File Preparation Tips

  • Build your file in CMYK color space (not RGB)
  • Preferred file formats: Illustrator (.ai, .eps, .pdf), InDesign (packaged .indd file with linked fonts and images, .pdf) formats preferred. If saving as a PDF, please choose the "Press Quality" option with no color conversion.
  • Make sure all art is set at 100% scale and 100% opacity (anything less than 100% will produce a halftone screen in your artwork)
  • For single-color plates or manual separations, please build all artwork in 100% K (black) with a white background.
    100% K Black
  • If working in Photoshop with a photographic or tonal image, note that subtle tonal information in the background may plate with a halftone screen if it's not set to 100% white.
  • If you have elements that are stroked, please make sure that both fill and stroke colors are set to 100% K.

Please note that we are not responsible for any missing or screened elements that are not set properly in your digital file(s). Please double-check that your document color mode is in CMYK and that all elements are properly set to 100% K or your preferred custom PMS swatch color(s).

  • For multiple color separations, please use Pantone spot colors or CMYK separations
  • Minimum line weights: any lines, punctuation marks, etc. that are finer than the recommended values below will have a tendency to bend, break or wash off in the platemaking process
    • KF95 regular relief plates: 0.25 point recommended minimum line weight
    • KF152 or KM152 deep relief/steel back plates: 0.35 point recommended minimum line weight


  • Outline all fonts (in Illustrator or InDesign, go to Type > Create Outlines) or include your font files (safest)
  • No Photoshop type; use Illustrator or InDesign instead for high-quality type resolution
  • Double-check all spelling, grammar and dates, if applicable


Both InDesign and Illustrator have script options for inserting crop marks. InDesign allows you to specify how long to make them (Illustrator’s default crop marks are really long in comparison):

  • In Illustrator, highlighting the object, then going to Effect > Crop Marks
  • In InDesign, highlight the placed image object, then go to  Window > Automation > Scripts, and under the Scripts window, go to Application > Samples > JavaScript >  CropMarks.jsx. We like crop marks at least 10 points long, .25 point thick. Be sure to offset your crop marks, too -- we recommend at least by 6 points

We process plates in four standard sizes, please feel free to download the templates below for your convenience. We need at least 0.5" between any artwork and the edge of the plate to ensure accurate processing, the margins are demarcated by a magenta key line in each template. In some circumstances, we may be able to accommodate odd-sized plates, please call for pricing and availability.

Check out our FAQ for more details and in-depth questions!


Download templates for A3A4A5A6

Please delete all of the template art (set in magenta) before submitting your file.

Again, kindly note that we are not responsible for unintentional screens (which result from elements that are less than 100% opacity), spelling, color space or trap issues. If you have any questions, feel free to call us at 415-552-0817 or email us with a draft of your artwork for feedback. We're always happy to help you build a plate-friendly file!