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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

Design Tips

The University Print Shop supports the following page layout and graphics applications for both Windows and Macintosh platforms:

  • Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat professional
  • Microsoft Office: Word, Publisher, Excel, Powerpoint
  • Quark

Files smaller than 10 megabytes (or compressed to under 10 megabytes) can be emailed directly to the Print Shop Files larger than 10 megabytes are to be submitted in person or through interoffice campus mail to the Print Shop on either a CD or portable jump drive (memory stick).

A hard-copy printout should always be submitted with an order.  This is recommended in order to ensure the final product is the same as your hard-copy printout.

When submitting illustrator files, always be sure to outline fonts, particularly less common fonts that may not be in a common font library.

Be sure to always use photo images in your document at full print resolution (300 dpi) and converted to CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, blacK4 color process) for print.  Ideally save your images as TIFF or JPEG (at highest quality). Do not use GIF’s which are for the web only.

If you are using Microsoft (Word, PowerPoint, Publisher), submit your original image files (tiff, jpeg, png) in addition to your document file.  Many times images placed into these applications are substandard (low resolution, RGB, gif’s) and will not look good on your printed piece. Remember that images found on websites are low resolution (72 dpi) and are not intended for print jobs.  The quality of your job will suffer if these are used. (This is referred to as “GIGO”: Garbage In, Garbage Out.)

PDF or Portable Document Format

Ideally, you can create a pdf document from your original native file. This can be done easily and will save time and money. In most cases, the submitted pdf can be output/printed/copied immediately with no extra work involved. There is no need for fonts and images (if they are at full resolution and CMYK). However, if there is any major adjusting to be done, we will need the original file to edit. Minor adjustments can be made on the PDF but if there are major type changes or page shifts, we will need to have the native file.  Microsoft Word, Publisher, etc. now make it easy to create pdf’s in the print dialog box.

A word about “Bleeds”…

The most common mistake we encounter with jobs that are held up and therefore can be costly to you is a file that has not been properly set up with BLEEDS. A bleed is simply color or image that extends to the very edge of the page. In order to get a clean look, the ink actually prints 1/8” of an inch PAST the edge.  It is printed on a larger sheet and the extra amount is trimmed off. The bleed must be incorporated into your original file AND indicated in your PDF using the “Advanced” button dialog under “Marks and Bleeds”.  Your document must include bleeds or we will have to create them – at a higher cost to you!

Please contact our pre-press department (ext. 5-8719) for any and all questions regarding your files, creation of PDF's and/or bleeds.