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Common Errors and Solutions

Listed below are the most common errors that M13 Graphics has with digital files received from customers. Please keep in mind that if your job has any of these production errors, your job must be placed on hold until the problem is corrected. We will make every attempt to contact you and will keep a log of these attempts, but your best insurance against a delayed job is to adhere to the following checklist:

Incorrect Color Mode

RGB color mode (red, green, blue) must be converted to CMYK color mode (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) prior to printing. Also, please read and fully understand this FAQ regarding color reproduction.

Wrong Size

Digital files must be built at the correct bleed size. Whenever possible, please download and use our Free Layout Templates to ensure correct page size and to prevent additional charges during file preparation.

Critical Artwork or Text Close to Trim - What is Bleed?

Text or images that are not meant to get trimmed off the edge of your final printed piece must be 1/4" (.25) from the edge of your layout (also known as Safety). Images that are meant to go to the very edge of your design must extend into the bleed area 1/8” (0.125). Due to the very small shifting that occurs during cutting, it is NOT recommend that you use a border of less than 1⁄4” (.25) if your design calls for the use of a border. We cannot, and will not, guarantee that small borders will be the same size after trimming if you have used a border of less that 1⁄4” (.25).

Does Not Meet U.S. Postal Regulations

The Post Office requires that all postcards being mailed must meet certain requirements and may not mail them properly, or will charge a different rate if there are mistakes.

Low Resolution Images - What is Resolution?

Raster graphics such as TIF and JPEG files must have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch). Images with a resolution less than 300 dpi will reproduce poorly on press (the image will look fuzzy and/or pixilated). If you took your images from a website on the internet, there is a 90% chance that they will not contain a high enough resolution for printing (unless the images came from a stock photography house and are designated high resolution). The internet displays images at 72 dpi, so that the images appear quickly over an internet connection, but under no circumstances should they be used for printing. If you submit low-resolution files for printing, you will have to sign an online waiver acknowledging that you are aware of the resulting loss of quality, and that as the customer you are OK with that.

Missing Fonts

If you used QuarkXpress, you must provide all fonts and typefaces used in your layout. If you do not supply fonts, you will be asked to upload your fonts and your job will be placed on hold until we receive them.

Wrong File Type

Our production process is such that we can only accept specific file types from specific professional graphic design applications (see our Application Guides).

Corrupt File

As your files travel across the internet, they can get stripped of vital code that identifies them as the original file types. Without compressing your files as zip or sit, you run the risk of sending us incomplete or “corrupted” digital files.

Missing Images

If you used QuarkXpress, you must supply all hi-resolution images used in your layout. If you do not supply your images, you will be contacted to upload the missing images.