Duplicating Tips for Savvy Users

Web vs. Print

With the popularity of the World Wide Web comes some confusion about what formats and requirements are needed for printing images. Printing requires a much higher quality and resolution than necessary for web-based images. Most photos and graphics should be at least 300 dpi (dots per inch) resolution at the required final size and should be in CMYK color mode. Generally, images taken off your web site will not look as good as those created specifically for printing.

Remember to always include your images with your job in a clearly marked “Images” folder, even if your software allows you to imbed them into your file. If you are working in Photoshop it often helps to include a copy of your work file with all of the unflattened layers and effects. This can help save you time and money if there are any problems printing your files.


Font problems have been known to cause delays and additional labor charges. The good news is that font problems are among the easiest to prevent. The two most common of these problems are missing fonts and stylized fonts. Always include your fonts with your job in a clearly marked “Fonts” folder. We can’t stress the importance of this enough. Even if you’re just using ‘standard’ typefaces like Times or Arial, you should always include them with your file.

Why? Because there are many different versions of any typeface, as many as there are font companies, and every company’s version is slightly different. If you don’t include your fonts we’ll try our best to match them to fonts that we have on file but doing this creates the potential for reflow of your copy, mismatched type elements, and other
problems. If given the choice always use the Bold, Italic, or Bold- Italic versions of your typeface. All of the best typefaces come in ‘Families’of fonts that include these styles.

Please use the right software

FDC supports all the major professional publishing programs such as QuarkXPress, PageMaker, Illustrator, In Design & Photoshop. We can greatly reduce complications if your files are created and saved in one of these programs. We still accept software like Microsoft Powerpoint and Microsoft Word, though they are better suited for creating slide shows and business correspondence. For printing the best tools are those specifically created for professional publishing. If we don’t support your particular software program you can still send us a file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Page Size Considerations

As a general rule, you should create your file to the exact size that you want it printed. When creating a new file, many programs default to the standard 8.5” x 11” page size, but if your document is larger or smaller than this you should create your page size to match. If you are creating a newsletter with pages that are 5.5” x 8.5”, simply create your pages at this size rather than putting them in the middle of an 8.5” x 11” page. Doing this will save you time and money as FDC personnel do not need to reformat your information.

Avoiding color problems

Many customers are surprised and disappointed to dis-cover that the color printed on their document doesn’t match the color they saw on their computer screen. The biggest reason for this is that almost all printers use the CMYK color format while all computer monitors use the RGB color format. These are two very different systems for defining colors and they will never be an exact match for each other. So do not put too much stock into what your monitor shows you on screen — it will often mislead you. Instead use one of the following tools:

  • Pantone® Solid to Process (process simulation) Guide: If you choose a Pantone color for your document keep in mind that many digital printing processes will simulate the Pantone color using the four-color process system. This guidebook will show you what your Pantone color will look like when simulated. That is how you can expect it to print.
  • Pantone® Process Guide (coated or uncoated): This indispensable guide will save you many headaches and unnecessary expense. It provides swatches of over 3,000 CMYK process color combinations and can show you what your colors will look like when printed. Check the color values you see on screen with the swatch in the Process Guide to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

The Print Services Requisition

Taking the time to correctly fill out the Print Service Requisition completely and accurately helps ensure that your job will run as smoothly and quickly as possible. This includes the your entire Departmental Budget Number and delivery information. If you have any questions about the form or any of the entries on it, please ask us.


Providing us with a sample of your job that you’ve printed on your own printer is important. It doesn’t matter if this sample is low resolution or in black and white. As long as it shows us what your layout and typesetting looks like it can help prevent costly errors and delays. Without it we won’t know if there’s been a font substitution or if your type has reflowed or if your graphics are printing correctly. It’s also important that your proof reflects the very latest changes to your file.

File Transport

You can bring us your files on CD, DVD, or Flash / Thumb drive. You can also send us files by email or share via Google Drive. Remember to include all of your fonts and graphics so that you don’t delay your job.


The goal of proofing is to catch any mistakes or problems with your job before it is printed. These problems can range from simple ones like typos or misspellings, to ones that are much harder to predict such as color shifts in your photos or banding in gradients. Occasionally the process of correcting one problem introduces another. That’s why every time your job is changed we will show you another proof. This is the best possible system to prevent costly mistakes and delays.