Frequently Asked Questions
What are your art specifications for folded pieces?
What is your preferred method to receive art files?
What file types do you accept?
Does Ai have in-house fulfillment?
What are the dimensions of a letter size mail piece?
- Not less than 5 inches long, 3-1/2 inches high, and 0.007-inch thick.
- Not more than 11-1/2 inches long, or more than 6-1/8 inches high, or more than 1/4-inch thick.
- Not more than 3.5 ounces (First-Class Mail letter-size pieces over 3.5 ounces pay flat-size prices).
- Rectangular, with four square corners and parallel opposite sides. Letter-size, card-type mailpieces made of cardstock may have finished corners that do not exceed a radius of 0.125 inch (1/8 inch).
What are the address placement boundaries on a letter-size piece?
- Left: 1/2 inch from the left edge of the piece.
- Right: 1/2 inch from the right edge of the piece.
- Top: 2-3/4 inches from the bottom edge of the piece.
- Bottom: 5/8 inch from the bottom edge of the piece.
- Download a visual guide for these boundaries.
How do I export a .pdf correctly?
How should I attach Fonts?
How do I get a grayscale image in a CMYK document?
How can I make sure my blues do not come out purple?
Image Resolution and Size
Common Image and Color Issues
Single Pages vs. Spreads
Also be aware of margins and copy too close to trims or folds/binding. If you have borders, the thinner they are, the more likely you will notice any slight variations once it is trimmed. The same goes for copy, like folios that are very close to the trims. And the more pages in a book, it becomes even more apparent. We have adjustments to compensate for such things, but there are always variances. For example, if our cutter is 1/64” off on a 1/4” margin, you likely won’t notice. But the same 1/64” on a 1/16” margin will stand out.
Install and use the latest software updates.
Move all objects that don’t interact with transparency to the top layer of the document (On a separate layer, above the transparent items. Transparency will affect all that is below it). Text is a good example here. Any characters that are overlapped by a shadow, or other transparent object, will be rasterized and appear ‘fatter’ than the rest of the copy.
Be careful when you mix spot colors with transparency. Spot colors may display colors on process plates or convert to process. Some prepress software may inadvertently misinterpret flattened EPS files, which results in converting spot colors to process. In this case, do not use EPS; export PDFs from native files WITHOUT flattening OR convert spot colors to 4-Color Process and export either flattened or with native transparency intact (PDF).
Be aware of your Flattener Presets and your Transparency Blend Space, as they will definitely affect your output. If your images are CMYK (Ai preference) and your Transparency Blend Space is RGB, or vice versa, your color will be affected when processed. We suggest saving your images as CMYK and setting your Transparency Blend Space to CMYK as well. We have included on this site our custom settings for Flattener Presets, which we have found to solve MOST issues when saving flattened files.
Be careful when adding color to a picture box to colorize the image or its background; it is preferable that the assigned picture fill the entire box. Even without transparency, this can sometimes cause the background to print differently where the picture is from where it doesn’t fill the picture box. If there is some form of transparency applied, then there most certainly will be a tonal difference there.
Take a look at your file in Overprint Preview Mode for the best representation of how it will print. This should show you how the transparencies interact with the other objects on the page.
Exceptions for our Digital Workflow – Due to the nature of our Digital Workflow, there are some exceptions that require different specs than our conventional workflow.
Solid Blacks – Due to the digital presses using toners instead of ink, and the order in which the toners go onto the stock, large solid black areas should be BLACK ONLY.
Transparency – We prefer that files supplied for digital printing be flattened. Please read our Transparency Tips to help ensure your best results.
It is always best to know how your job will print before you prepare/save your files. We understand that is not always the case. If you are ever unsure of how to prepare or save your files we will gladly assist you. You can also send us the native application files and let us print them as we need to print them.