Graphic concepts maintains a large library of fonts. However, to be certain that we match the font you desire exactly, please include both screen and printer fonts for each font used in your document. These should be placed in a separate folder/sub-directory named "Fonts." Graphic Concepts only accepts Type I fonts on the Macintosh. Files containing Type I and TrueType fonts are acceptable in Windows files.

Process & Spot Colors

Please be sure to define all colors as process colors, not spot colors. In some programs, when you create a new color, it is defined as a spot color by default. Printing the file as separations is a good way of checking that all the colors have been defined correctly as process.

Printing B&W Proofs

Please provide composite and separated proofs with your file. Printing separations ensures that elements are separating on the correct plate. Your separated proof should provide a page for each of the CMYK colors. If more than four pages are generated while printing your separated proof, you have probably included one or more spot colors in your file. Please go back and assure that all colors are process/CMYK. The proofs should be from the revision of the file you are sending. Differences in the file we receive and an out-of-date proof lead to confusion and delays.

Printing Color Proofs

Though many of today's color printers and digital color proofing systems generate excellent detail and bright colors, none of these systems provides an accurate representation of the final process color piece. Use the Pantone, TrueMatch or Agfa swatch books to see how the colors you select will reproduce with process inks.


Most desktop programs allow you to create bleeds simply by running your graphics image beyond the edges of the page. Set your images to print 1/8 inch beyond the edge of your final printed pieces.


Do not trap your files. Graphic Concepts will take care of the trapping for you. It is important that all files used to create the document are enclosed and in a format that can be trapped. If the document contains Freehand EPSF files, the original Freehand files must be included.


In programs that convert RGB to CMYK (e.g., Photoshop), use UCR if possible. GCR limits the amount of control the pressman has in adjusting the inks to achieve the correct colors. Use the minimum amount of GCR allowed on colorful images.

Halftoning Information

Some programs allow you to specify the line screen (lpi), angle, and dot shape and save this information in the file. Do not use any of these options. Specifying the incorrect options may lead to moire patterns in your printed piece. We'll set the correct options when outputting your file.

Transfer Function

Do not use this function if your program provides it. The transfer function is used for calibration, so that the requested dot percentage is the same dot percentage reproduced on film. Our imagesetter is calibrated daily with a transfer function optimized for our printing presses. Any transfer function embedded in a file will override this calibration and will not produce optimum results.

Line Weight

Line weights should be explicitly defined as .25 pt or larger. Lines smaller than .25 pt may become invisible and/or inconsistent. Some programs define a hairline as .25 points while others define it as the smallest line the output device prints. Never select hairline. The line weight your software package uses may be invisible.

Clipping Paths

Beware of clipping paths. Clipping paths are very memory intensive. Images clipped with complex paths may not print on the imagesetter even if they print on your laser printer. Fewer calculations are required to print a clipping path on a 300 dpi printer than on a 2540 dpi imagesetter. A few ways to avoid complex paths:

Black Limit

Black Limit (BL) should be set between 75% and 90%. This defines the maximum percentage of black printed in the darkest part of any photograph. On uncoated/matte paper use a black limit of 75-80% and for coated paper use 85%-90%.

Nesting Files

Don't nest EPSF files in EPSF files more than two deep. EPSF files nested too deeply may not get the required fonts downloaded when printed.

Dot Gain

Dot Gain is a phenomenon where halftone dots get bigger due to expansion caused by the press blankets and the ink absorption and spreading in the paper. A 20% dot gain setting is recommended for gloss paper, 22% for matte and slightly higher for uncoated stocks.

Total Ink Coverage

Total Ink Coverage (TIC) should be 280 to 320%. This sets the allowable CMYK values for the darkest color. In theory, 400% total ink coverage (C: 100%, M: 100%, Y: 100%, K: 100%) could be used, but in the real world this is not recommended. On uncoated or matte paper, the TIC should be around 280%, while on gloss coated paper, around 320%.


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