Preparing your Artwork Files

DNA Signs + Graphics specializes in large format digital printing including; display products, banner stands, trade show solutions, banners, sidewalk signage, short run adhesive decals, custom signage and printed canvas, all through a PDF workflow. This ensures fast turnarounds and no surprises. With our PDF workflows we can produce most orders by the end of the next business day. Most graphics applications allow you to save directly to PDF. If your application does not, third party plug in applications and print drivers are available to convert files.


A few notes on preparing your artwork

Work in CMYK

At DNA Signs + Graphics, we produce calibrated CMYK profiles for all of our printer and media combinations, allowing us to offer very good colour output. Please note, CMYK digital printing is not able to match all colours due to its smaller colour gamut as compared with RGB.

Work at full scale

Where possible, create artwork at actual size. If your software does not allow this, work at a 50% or 25% scale and we will scale your artwork to the final size entered on the order.

Choosing art board dimensions

When creating art work, make sure the art board dimensions match the dimensions you want the printed product to be. For example, a banner stand graphic panel that is 33.5” by 84” requires an art board dimension of 33.5” by 84”. Another example is a sidewalk board insert which is 24” by 36” also requires the art board to match the final size of 24” by 36”. Placing the artwork in a 8.5”by 11” art board will not work. Make sure to position your artwork in the art board, as any part of any graphics outside the art board will not be printed.

 Check the resolution of the images

Bitmap, tiff, or jpg images have set resolutions. Meaning that the larger they are printed, the lower the quality the output. For most signage, you want images having a resolution of 150 ppi at final print size. This provides a good image close up.

Embed all images

On all artwork submitted, we require you to embed the images. This is typically done at the “Save as PDF” stage.

Embed your fonts

When saving your file as a PDF, choose the option to embed the fonts. This provides us with all the necessary information to print your job. Embedding the fonts, does not install the fonts on our system, so please always embed your fonts in every document you upload.

Use Pantone colours

Our RIP software has the ability to match Pantone colours, providing you use the swatches directly from your application’s Pantone palettes. These standard colours may not be perfect matches, but will provide the best possible results. Avoid using percentages of spot colours, spot colours in gradients, or having transparencies intersecting with spot colour filled vector images. In these cases, its best to convert to CMYK colours. The RIP software will process the intersecting elements as CMYK and the rest as spot colours, creating a colour difference.

Proof your art work in Adobe Reader

Proofing your files for resolution and image details is straightforward. After saving as PDF, open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader and set your zoom to 100%. Scroll around and review for resolution and fine detail. Reduce your view to check larger items, and view “fit to page” to ensure the entire image is present. If you don’t like what you see, don’t submit it for printing. Please contact us to discuss any issues you may be having.


Additional notes on colour

Colour shifts between different prints and medias may occur, especially if they are printed at different times. Vector art such as text and logos will print differently when rasterized, or exported as a tiff, or jpeg. It will be processed as an image rather than vector art.

Your colour accuracy is better if the document is set to CMYK mode, rather than RGB (Images can remain in RGB).

Pantone spot colours will print more accurately, if left as a spot colour, rather than converting it to CMYK.

Naming of spot colours is important for our Pantone spot colour matching system. Names must match the exact Pantone Convention in name and case, as these examples: PANTONE 125 C, PANTONE Yellow C “PMS 125” and “PMS 125 C” are correct names for your swatches. “PMS 125 C (2)” is not correct. . The characters “CV”, “CVC”, “U”, “UV”, and “UVC” on the end are processed the same as “C”.

Any Pantone spot colours that intersect with a transparency will be discarded by our Pantone spot colour matching system.