Sending electronic files
The following guidelines are offered to assist people with questions rather than to form a rigid prescription. Please don't hesitiate to ask us for help if you are confused.
Email or upload?
The easiest way to send a file is by attaching it to an email message. However, large attachments are sometimes stripped en route. So, if your files will add more than 10 Mb to each email or, say, 20 in total it is best to use our upload page or send them on disk.
To cover most design contingencies, we normally ask for images of sufficient resolution to roughly cover a minimum of an A5 page (i.e. half an A4 page) at 300pixels/inch resolution ("300ppi" or "300dpi").
Three other ways of expressing our size requirement include:
1. North American paper: Minimum of half-letter size, say roughly 8x6 inches, at 300ppi.
2. Pixels: Minimum of roughly 3.5 megapixels or 1600 x 2200 pixels at any resolution (dimensions will vary with image shape).
3. Uncompressed file size: 10-11 Megabytes for RGB or 14-15 Mb for CMYK at any resolution (compressed file size on disk may be much smaller, especially for JPEGs).
If you do not have a file of this magnitude, send what you have. Chances are it will be enough. Please don't attempt to stretch a smaller file to make it bigger.
Files larger than the above are most welcome, either submitted on disk or online and suitably compressed (see below).
If you don't understand the following just ignore it:
Both RGB and CMYK images are acceptable. RGB is preferred if your image is not already digitised to minimise file size and because it allows our designers to nominate certain press settings themselves (total ink, dot gain, etc). However, we do receive CMYK images, and if yours is already in this colour space, please submit it as such.
1. Photographs, paintings, etc (raster images)
The best format for an online submission, either via email or upload is a high-quality JPEG. If (and only if) your image is not already saved as a JPEG, we recommend saving it at the following settings:
Photoshop 6 to C*: "Save As" JPEG, quality level 10 or 11, "baseline optimised".
Photoshop 5 or lower: "Save As" JPEG, quality level 8 or 9, "baseline optimised".
Other software often uses a geometric percentage scale: select 90-95% JPEG quality.
If your image is already in JPEG format saved at a different or unknown quality setting, do not re-save it to match our suggestions. Just submit it as is (re-saving JPEGs at different settings degrades them).
If you prefer to submit your image online as a TIFF, EPS, or other format, try to compress it in some way (LZW, zip, stuffit, etc).
For submission on disk, a TIFF is best, either compressed or not. EPS format is also fine and, as mentioned above, JPEG is best if the file is already in JPEG format.
2. Logos, digital drawings, digital diagrams, etc (vector images)
Vector artwork is best submitted as an EPS or PDF file. In and EPS file, please make sure that any lettering is either converted to curves or that fonts are included. If the file size is large, please zip or stuff it before sending it online. Likewise, if lettering is used in PDF vector files, please make sure that it is either converted to curves or that the appropriate font subsets are embedded within the PDF. We can probably handle any other format you might have. Please ask us.
3. Composite raster-vector designs (page spreads, advertisements, etc)
Page layouts, ads, etc can be submitted on disk either as EPS files or as PDFs. In each case make sure that images are included in their high-resolution state, and that any necessary fonts are either embedded or included.
PDFs are ideal for both disk and online submissions when correctly generated by an informed operator who has paid attention to Acrobat Distiller job options, selecting conversion settings that are suitable for press.
If your layouts are in native InDesign or QuarkXpress format and you are unable to save them as EPS or PDF files, please ask us.
Go to our upload page.