Artwork Guidelines

To ensure our products are manufactured on time and to the highest quality, we have prepared the following guide to assist you with your electronic file preparation and submission. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this guide or any problems with your files.

Quick checklist

  • Each sheet of paper is two pages. The front page is page one, and the back side of the same sheet is page two. When you submit a multipage job, please be sure to order it correctly.
  • Colors are printed in CMYK mode. For critical color matching, please use the Pantone Color Bridge.
  • All relevant images, files, and fonts are embedded.
  • All fonts must be embedded or in the form of curves or outlines.
  • Margins, bleed, and safety space are correct.
  • Type should be clear and easy to read. A smaller point size can make text hard to read, so avoid using a type smaller than 8 points. Black text should never be set in Rich Black; use 100% K instead.
  • The artwork matches the specified dimensions, and you have separate files for the front and back of the item.

File Orientation

We always print on the head side of the page, so when you rotate your artwork, please use this guide to make sure it's oriented correctly.


To make things easier for you, we've put together design templates for each product. You can see a list of these templates here.


To avoid accidental cropping, we recommend keeping any relevant information and elements at least 1/8" away from the trim line. For optimal results, extend your artwork to at least 1/8" past the trim line so that there is no white space or borders surrounding your artwork after cutting. Until new files are supplied, files with less than 1/10th inch of bleed will be put on hold.

Learn more about bleed here.


Always take images with a resolution of 300 dpi or higher. Images that are taken directly from the web are usually 72 dpi or lower and will look blurry when printed. For more information about image resolution, click here.


We do not recommend using borders because they tend to shift slightly during the cutting process, making them look uneven. They should be at least 1/4" from the trim line if you insist on using them. Learn more here.

Color Matching

Because of the many variables involved in printing—variables that change from job to job—we do not offer color matching from run to run. We also do not attempt to match colors exactly as they appear on your screen. This shift is, for many reasons, the most common we cover here.

Rich Black

Rich black can add a dramatic touch, but sometimes it is too overpowering. Learn to choose the right color for the best results here.

Blue and Purple

When you're creating a color palette for a print project, take note of the difference between RGB and CMYK color ranges. Any differences between these ranges can result in color shifts when your design is printed. Here are some tips to avoid it.

RGB Color Shift

Please ensure that your file type is in CMYK mode before sending us your design. If you send us the image in RGB mode, there will be a color shift when it is converted to CMYK for printing. Click here to learn more.

Pantone Colors Issues

The way Pantone colors appear on your jobs varies depending on the other elements you're printing with them. For instance, shadows or transparency on top of a Pantone color can affect how it looks; so can converting a Pantone color to CMYK. Click here to learn more.

Font Problems

When printing, fonts can change or lose quality if you don't take the proper steps. Here we teach you what to do to avoid these problems.

Transparency Issues

It's easy to create unique effects with transparency in your designs, but sometimes they cause trouble when printed. If you want to learn more about it and how to fix them, click here.

Folding Types

At Optamark, we offer a wide variety of folding options for your brochures. The following pages will explain each option and help you choose the one that best suits your needs.

Making a PDF in Word or Publisher

If you're using Word or Publisher to create your design, follow these steps to save your work in PDF so you can send it to us in a high-quality and easy-to-read format. Just click these link Guidelines by File Type.

Please refer to the following guidelines for specific file requirements by application. If you have any questions, please contact our graphics department.

  • PDF or Portable Document Format (Our Preferred File Format)
  1. Files should vector CMYK files for best output.
  2. Fonts should be converted to curves or outlined.
  3. Transparencies should not be used
  • JPG, or Jpeg
  1. Files should be 300 dpi at 100% of the actual size for quality offset reproduction.
  2. Files should be saved at the highest resolution settings with the lowest compression to ensure they retain their quality.

Digital or Online Proofs

Once you place an order online, your file is sent to our online designer. The designer will represent the layout, design elements, bleed, margin, and safety space. You can view this proof by selecting "Design Preview" on the designer's proofing page. Please note that PDF Proofs are considered electronic soft proofs. These digital proofs are intended to show you the layout and design elements of your job, but cannot guarantee for color accuracy.

We offer free printed proofs here.