The absolute best way to ensure that what get’s printed is what you want is to supply us with film or vellum separations. “Film” is a clear thin plastic sheet with your artwork either as a solid black applied to it, or a red film that’s etched from it. High End Service Bureaus supply these, and we use film at the shop. However, on Multi-Color jobs, nothing beats good film separations, as they do not “shrink” with humidity and age. “Vellum” is a semi-transparent paper (it kind of looks like tracing paper) that lets you print your artwork out right on your desktop computer. Each color gets it’s own sheet (or separation). It’s best done on laserjet style printers, because we have a treatment for the toner on the page to enhance it. Inkjet and pin printers are not really suited to this, because they do not produce a solid black. The downside to vellum is, well... it’s paper, it is easily damaged, and it doesn’t age well.
You can get your computer art to us by bringing us a copy of the file on a thumb drive, or a CD, or you can E-Mail it to email@example.com. Before you do so, though, you need to know that quite often what you see is not necessarily what you get. What looks quite good on your computer screen may print out with very jagged edges, and look “out of focus”. We’ll discuss this later under “Vector vs. Bitmap”. However, the following is what works best. We here at Q-T’s work on a PC based system, with Corel X4 as our art program du jour, amongst several we use. We can accept files in a lot of formats, but experience has taught us to stick to a few generally accepted ways. Obviously, if you can get it to us as a Corel (.cdr) file, that would be great. We are aware that there are also plenty of Adobe fans out there, Illustrator (.ai) is usually no problem. For Mac users, Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) is your best bet (these should be e-mailed because Mac disks are a problem for us PC-ites). Those who understand artwork will notice that what I’ve specified are called “Vector” programs. These programs are the easiest for us to manipulate into separations. This doesn’t mean that we don’t accept others, it just means that it involves more work with others. Again,we’ll discuss this more in the next section, but we also accept .bmp, .jpg, and .pdf (Acrobat Reader) files. Please, give us a call if you have a question, and we’ll try our best to answer it . Most programs can save a file into one of these formats.