The following is the information you need for designing a postcard. Please use the following checklist when submitting art. PostcardMania® cannot be responsible for art that does not follow our specs.
CD • E-mail • Upload your art directly to us
Include only the files needed to produce your job. Please label all disks. When e-mailing art, put your company name in the subject line. This will prevent delays in receiving your art. Stuff or Zip your artwork to allow smaller files and safer transmission.
Whenever possible, include a hard copy of your art so we can see what it is supposed to look like.
ACCEPTABLE PROGRAMS AND FILE FORMATS:
- PDF (PREFERRED) (Prepress Quality, embedded fonts, Bleed included)
- EPS (with fonts converted to outlines/curves/paths)
- TIFF (300-350 dpi)
- JPG (Maximum Quality - at least 300 dpi) These will be converted to a TIF before printing.
- BMP (1200 dpi)
- INDESIGN or QuarkXPRESS (include all fonts & support files plus hard copy or PDF to check art)
- PHOTOSHOP (at least 300 dpi)
- ILLUSTRATOR (with fonts converted to outlines)
WE DO NOT ACCEPT THESE FILE FORMATS AS ART:
- MICROSOFT PUBLISHER
- MICROSOFT WORD, WORKS, EXCEL, POWERPOINT, WORD PERFECT
- NATIVE COREL DRAW OR FREEHAND (save as EPS with fonts converted to curves/paths)
NOTE: We will accept files from the above if saved as a hi-res PDF with bleed included.
- FILM OR OTHER SIMILAR "CAMERA READY" ART is not accepted.
If your art needs to be remade to comply with our specs, call your Sales Rep for a quote.
- Standard Card - 6 x 4.25
- Double Card - 8.5 x 6
- Rack Card - 9 x 4
- Custom-Sized Cards: Other sizes accepted but there may be an extra charge. Ask your sales rep for quote.
For art that Bleeds (color goes to the edges) - Add an extra 1/8 inch to each side that bleeds. For example, a standard card (6 x 4.25) that bleeds on each side, make your canvas size 6.25 x 4.5 (1/8 inch x 2 sides). Remember: this extra 1/8 inch will be trimmed off so put type or critical art no closer than 1/4 inch from the bleed edge. (Or 1/8 inch from the trim edge).
We are printing with sheet fed, 4 color process presses.
• Front (glossy side): CMYK (NO RGB or PANTONE COLORS)
• Back: Black & White or Greyscale (unless special ordering color on the back. Ask your sales rep for quote)
• Color Matching: Colors you see on your monitor or output from most inkjet printers will NOT accurately reflect the actual colors we print on our CMYK 4-color process printing. If you are concerned about color, purchase a color proof from us to review before we go to print.
We'll do all our best to match colors but because of variations inherent in the printing process we cannot guarantee an exact match.
Remember: The PDF proofs we provide are only an approximation of the colors and are not exact. PostcardMania will try to warn you about files that do not match your color printout but cannot be held responsible for color differences when a high quality color proof has not been provided.
Keep art type or critical design at least 1/8 inch from the trimmed edge. Blade shift when cutting the cards is unavoidable. We don't want your message to be cut off. We strongly suggest you do not use a border around your image, as we cannot guarantee "straightness" and "evenness" for the same reason. We are not responsible for designs that do not follow these guidelines.
If your art bleeds, see section on Bleeds for setup.
When providing art in a program that requires we use fonts - please include the fonts with your art. However, we recommend providing a high PDF of your art to avoid typical problems with fonts.
Scan photos as close to the finished size as possible. Resolution should be 300-350 dpi. Scans at lower resolutions may print fuzzy and scans at higher resolutions may be cumbersome as files are large with no added quality. One Color Bitmap images should be scanned at 1200 dpi.
NOTE: When scanning from a PRINTED piece, the scan will show ink dots that result in a poor quality image. Try to use original art whenever possible.
If purchasing images from a stock photo house, make sure that you buy a high resolution image (at least 300 dpi). The file should be approximately 9 megs in size for a standard postcard.
DO NOT USE IMAGES PULLED FROM A WEBSITE.
They may look okay on your monitor and inkjet printer but they are low resolution and will print poorly on a four color press. The better quality the original image the better quality the finished product.
Take your pictures at the highest quality setting possible. We recommend 5 megapixel cameras or higher set to "fine".
WHEN BLACK IS NOT REALLY BLACK?
When printing black that is made up of 100 percent black on the color side of the card, the black may appear slightly grey and may show lines when other images are layered underneath the black layer.
To solve this and create a very dark black on the colored side of your card, we recommend using a RICH BLACK. The CMYK settings for Rich Black are: C-40 M-0 Y-0 K-100. Be sure if you are placing an image with a black background on top of another black area, that the blacks have the same color breakdowns. If they are a different color black, it may not show up on your monitor but will be obvious when printed.
Keep TYPE on both front and back at 100% black.
NOTE: If you want color on the back (non glossy) side of your card, this is a special order. Check with your sales rep for pricing.
GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT RULE
We reserve the right to refuse to print art that does not follow our art guidelines. If we feel your art will print poorly, but you want to use it anyway, you may be required to sign a waiver before we proceed.