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1941 W. Fulton Street, Chicago IL. 60612

Printing Tips

Creating your own brochures, business cards, flyers or any other material you need can be fun and simple with a little bit of knowledge. Here are a few tips that will make your job (and ours) easier.


There are two things you need to create your piece: an idea and tools. We’ll leave the idea up to your imagination. As for the tools…this can be a confusing choice. Most Graphic Design professionals prefer applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Quark Xpress.

ADOBE PHOTOSHOP is a photo imaging software that allows you to manipulate your photography. It is a pixel-based application meaning that all the information of your image is read in tiny little pixels, or square blocks of color. You may also use Photoshop as a layout tool. It is equipped with rulers to properly size your document, palettes to work with color and layout, image resolution options, various brushes, layers to work efficiently with many different components and much more. There are low-end applications such as PHOTO DELUXE that are similar to Photoshop, but we recommend using the real thing. If you use Photoshop be sure to save your document as either a TIFF or EPS file. This will flatten your image (blend all your layers if you are working in multiple layers). Your document should be set up at 300 dpi. DPI refers to Dots Per Inch. A document is printed by tiny dots of ink. The more dots you fit in one inch, the richer and cleaner the job will be printed. Line Art (bitmap) should be 1200 dpi at 100% to ensure a clear print.

ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR is a vector-based application that uses lines to create images instead of pixels. You may embed TIFF or EPS files (usually from Photoshop) into an Illustrator document and create your final product. Illustrator is a more powerful layout tool because lines and text are easier to work with. Make sure you Embed all images and Create Outlines on all fonts before you send your Illustrator document.

QUARK XPRESS is a popular document layout program. You cannot manipulate images very easily in Quark, so many times it is used along with Photoshop and Illustrator. If you are using Quark, please Collect for Output and make sure you’ve included all the Fonts and Images used in your document. We only accept MACINTOSH versions of Quark.

PDF FILES DotPress is equipped to print from Macintosh computers only. Because of this all PC-based applications must be saved as PDF Files so that we can open them. PDF stands for Portable Document Format and is created by Adobe Acrobat, Adobe’s electronic publishing software for Windows, Mac OS, UNIX and DOS. If you are working on a PC and are using Word, PowerPoint, Corel Draw or Publisher PLEASE SAVE YOUR FILES AS A PDF.


CMYK is the process DotPress uses for all your jobs. This stands for the 4-color printing process that utilizings CYAN/MAGENTA/YELLOW and BLACK. Every color on your job will be created by blending these four colors. All your Photoshop and Illustrator files need to be converted to CMYK for us to successfully print your job.

BLEEDS refer to the way you layout your document. If there is any image, text, drawing or color that you want to continue all the way to the edge of your paper, then you have a BLEED on that side. The most bleeds you can have on a document is a 4-side bleed. For our products listed here, you may bleed on all 4 sides without affecting the cost; however, for certain custom jobs, bleeds may increase your cost because of set-up time and paper costs.

PAPER STOCK is a fun part of designing a job. There are many types of paper color, consistency and weight that will affect the way your final product looks. To keep our turnaround times quick and our costs low, DotPress prints all its jobs on 100#, 10pt 120t. This high quality, semi-glossy paper guarantees you a professional-looking product. If you would like your job printed on a different paper stock, you must contact DotPress and set up a custom order.

COLOR CHOICES In the printing and design world there are terms for color choices that you will frequently hear. 4/0 (‘four over zero’), 4/1 (‘four over one’) and 4/4 (‘four over four’) refer to how many colors you choose to use on each side of your job.

4/0 means four colors (CMYK) on one side and nothing on the back side.

4/1 means four colors (CMYK) on one side and one color (BLACK or one spot color) on the other side.**

4/4 means four colors (CMYK) on both sides.

**For all our products offered on this site, you may only use Black for your single color. To keep our costs and set-up time down we choose not to use PMS colors. A PMS color is a pre-mixed spot color created by ink companies such as Pantone. If you’d like to use PMS colors you may do so and submit your job as a custom order.

FINISHING refers to the way you might finish your job with either ink varnishes, special die cuts or embossing. All of our products here do not include special finishing. If you’d like your job to include any of these services contact us to set up a custom order.


PROBLEMS Once your file is submitted, the printing experts at DotPress will open your electronic file to ensure the piece meets the DotPress requirements for printing. If there is a problem with your file, you will be notified via E-mail with an explanation of what’s wrong. You then have the choice to fix the problem and re-submit your job, or request help from the DotPress Design Team for a fee of $75.00 per hour.

APPROVAL Your job will be posted online for you to view and approve before we print the job. You will not receive a printed proof.

TURN AROUND TIME Our standard turnaround time is 4 to 5 days, plus shipping. Standard shipping is 3-4 days via UPS Ground. For rush jobs, email us.

Contact a DotPress Sales Representative with additional concerns.