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Frequently asked Questions

1. What type of files may I send to LifeinColors?

We highly recommend saving as a PDF.  You may also send the files in the following types: .jpg, .jpeg, .psd, .tiff, .eps, .ai, .png, .idml and .indd.  We prefer that you send PDF and EPS files with fonts in outlines.  These files are easier to handle and send as well, it will likely speed up your turn-around time.

2. What color mode should my files be?

Your files should be in CMYK colors.  I understand that the colors may contain some variation when printing digitally.

If needed a Pantone (PMS) color, please submit in the specific PMS you wish to print in.  Please note: the PMS color should be in uncoated if the paper is uncoated and coated, if the paper has some coating on it.

3. What resolution should my files be?

We only accept 300 dpi files and no less.  Low resolution files may be printed as is or will be placed on hold until we receive new files, delaying your turn-around time.  Please ensure that your images are 300 dpi.

4. How should I set up my bleeds and crop marks?

When sending your files, please make sure you include crop marks so that we may cut the job correctly.  Crop marks are also known as trim marks, they are little lines that ensure where we will cut the paper.  Please keep all text or anything you do not wish to trim at least 0.125 inches away from the cut line.

5. Should you include borders on your orders?

We highly recommend not to have borders on your printed item.  Since we cut through many sheets at a time, there is a slight chance of movement in the artwork, creating an off balanced look on your border.

If you need to have a border, please keep a distance from the cut line so that it won't be trimmed out.

6. How can I avoid transparency issues?

To prevent this, never use shadows, glows, or any other transparency (image or otherwise) on top of a spot color.  Always convert your spot color to CMYK and flatten before sending.

7. Should I send a proof or a sample file?

When sending artwork, if you must include a proof or sample file, please indicate that on the file name.  If you do not specify the name, it may be added to the production queue.  

8. What is overprint, and how can it ruin my file?

Primarily used to intentionally overlap inks for a number of reasons, overprint can cause unexpected results.  We suggest that you turn all overprint objects off before submitting your files.

9. Can I submit a front and back in the same file?

Sure, please make sure that the files are not in spreads, but individual files.  So, if submitting 1 PDF, you should have 2 pages minimum within the PDF.


For multi-page files, please submit 1 PDF with bleed, crop marks and in pages, not spreads.

10. How should I set up a spot UV job?

When creating a Spot UV job, you must include a Spot UV file along with the regular color file.  The Spot UV file, is used to show where the UV will be placed.  Use 100% black in vectors, to indicate which area is needed in UV.  

11. How can I ensure my blues don't come out purple?

When using blue in your design, always make sure to leave at least a 30% difference in your Cyan and Magenta values: 100% C, 70% M, 0% Y, 0% K

12. How do I export a PDF correctly?

When exporting from any program sich as InDesign or Illustrator, select the Press Quality preset, make sure that "Compress Text and Line Art" remains unchecked, and that the compatibility is set to "Acrobat 4 (PDF1.3)".

Under Marks and Bleed section, please check the box that says Trim Marks.  In the same section, there is also a box marked Used Document Bleed Settings which also needs to be checked.

13. How do I get a grayscale image in a CMYK file?

Grayscale images that are converted to CMYK will have a color shift in the final print.  That shift may end up green or yellow.  Always check the CMYK values of your grayscale in the final CMYK document.  If there are other values other than black in your grayscale image, there is a chance that the color will vary.

14. What is rich black and how can I get it?

Rick black is an ink mixture of solid black, 100% K, with an additional CMY ink values.  This results in a darker tone than black ink alone.  If you print black alone as 100% K, the resulting black may not be as dark as you may like.  We recommend using: 60% C, 40% M, 40% Y, 100% K.  This will give you a deep, dark and rich black.

15. What is banding?

Many things can cause banding.  Banding can be caused by the program that the product is exported from, such as InDesign.  Also, too many gradient steps, for example, going from a very light color to rather sudden dark color can cause banding.  If you use a gradient, please make sure it has enough room for a smooth transition.

16. Why does my business card crack around the edges?

Cracking of the edges of a business card sometimes occurs when the card contains high values of ink, as in dark colors.  This usually happens on a small amount of cards in the run.  To prevent cracking, use lighter colors or if you must use dark colors, use as little ink as possible.

17. Why is there cracking on my scoring job?

When a job is coated with UV then scored and folded, the job may be bound to crack.  During use, the cracks will become bigger and the ink may start to chip off.  Cracking is normal when the coated jobs are scored and folded.  Ordering the job without UV can help, but will not prevent it.

18. How can Pantone colors affect my order?

Pantone colors can affect your order when not printing in Pantone.  These files, will be converted in CMYK automatically and can affect the final color.  All our normal printing is done in CMYK, unless a Pantone match is specified.  

19. How do I set up an envelope with bleed?

Envelopes with bleed need at least a 1/16 inch over bleed and color wrap onto the back of the envelope to allow for movement throughout the bindery process.  It is normal for the artwork on the finished envelopes to vary slightly from one place to another because of movement during the run.  This movement could vary up to 1/8 inch.

20. How do I use the LifeinColors templates?

Our templates are a great tool to create artwork that can be printed faster, easier and more accurately.  We have our PDF files which can be opened in Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop to create your masterpiece.

Please do not leave the template in the background and save as JPG as they will print with the template information.

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