File Submission

Although most printing projects are unique, we’ve found the general guidelines outlined here will provide a good starting point for preparing art for printing at Infinity Images. Please contact your Infinity representative with any questions specific to your project.

File Formats

For best results, please supply native and layered files when creating artwork. Any additional elements like fonts, images, and graphics files should also be supplied with the layout files.

Layout Files

Adobe InDesign – versions up to CC2018 supported

Adobe Illustrator– versions up to CC2018 supported

Graphics Files

Photoshop (PSD), TIFF, JPEG – best formats for images

Illustrator (AI) & PDF – best for vector graphics

PDF Files

Recommended for linked graphics or low-resolution reference.

Note that PDF files submitted for final print-ready art may not be fully editable.

See the PDF File Submission section at the end of this document for details.

Layout Settings

Size

Set layout files up at 100% of final size whenever possible. Larger files can be built at 1/2, 1/4, or 1/8 scale if needed. Make sure to note any layouts that are not built at final size.

Bleed

To avoid problems with finishing or installation, make sure to add the appropriate amount of bleed to the outside edges of all artwork. The amount of bleed required will depend on the final size of the graphic. Small graphics (23”x36” or smaller) require 1/8” of bleed on each edge. Very large graphics (billboard sized murals) may need up to 1” or 2” of bleed on each edge.

Safety Area

Make sure to keep critical layout elements like logos, type or important image components out of areas that will get special finishing. These areas include hems, pole pockets, grommets and panel seams.

Resolution

Intended Viewing Distance

Keep the intended viewing distance of the final graphics in mind when calculating the image resolution needed for printing. Large graphics that will be viewed from a distance can be built with images that are much lower resolution than smaller, close-up graphics and still look great in the final installation.

Recommended Settings

Small graphics (36” x 48” or smaller): 150-240ppi at final size.

Medium graphics (36” x 48” to 60” x 120”): 120-180ppi at final size.

Large graphics (Murals or Large Banners): 75-120ppi at final size.

Transparency Effects

Although transparency effects can add impact to a design they often cause problems when output. For best results, follow the guidelines below:

Do not mix color spaces

CMYK graphics interacting with RGB images (or vice versa) can cause color shifts when output. Make sure to build all page elements that interact via transparency in only one color space.

Spot Colors

Transparency that interacts with spot colors (like Pantones) will often cause errors when processing for print. Converting all spot colors to process can help prevent problems.

Leave Transparency Intact

Don’t flatten transparency effects in images or layouts when submitting art. Leaving transparency effects “live” will allow us maximum flexibility in preparing your files for output.

Color Settings

Embed all ICC Profiles

Embedding color profiles into your image and layout files gives us a starting point for accurate color transformations when printing your files.

Working Spaces

We’ve found that the best profiles are AdobeRGB1998.icc for RGB and GRACoL2006_Coated1v2.icc for CMYK. We can also work with other color spaces you have defined if you have other preferences. The most important thing to remember is to tag your layout with a profile so we have a reference point for color.

Output Profiles

Do not convert images or layouts to an output profile (specific printer + media combo). Doing so targets the color of the file for that specific output device and can cause issues when repurposing files for output on a different printer.

Color Matching

Reference

If you have specific color matching requirements, please supply a color match proof or color swatches for reference before we start prepping your files.

Pleasing Color

In the absence of specific color matching instructions, we will use our color knowledge and experience to provide prints that are a pleasing color and match spot colors as closely as possible to Pantone standards. Please note that some colors may not be achievable on all output devices.

Reference

PDF Hardcopies

Provide a PDF or color hardcopy for layout reference with all file submissions. This helps us meet your expectations when outputting your files.

Proofs

PDF proofs will be provided for all files in order to ensure layouts are correct. Please note that PDF proofs are not color accurate and should not be used for approving color. If requested, we can provide either Epson or press proofs for color approval. Please consult with your Infinity representative for availability and pricing.

PDF File Submission

The PDF file format is an industry standard output file format that encapsulates all page elements – graphics, images and type – into a single file for exchange and output on a variety of systems.

Pros

Single file for output. Linked images and fonts are included in the PDF file.

Wide support. Almost all modern applications such as web browsers, graphics programs and RIP systems are able to read the PDF file format.

Cons

Limited editing capability. Page elements are targeted for output according to the settings made when creating the PDF and are not easily changed.

Potential color issues. Color is often targeted towards on-screen display, not print output, which can lead to unexpected results when printing.

Potential image resolution issues. Images are often downsampled for portability which can lead to a loss of resolution needed to print at a large scale.

Potential transparency issues. Transparency effects are often flattened to preserve appearance when a file is converted to PDF. This can cause problems when the file is output.

Editablity

Specialized Software Required

Since PDF is an output file format, special software is required to edit PDF files. Contrary to popular belief, Adobe Illustrator is not a PDF editor and can cause file issues when opening and interpreting PDF. We use a specialized PDF editor which gives us limited ability to make minor edits which include the following items:

Add or remove printer marks

Change spot colors

Edit bleed (if extra image exists in the file)

Correct minor typographic errors (if type has not been converted to outlines)

Recommendations

PDF files will work fine for printing simple graphics. These types of graphics consist of mostly type, have no images and lack complex finishing. Please make sure to add the appropriate bleed and leave printer marks turned off. Please consult with your Infinity Images representative for detailed file setup information.

For best results, avoid supplying PDF files for complex graphics that have images and/or transparency effects, or require finishing such as contour cutting, pole pockets or multiple panels. Supplying native files with all linked graphics and fonts gives us the ability to make any edits that may be necessary to output your files successfully.