File Type Education

We can accept most any kind of file, though a PDF is probably best. Please contact us for FTP information if the file is larger than 2MB.



  • ImpressionSmart – Artwork Guidelines General Information
    The quality of your order depends upon the artwork supplied with it. To avoid delays and additional art charges, please supply clean “camera-ready” artwork. If art needs to be touched up, we will supply 15 minutes of artwork labor at no charge. Additional artwork charges of $95 per hour will apply. Customer will be contacted for approval of any additional artwork charge.

    Create your file following our electronic guidelines. You can choose to mail the disk to us, email the order to art@impressionsmart.com or submit your order to our FTP site (contact ImpressionSmart for login and password). When we receive your order, we will preflight it to ensure your files were created properly according to our specifications so that your order can flow through our systems without delay.

    If everything is OK, your order goes directly into production, with no additional costs to you.In order to meet deadlines, the artwork you send must be created and saved per our specifications, making your files completely press ready.

    If corrections or modifications are required to ensure proper output, your order may be delayed pending clarification or approval and if necessary additional charges will be assessed per file. Special charges will also be applied when applicable.

  • Supported Applications We accept files created in the following native applications:
  • Adobe InDesign®Macintosh and PC – InDesign® 2.0 only uses the PreFlight option to identify problem areas, and then Package the file, creating the associated support and font folders. Include the entire Packaged folder. Indicate which platform this was generated from (Mac or PC).
  • Adobe Illustrator®Macintosh and PC – Adobe Illustrator® version 10 Change all text into outlines in your document, or supply all fonts used. If you are using an imported graphic in your Illustrator® document, be sure to include the original graphic file. Place graphics at 100%.
  • Adobe Photoshop®Macintosh and PC – Adobe Photoshop® version 7.0 We recommend that you submit black and white bitmap images at 600 dpi and grayscale images at 300 dpi for standard spot printing. For full-color printing, CMYK images need to be submitted at 300 dpi. Images that come to ImpressionSmart at lower resolutions than what is recommended will be output as sent. We will not raise the resolution here. All files need to be submitted at the size being used for printing. If bleeds are needed, allow 1/8” on each applicable side. Please make sure that any text in your layout also has a 1/8” margin from the edge, even when the graphic bleeds.
  • Adobe Acrobat® / PDF PDF Files designed for Acrobat version 5 (PDF 1.4) are acceptable, and if no editing is required, version 6 (PDF 1.5) or 7 can be used. If non-Adobe products are used to create the PDF file, please contact us for compatibility. (Note: we cannot accept Kinko’s KDF format.) PDF files with security features can usually be printed as is, but cannot be edited or saved without a password.
  • Corel Draw®PC only, version 10 only Always export your files according to the following specifications and be sure to include your supporting graphics when sending to us.Place all graphics at 100%.Always select the “text to curves” option to eliminate font information from your file. Additional requirements for full-color printing: Color all text and graphics using Process CMYK color. Be sure to use the “Accurate Color Correction” feature if you are using version 7.0. If RGB or other non-CMYK colors are used in your files, the necessary conversion to CMYK will change the appearance of the colors when we print, sometimes dramatically .PLEASE NOTE: If you have version 6.0, you will need to contact Corel Corporation and be sure you have all the current builds and revisions installed in order to export files properly. If you have these current revisions, export as “Adobe Illustrator.ai”.
  • QuarkXPress® / PageMaker®Macintosh – QuarkXPress® 6.5, 5.0 or 4.0 / PageMaker ® 7.0 or 6.5 only. It is important that you send both your printer and screen fonts for the family of fonts used.Never use the style palette to modify fonts. Each font style (bold, italic, etc.) must have its own font file supplied.Along with your file sent for placement, we need the supporting graphic file(s) given the same name as the graphic(s) in your document. (Changing the name after placement will make the graphic come up as “missing”
    or “modified”.) Place graphics at 100%.
  • PC – QuarkXPress® 5.0 or 4.0 / Pagemaker® 7.0 or 6.5 only When selecting fonts, you must provide a copy of all fonts used. If you do not supply the fonts, outlines must be created in an illustration program before placing into your Quark or Pagemaker document. Along with your file sent for placement, we need the supporting graphic file(s) given the same name as the graphic(s) in your document. (Changing the name after placement will make the graphic come up as “missing” or “modified”.) Place graphics at 100%. We prefer placed images to be in a TIFF format.
  • Freehand®Macintosh and PC – Freehand® version 9 only These files will be imported into Illustrator for printing. It may be better to export the file as EPS or PDF, if possible.Be sure to “convert to paths” all text characters in your document.If you are using an imported graphic in your Freehand® document, be sure to include the original graphic file. Place graphics at 100%.
  • Other programs and file formats.
    To a limited extent and depending on the output requirements (type of output, size, colors, etc.) we can accept artwork and documents in the following native program formats:
  • Microsoft Publisher 2000 to 2003·Microsoft Office 2000 to 2003 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access) – see Unacceptable Artwork, below In addition, we can accept files that are in the JPEG, TIFF, EPS, PNG, WMF, PICT, and BMP formats. The quality of your output will vary with the quality of the original artwork (e.g. web-oriented graphics, jpg or gif, generally do not produce acceptable printed output).
  • Unacceptable Artwork Generally, text documents in standard file formats (Word, Excel, WordPerfect, RTF, unformatted text) are acceptable for standard business-oriented output or inclusion into other documents only. As graphics programs, these tend to produce unacceptable results on high end printing devices, and do not have color matching capabilities. Faxes, copies of faxes, photocopies, photographs, slides, transparencies, halftone art that needs resizing, low-resolution laser or inkjet artwork, letterhead, business cards, actual imprinted items or any other art that needs to be touched-up, color separated or made one color all require artwork charges to make usable in almost any situation. We cannot accept files created with Kinko’s Print-to-Kinko’s (KDF) format. This is a proprietary file format that is unreadable by standard programs.
  • Recommendations Vector art such as Illustrator or Corel files provide superior reproduction quality and allows images to be resized without loss of sharpness or detail. Raster art such as Photoshop, JPEG, BMP or TIFF are acceptable for generating full color output, but not for single or spot color applications (silkscreen, vinyl banners/signs, etc.) Specific Output Requirements Full-color Printing Color all text and graphics using Process CMYK color only. If RGB or other non-CMYK colors are used in your files, the necessary conversion to CMYK will change the appearance of the colors when we print, sometimes dramatically.
  • Vinyl Banners and Signs Vinyl signs and banners can be made either full color or with spot colors. These are priced differently, so be sure ImpressionSmart is aware of which is required at the time of order.Full color banner and sign requirements are the same as for full color digital output. Color all text and graphics using CMYK color only. RGB color may be used in some circumstances. Inquire when placing the order.Spot Color (cut vinyl)Artwork must be provided in vector format (Illustrator, Corel, etc.) All text must be converted to curves. All colors should be designed as spot colors so they can be separated for cutting.
  • Screen Printing All artwork should be designed in single or spot colors only. Full color graphics are handled by a different process and at a different cost.
  • Embroidery Artwork must be digitized before it can be sewn. Original artwork should be submitted as a high resolution jpg. It should be made the actual size that will be sewn. Once digitized it cannot be changed without a re-editing charge. Artwork submitted must also indicate the type of garment to be decorated (piquet or knit shirt, hat, nylon bag, etc.) Embroidery threads cannot be Pantone® matched. All efforts are made to match colors as closely as possible. If the color is critical, a sew-out sample should be requested.