We prefer that you send .PDF with embedded or outlined fonts. .PDF’s are easier to handle and will likely speed up your turn-around. Remember to flatten your files before uploading.
THESE COLORS ARE IN RGB
THESE ARE THE SAME COLORS BUT IN CMYK
Low resolution files may be printed as is or will be placed on hold until we receive new files, slowing your turn-around.
THESE ARE 72 DPI LOW RES IMAGES
THESE ARE THE SAME IMAGES BUT AT 300 DPI
We only accept 300 dpi files and no less.
Bleed must extend past the cut-line and will be trimmed from the product during the final cutting phase. When the image is required to extend all the way to the edge, bleed is needed to preserve the finished look and the quality of the final product.
Please keep all text at least 0.125″ inside the cut-line.
– The bleed for Standard Products is 0.125″.
– The bleed for Booklets and Presentation Folders is 0.25″.
– For Grand4mat Products, please send us an email for individual substrate guides.
We recommend using our templates at all times.
Yes, but if the border is too close to the cutline, it may be cut off-centre slightly.
We cut through many sheets at a time, so watch your borders to avoid an unwanted mistake.
4C Digital requires Print Ready files with proper rotation. Files submitted are printed HEAD to HEAD as-is based off your files
Make sure to set up your files so that when we print them HEAD to HEAD the final product will read the way you would like. Also, front and back files need to be set up either both sides vertically or both sides horizontally.
If you would like your back file to be upside down, please send your artwork as shown below.
If you have a fold-over or greeting card, please send your artwork as shown.
For files not properly set up, 4C Digital will use best judgment and will not be responsible for improper rotation.
Any transparency issue can be resolved before saving your file.
|What a transparency problem looks like on screen…||After a transparency problem is printed…|
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.
SHADOWS GLOWS TRANSPARENCY
All of these effects will cause transparency problems.
When sending artwork, do not send extra files, like proofs or samples, because they might get printed. Only send the files you need printed.
DO NOT SEND THESE KINDS OF FILES
We are not responsible for these kinds of files being printed. Unless requested by one of our employees, DO NOT send files that you do not want printed.
ON SCREEN VIEW AFTER PRINTING
In this case the logo was set to overprint. The colors from logo are mixing with the colors from the background. Unexpected results may occur if you have accidentally set certain objects to overprint. Always check logos and other artwork before submitting.
No. We are now specifically set up to process one side at a time, and this requires that each side of a job must be on a separate file.
- 2 FILES – 1FR, 1BK 1 FILE – FR&BK
Not separating files will cause delays and you might have to send the files again. Remember to separate the pages of your .pdf files as well.
When creating a Spot UV job, you must include a Spot UV template file along with the regular print file. The Spot UV template file is used to show where the UV coating needs to be applied.
For better quality we recommend creating mask files in vector based programs such as Illustrator or CorelDRAW.
Please only use solid 100% K to indicate where you would like the UV. Do not use shadows, glows or grayscale images. White will indicate no UV.
Remember, if it’s white, you can write!
100% C 100% M 0% Y 0% K
Blue is close to purple in the CMYK spectrum. Remember, use a low amount of magenta whenever using high amounts of cyan to avoid purple.
EXAMPLE: C-100 M-70 Y-0 K-0
EXPORT SETTINGS FOR .PDF FILES
Adobe PDF Preset is set to: Press Quality
Compatibility is set to: Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3)
Compress Text and Line Art is set to: Off
Grayscale images that are converted to CMYK will have a color shift in the final print. That shift may be green or yellow.
- GRAYSCALE ON SCREEN GRAYSCALE AFTER PRINT
Always check the CMYK values of your grayscale in the final CMYK document. If there are other values other than K in your grayscale image, there is a chance that the color will vary.
To eliminate all values other than K, use your Channel Mixer (adjustment layer) in Photoshop, then click “Monochrome” and adjust accordingly.
Rich black is an ink mixture of solid black, 100% K, with 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 might like.
100% K ON SCREEN
100% K AFTER PRINT
We recommend using
C 60 M 40 Y 40 K 100
This will give you a deep, dark, rich black.
Cracking of the edges of a business card sometimes occurs when the card contains high values of ink, as in dark colors.
CLOSE UP OF BUSINESS CARD
This usually happens on a small amount of cards in the run. To prevent this, use lighter colors or if you must use dark colors, use as little ink as possible.
Many things can cause banding. Banding can be caused by the program that it is exported from, such as Indesign or Corel. Also, too many gradient steps, for example going from a very light color to a dark color, in a small area will cause banding.
CLOSE UP OF BANDING
To prevent this, check your digital files before sending. If you use a gradient, make sure it has enough room for a smooth transition.
When a job is coated with UV then scored and folded the job may begin to crack. During use, the cracks will become bigger and the ink may start to chip off.
CLOSE UP SCORING
Cracking is normal when coated jobs are scored and folded. Ordering the job without UV will help but may not prevent this. As the job is used and folded more and more, cracking will eventually happen.
There are three different ways Pantone colors can affect the way your job prints.
The first is by object effects, such as shadows or glows, on top of your Pantone colors. Here is what the effects will look like on screen:
Here is what the effect looks like after printing:
As you can see, when a Pantone color is under these object effects, transparency issues show up during printing. To avoid this, convert all your Pantone colors into CMYK before submitting your order.
The second way Pantone colors can affect your file is when you use transparent images. Here is what a transparent image looks like on screen:
Here is what a transparent image looks like after printing:
You can see the image is no longer transparent on top of the Pantone color. These white areas will show up during printing. To fix this issue, convert all your Pantone colors into CMYK. This must be done before submitting the order.
The last way Pantone colors can affect your order is the color conversion between a Pantone color and CMYK. If you use Pantone colors in a job that will print CMYK, your job might print with undesirable colors.
Here are some examples of what the Pantone color looks like in the Pantone color book and what the CMYK print will look like:
If you send in a job with Pantone colors, the CMYK conversion will change the Pantone color. Before sending your order, make sure all Pantone colors have been converted to CMYK.
Our Certified Templates are a great tool to create artwork that can be printed faster, easier, and more accurately. If you are using Illustrator, you can use our specialized EPS templates. If you are using something other then Illustrator, download the JPG version.
Here is what each of the lines mean inside the template:
Here is what an 8.5×11 brochure template looks like:
These templates will help you identify where the cut line, bleed line, and safety line, are located along with other information so you can design your art correctly.
Some of our templates are labeled as OUT and IN. This means that there is some folding involved with the template. OUT means the FRONT of the job and IN means the BACK. During the upload part of your order, remember that OUT is the FRONT and IN is the BACK.
Here is an example of the fold-over business card template:
As you can see, OUT is the FRONT of the job and after folding, will be facing outward. You can also see the rotation of the job. The front must be positioned upside down so it can fold correctly.
Remember, do not move or change any part of the template when using them.
ESR quantities start from 25-250 and are printed on brand new, high tech digital equipment.
Our brand new Digital color presses are in a different class. The print quality of digital prints exceed professional standards. Here are a few facts about Digital Color Printing:
– Tests show digital quality matches offset.
– Digital printing offers larger color gamut.
– Print buyers find digital quality interchangeable with offset quality.
– Today, many showcase applications are printed digitally.
– Digital printing is more affordable for short runs, due to very low set up cost.
*disclaimer: Occasionally, quantities of up to 5000 and more might be printed using digital color technology in order to meet turnaround deadlines
When designing plastic cards, it is important to keep in mind that the frosted and clear plastic cards are transparent. Also, all plastic cards come with round corners at no extra charge!
As you can see, the difference in the transparency is shown in the image above. The clear cards (right) are completely transparent. The frosted cards (center) are semi-transparent and cannot be seen through easily. The opaque white plastic cards (left) are solid white and not transparent at all. Keep this in mind when designing your plastic cards, it will affect how your design will print.
- Printing on Clear and Frosted Plastic Cards will come out slightly lighter than average compared to other stocks. This is due to the plastic itself and is not a production issue.
- When setting up a rich black value, please make sure to use C 60 M 40 Y 40 K 100 values. Do not use all 100 since it will cause problems and will not print any darker on plastic.
Since there is no white ink in CMYK, it is important to keep in mind that the frosted and clear plastic cards are transparent. The three designs above are the same as in the first picture. You will notice that the white area in the clear cards (right) and the frosted cards (center) has no ink and will show the transparent material it’s printed on. In this case, the clear cards and frosted cards white area show up with no ink on the printed piece. Also, keep in mind that all colors that are printed on clear cards or frosted cards will be transparent as well.
With the clear plastic cards, there might be a small percentage that may have light scratches. This issue originates from the manufacturer and is due to the material and handling. To help compensate for this, we run overs of the clear plastic cards to help meet the required quantity.
Clear plastic cards will come with a thin protective layer on one side that can be peeled off. This is to prevent the cards from scratching during packaging and shipping.
We offer 1/4″ and 1/8″ radius round corners to all of our customers. The image below shows the two different radiuses for comparison.
With Akuafoil, you can turn a wide range of CMYK colors into multi-colored foils. Akuafoil uses a special processed foil system that is applied under a 4/c process to create an array of foil colors. It’s simple, affordable, and makes your prints stand out from the crowd.
For an Akuafoil job, you must include an Akuafoil mask file along with your CMYK file. The mask file indicates where the Akuafoil will be applied. The file setup is the same as Spot UV. Use 100% K where Akuafoil needs to be applied and white where the Akuafoil is not applied.
As shown above, the file on the left is the normal CMYK print file. If you want the logo to be Akuafoil, then your Akuafoil mask file should look like the file on the right. The white indicates no Akuafoil and black 100% K indicates where the Akuafoil will be applied. When uploading, please remember to upload separate files.
Here are some more things to keep in mind when creating your Akuafoil artwork:
Make sure the mask and CMYK print file are aligned. They should match exactly in size and position.
- Akuafoil works best on lighter colors. The darker the CMYK color, the less vibrant the Akuafoil effect.
- Do not use very thin or small text and artwork with Akuafoil. Use San Serif fonts above 12 point for best results.
- If you have Akuafoil applied to a white area, it will have a plain silver Akuafoil look.
- For better quality we recommend creating mask files in vector based programs such as Illustrator or CorelDRAW.
If you would like plain silver Akuafoil to print, make sure to have at least 15% K in the CMYK print file area in order to obtain the highest quality silver Akuafoil effect.
When creating knockouts in the Akuafoil mask or in the CMYK print file, please be aware that there might be a “Halo” of white around the knockout area. Below are two examples: On the left, a file with a CMYK magenta background and a knockout for the Akuafoil text. On the right, an Akuafoil background with a knockout for the CMYK text.
CMYK KNOCKOUT W/AKUAFOIL FILL
CMYK print File
AKUAFOIL KNOCKOUT W/CMYK FILL
CMYK print File
These are the printed results:
CMYK KNOCKOUT W/AKUAFOIL FILL
AKUAFOIL KNOCKOUT W/CMYK FILL
You can see the white “Halo” in-between the CMYK ink and the Akuafoil. To prevent this, grow/stroke the Akuafoil area in the mask by 1 point. This will allow the Akuafoil to bleed into the CMYK area, reducing the white “Halo” effect. You can also fill in the knockout with a color to reduce the effect further.
4D Prints is a Lenticular product that allows you to have two or three different pictures in one. We take your images and create a swapping effect, each image vanishing and then reappearing from one to another as you move it up and down. There is a backing that can also be printed in normal 4 color process. Total thickness with both plastic 4D viewer and backing is 21pt. Only the front side will have the 4D effect.
Our lenticular sheets are 75 LPI. LPI means Lenticules Per Inch.
Below is an example of the front of a 4D print. Click the Transition / Flip button to see it in action.
(Click the button to view the transition)
As you can see above, your images will transition from one to another as you move the card up and down. At the moment, only a vertical transition or flip is available for order.
We require regular .125″ bleed for 4D prints. The total bleed should be .125″ added to the cut size. For example, if you are ordering a business card the final size you should upload is 3.625 x 2.125. The files should still be CMYK and 300dpi as normal. There are some other rules you should follow as well when setting up the front of a 4D card
- – Dark solid colored and/or textured backgrounds work well.
- – White and light colored areas are transparent, other views / flips will show through white areas causing a ghosting effect. White and light colored areas only work well if each view has white/light colors in the exact same area.
- – Use bold san sarif fonts.
- – Avoid small, fine and thin type. Fonts get distorted through the lens / plastic surface, so the bolder the better.
- – Text that varies from view to view / file to file should NOT overlap, it should be in different positions on each view.
- – 4D effect works best when the variation from image to image is subtle and simple.
Another thing to keep in mind is how many files will be uploaded. It depends if you pick a two or three image transition.
Two Image Flip:
- 4/0 = Two images for the front only
- 4/4 = Two images for the front, one image for the back
Three Image Flip:
- 4/0 = Three images for the front only
- 4/4 = Three images for the front, one image for the back
After ordering, you will be emailed a notification to approve your order. With the use of the con4mation tool, it will be easy to confirm your 4D print. It will show you a preview of how the Transition / Flip will look before printing.
Booklets are a little more complex to design. Also, if you have artwork you created from another company, it might not meet 4C Digital rules. For best results, please download our templates available here.
Here are rules to follow when creating your Booklets:
• Page counts start on the cover as page 1, inside cover as page 2 and so on.
• Total bleed is .25” and total Safety is .5”. For example, an 8.5×11 booklet with bleed should be 8.75×11.25 total. This allows us to set up your crossovers properly.
• Only single pages will be accepted. NO readers OR printers spreads.
• We prefer a multipage PDF but single page files are also ok.
Our page counts for booklets start on the cover as page 1, inside cover as page 2 and so on. In the example below, you will see a 8pg booklet. Each page will show the page number. Click and hold the page corners to turn the page. This is also reflected in our templates.
Crossovers are common in booklets and require extra attention. A Crossover is an image, text or other graphic element that goes from one page to another.
Below you can see a good example of how to create crossovers:
Good Booklet Crossover
Designers must pay close attention to the crossover design and make sure it is as seamless as possible on the finished piece. Also, do not use text or thin lines as crossovers. Big pictures work best.
Note: Due to the nature of saddle stitch binding, crossovers may not line up 100% on the final booklet.
Artwork done in Indesign or other layout software as spreads or facing pages must be saved out as single page pdfs. When creating your design, keep this in mind especially when doing crossovers. The easiest way is to create the bleed is when creating your document. Below are instructions on how to create your document in Indesign.
When creating your document, make your page size the cut size and your margin size .25” for safety for a .5” total:
Then, click the More Options button on the right. It will reveal Bleed and Slug settings below. Enter .125” as the bleed for a total of .25”:
Your Indesign document is now ready for proper booklet layout. You should see proper bleed and safety guidelines:
When your ready to export your booklet as PDF, make sure to Use Document Bleed Settings in the Marks and Bleeds menu:
After submitting your booklet, you will receive an email from our online booklet proofing system called Fourte. This system will allow you to double check all the pages and make sure they are in the correct order. There you can approve or decline and re-upload pages if you need to. You will also be able to preview your booklet as if it was printed and bound.
Bundling offers the convenience of sorting print orders into predetermined quantities for ease of use by you, your customers or for EDDM purposes. Orders will be bundled in quantities of either 50 or 100 pieces and they will be banded in accordance with USPS EDDM banding requirements.
- Processing time for bundling your product may not be included in the turnaround time that you select when placing your order.
- Please add 1 to 2 days to your turnaround time for this service.
- The type of band we use may vary per facility subject to availability (Paper band shown below).
- The maximum quantity offered for bundling is 25,000 pieces.
(Paper band shown below)
Bright Silver Metallic – 2mil
Bright Silver Metallic comes standard in a 2mil thickness. Offering excellent tear strength and opacity, these mirror-like labels are heat and chemical resistant and are suitable for application on a variety of surfaces. We recommend them for indoor use. We offer white ink as a 5th color. Please see FAQ #9 below for details on how to set up your artwork with white ink prior to uploading.
Clear BOPP – 2.3mil
Clear BOPP is made of Glossy Clear Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene with a permanent adhesive that sticks well to a variety of surfaces. BOPP is oil and water resistant but we only recommended it for indoor use. We offer white ink as a 5th color. Please see FAQ #9 below for details on how to set up your artwork with white ink prior to uploading.
Eggshell Felt – 70lb, 6.3mil
70lb Eggshell Felt features a distinct texture, high opacity and excellent ink holdout. This facestock also contains 30% post consumer waste content making it an excellent choice for eco-friendly applications. It is manufactured with wet strength properties to increase performance in moist environments. These are not recommended for outdoor use. We recommend that you test your specific application.
Semi-Gloss Paper – 55lb, 3.2mil
Semi-Gloss Paper is a budget friendly solution that doesn’t sacrifice quality for economy. Semi-Gloss Paper stock has a permanent adhesive that sticks well to a variety of surfaces. It is not resistant to oil or water and is recommended for indoor use only.
White BOPP – 2.3mil
White BOPP is made of Glossy White Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene with a permanent adhesive that sticks well to a variety of surfaces. White BOPP is oil and water resistant but we only recommended it for indoor use.
All of our Roll Labels have a 3″ core and an outer diameter of up to 6″.
Our Roll Labels are available in the following standard shapes: Oval, Circle, Square (with Round Corners) and Rectangle (with Round Corners). Custom Shapes are also available for the following sizes: 1″ x 1″, 2″ x 2″, 3″ x 3″, 4″ x 4″, 5″ x 5″ and 6″ x 6″.
Yes, Custom Shaped Roll Labels are available for the following sizes: 1″ x 1″, 2″ x 2″, 3″ x 3″, 4″ x 4″, 5″ x 5″ and 6″ x 6″. Choose from the size that best fits your needs, then select the Shape Option: Custom Roll Label. On the upload page you will be asked to upload the Front Artwork file and the Custom Shape File.
Custom Roll Label File Guidelines:
- Custom shape file must be created a vector and saved as an EPS or PDF
- Custom shape file should represent the cut line
- Custom shape file should be a black line, 0.5pt to 1pt thick
- Thin lines and small shapes are not recommended
- Shapes smaller than 1/8″ may have unexpected results and are not recommended
- Bleed for Roll Labels is 0.125″ from the cut line on all sides
Example of Custom Roll Label:
All of our Roll Labels have a 3″ core and an outer diameter of up to 6″. This will fit most hand-applied dispensers – please check the specifications of the dispenser prior to purchase if you’ll be using our Roll Labels with any other dispenser.
Our Roll Labels are very high quality but the print may not be as sharp as it is with Offset – you may lose some quality, particularly with images. Try to keep all images above 300 dpi.
The Unwind Direction is simply the direction in which a label unwinds from a roll.
Please download our Roll Label Templates. The bleed and safety line measurements are different to other products so we highly recommend using them. Total bleed is 0.125″ out from the cut line and total safety is 0.125″ inside the cut line. Please ensure that the size of your artwork is the same size as the roll label that you are ordering and that it includes the correct amount of bleed. If your uploaded artwork is smaller than the required size it will not print correctly.
With Clear Labels, you have the option to use white ink as your base color so your prints can be opaque in some areas and transparent in others. With Bright Metallic Silver, white ink will hide the foil material to make solid colors.
Similar to Spot UV masks, White Mask files are separate from your artwork files and Black color indicates where the white ink will print.
Make sure to create your mask file the same size as your color art file. This will prevent alignment issues during printing.
Note: White Masks must be made in vector form as shapes and be saved as EPS or PDF.
Use vector paths/shapes to create black color areas that will indicate where the white ink base will go. The rest of the area will represent the Metallic or Transparent label stock.
Here is a sample of a printed clear label with white ink. First how the artwork and white mask files look like, then a printed piece from these files:
Here is a sample of a Bright Metallic Silver label with white ink. First how the artwork and white mask files look like, then a printed piece from these files:
Black in the white mask file indicates where white ink will be printed. Remember the following when creating a white mask for your white ink base:
- White ink base will be printed behind any color that’s in your Artwork Layer.
- Areas with color but without a White Mask will be printed with color directly on the material. This means Clear stock will have transparent color and Metallic stock will have Metallic color.
- Areas with color and a White Mask will be printed as opaque or solid color.
- Areas with a White Mask and no color will be printed as white.
Our Roll Labels are suitable for use with food products only when an intervening layer of FDA approved food contact material is used. It is the responsibility of our customers or the end-user to ensure that use of the products conform to the relevant FDA regulations.
All square and rectangle shapes come with industry standard 1/8 inch rounded corners for easy removal from the liner.
Bright Silver Metallic – 2mil* stock is durable with a chemical resistant topcoat. As they are not oil and water resistant, they are recommended for indoor use.
Clear BOPP – 2.3mil stock is oil and water resistant but is only recommended for indoor use.
70lb Eggshell Felt – 70lb is manufactured with wet strength properties to increase performance in moist environments and is recommended for indoor use.
Semi-Gloss – 55lb stock is NOT oil and water resistant and is only recommended for indoor use.
White BOPP – 2.3mil stock is oil and water resistant but is only recommended for indoor use.
White BOPP Repositionable – 2.3mil stock is oil and water resistant but is only recommended for indoor use.
If selecting our 5/0 option, a white mask will be required. Please refer to the question above (How do I set up and create a Bright Silver Metallic or Clear Roll Label with white ink?) for instructions on how to set up your white ink file.
When any CMYK colors overlap the white mask areas, we recommend adding a stroke that’s between 1 and 2 pixels larger than the underlying white elements.
We recommend using an 8 point font or larger on all Bright Metallic Roll Labels in order to avoid thin lines which could result in poor ink adhesion or registration.
For some substrates, we offer either a 1.0 mil clear silk overlaminate or a 1.0 mil clear gloss overlaminate.
Overlaminating helps maximize label protection, adding extreme temperature and abrasion resistance, as well as protection from chemical exposure. Overlaminating is also an aesthetic enhancement with both Silk and Gloss options.
Semi-Gloss without lamination and Eggshell Felt can easily be written on with a ball point pen. Permanent markers work on all substrates and on laminated roll labels, if allowed to fully dry. You may not be able to write on roll labels with gel, ink or other types of pens, nor can you write with pencil. It is recommended that you test your specific application.
Perfect Binding gives your booklets a more finished, refined look. With this binding method, the pages and cover are glued together at the spine with a strong, yet flexible, thermal glue.
Templates are available for both the cover and inside pages of the Perfect Bound Booklets. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for templates.
Please note: Unlike our regular Booklets, the page count specified in the product name does not include the cover. E.g. “8.5 x 11, 52-Pages” will require you to upload 48 inside pages + 4-page cover file (which is always 4:0).
We recommend you do not specifically design on the spine. Backgrounds or images that wrap around the book are preferred. Creating designs with text, borders or colors that are centered only on the spine may cause it to look uneven during the binding process.
Templates are available for the covers of the Perfect Bound Catalogs and relate to the number of inside pages. The normal 8.5×11 and 8.5×5.5 flat, Flyer templates can be used for all the inside pages. Email at email@example.com for templates.
Long Edge Binding means the finished book is portrait, Short Edge binding means the finished book will be landscape. For our short run quantities 25 – 200, only Long Edge binding is available.
4C Digital offers two variations of Gift Cards Slits – Slide Slits and Moon Slits. You can choose from positioning the slits on the Inside Bottom Panel or on the Inside Right Panel. See attached illustration for a visual representation. Please be sure to ask for our templates.