMYK color mode to give you the best color. Our equipment can do this for you but results will be better is you do this in Adobe Photoshop before submitting files.


Print a proof and review a proof from your desktop printer

Please take time to print a proof on your desktop printer and review before submitting files. This will help to make sure your files are accurate before submitting them for printing.

Pantone color matching

All monitors are calibrated differently. Inkjet or laser printers use different types of toner and inks than commercial printing presses. Use Pantone PMS values for best results

Newsprint Reproduction

Limitations in registration

Newspaper printing is different than heat-set magazine and book printing. The thin weight and the high-speed nature of newspaper presses produce the alignment of the cyan, magenta, yellow and black plates on press (registration) that is rarely perfect.

Type size less than 9pt should be 100% black. Building small type in color builds will make it appear fuzzy and illegible.

Thin rules should be black. Color rules should be 2pt or thicker.

Use as few colors as possible when making a solid color build.

Dot gain and ink density

Cold-set printing on newsprint has more dot gain than other forms of printing. Ink on newsprint will absorb more and spread more than book paper.

Because of the absorbent nature of newsprint, the maximum amount of ink the paper can hold is less than what other papers can hold. The spreading ink also results in images often looking darker on paper than what your computer screen shows.

Total ink coverage should be 240%. This means the sum of the percentages of cyan, magenta, yellow and black for any one color must add up to 240% or less.

To make sure your file is optimized for newsprint reproduction, use the “North America Newsprint” color preset provided with Adobe Creative Suite CS6 (or newer). This will give you a better preview of the reproduction on your computer screen, and make sure your files use the correct ink densities.