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| How can Pantone colors affect the way my job prints?
There are three different ways Pantone colors can affect the way your job prints.
The first is by object effects, such as shadows or glows, on top of your Pantone colors. Here is what the effects will look like on screen:
Here is what the effect looks like after printing:
As you can see, when a Pantone color is under these object effects, transparency issues show up during printing. To avoid this, convert all your Pantone colors into CMYK before submitting your order.
The second way Pantone colors can affect your file is when you use transparent images. Here is what a transparent image looks like on screen:
Here is what a transparent image looks like after printing:
You can see the image is no longer transparent on top of the Pantone color. These white areas will show up during printing. To fix this issue, convert all your Pantone colors into CMYK. This must be done before submitting the order.
The last way Pantone colors can affect your order is the color conversion between a Pantone color and CMYK. If you use Pantone colors in a job that will print CMYK, your job might print with undesirable colors.
Here are some examples of what the Pantone color looks like in the Pantone color book and what the CMYK print will look like:
If you send in a job with Pantone colors, the CMYK conversion will change the Pantone color. Before sending your order, make sure all Pantone colors have been converted to CMYK.
| Where will my order be printed?
Magic Print Box operates large-scale printing facilities in locations around the United States and Canada. Because not all facilities are equipped with the same technology, the origin of your printing order may vary. When you submit an order to Magic Print Box, your printing facilities will be printed on your invoice. This allows you to get a better sense of how long it will take to ship your order to your destination.
Current Print Facilities:
- Phoenix, AZ
- Los Angeles, CA
- San Jose, CA
- Washington D.C.
- Miami Gardens, FL
- Orlando, FL
- Tampa, FL
- Chicago, IL
- Boston, MA
- Raleigh, NC
- Moonachie, NJ
- Las Vegas, NV
- Dayton, OH
- Philadelphia, PA
- Arlington, TX
- Houston, TX
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Seattle, WA
- Toronto, CAN
- Denver, CO
- Atlanta, GA
- Detroit, MI
- St. Louis, MO
- Minneapolis, MN
- St. Paul, MN
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Austin/San Antonio, TX
| What is rich black, and how can I get it?
Rich black is an ink mixture of solid black, 100% K, with additional CMY ink values. This results in a darker tone than black ink alone. If you print black alone as 100% K, the resulting black may not be as dark as you might like.
100% K on Screen:
100% K after Print:
We Recommend Using:
C-60 M-40 Y-40 K-100
This will give you a deep, dark, rich black.
| How do I get a grayscale image in a CMYK document?
Grayscale images that are converted to CMYK will have a color shift in the final print. That shift may be green or yellow.
Always check the CMYK values of your grayscale in the final CMYK document. If there are other values other than K in your grayscale image, there is a chance that the color will vary.
To eliminate all values other than K, use your Channel Mixer (adjustment layer) in Photoshop, then click “Monochrome” and adjust accordingly. You may also try changing the mode to Grayscale in the IMAGE menu.
| How do I export a PDF correctly?
When exporting from any program such as Indesign or Illustrator, use these settings to make sure your .PDF files export correctly.
- Adobe PDF Preset is set to: Press Quality:
- Compatibility is set to: Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3):
- Compress Text and Line Art is set to: Off:
We also have a PDF Preset (.joboptions file) to make it easy to create a Magic Print Box Print Ready PDF. Download the file, then double click. This will install a Preset into all Adobe products (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc..) so you can choose it while saving your PDF. Click here to download.
NOTE: Due to Adobe limitations, this preset will not convert all colors into CMYK. You must convert all colors to CMYK before saving your file.
| How can I make sure my blues do not come out purple?
When using a blue in your design, always make sure to leave at least a 30% difference in your Cyan and Magenta values.
Blue is close to purple in the CMYK spectrum. Remember, use a low amount of magenta whenever using high amounts of cyan to avoid purple.
C-100 M-70 Y-0 K-0
| How should I set up a spot UV job?
When creating a Spot UV job, you must include a Spot UV template file along with the regular print file. The Spot UV template file is used to show where the UV coating needs to be applied.
| Can I submit a front and back in the same file?
No. We are now specifically set up to process one side at a time, and this requires that each side of a job must be on a separate file.
Not separating files will cause delays and you might have to send the files again. Remember to separate the pages of your .pdf files, and clearly name them FRONT and BACK.
| What is overprint, and why should I avoid it?
Primarily used to intentionally overlap inks for a number of reasons, overprint can cause unexpected results.
Colors from the background can easily mix with colors from the foreground in your artwork when using overprint. We suggest that you turn all overprint objects off before submitting your files.
| Should I send a proof or sample file?
When sending artwork, do not send extra files, like proofs or samples, because they might get printed. Only send the files you need printed.
We are not responsible for these kinds of files being printed. Unless requested by a Magic Print Box representative, DO NOT send files that you do not want printed.
| How can I avoid transparency issues?
Any transparency issue can be resolved before saving your file.
What a transparency problem looks like on screen…
After a transparency problem is printed…
To prevent this, never use shadows, glows, or any other transparency (image or otherwise) on top of a spot color. Always convert your spot color to CMYK and flatten before sending.
| How should I set up my file for proper rotation?
Magic Print Box requires print-ready files with proper rotation. Files submitted are printed HEAD to HEAD, as-is, based off your files.
Make sure to set up your files so that when we print them HEAD to HEAD the final product will read the way you would like. Also, front and back files need to be set up either both sides vertically or both sides horizontally.
If you would like your back file to be upside down, please send your artwork as shown below.
If you have a fold-over or greeting card, please send your artwork as shown.
| Can I use borders in my artwork?
Yes, but if the border is too close to the cut line, it may be cut off-center slightly. We cut through many sheets at a time, so watch your borders to avoid an unwanted mistake.
| How should I set up my bleed?
Bleed must extend past the cut-line and will be trimmed from the product during the final cutting phase. When the image is required to extend all the way to the edge, bleed is needed to preserve the finished look and the quality of the final product.
Please keep all text at least 0.125″ inside the cut-line.
- The bleed for Standard Products is 0.125″.
- The bleed for Booklets and Presentation Folders is 0.25″.
For Grand Format Products, please see the Grand Format FAQs for individual substrate guides.
We recommend using our templates at all times.
| What resolution should my file be?
Low resolution files may be printed as is or will be placed on hold until we receive new files, slowing your turn-around.
These are 72 dpi low res images:
These are the same images, but at 300 dpi:
| What color mode should my files be?
You should always start and finish your designs in CMYK color mode. If you send us an RGB file, there is a chance that a color shift may occur and you may not be satisfied with your job.
These colors are in CMYK (print safe)
These colors are in RGB (computer screen only)
| What type of files can I send?
We prefer that you send .PDF with embedded or outlined fonts. .PDF’s are easier to handle and will likely speed up your turn-around. Remember to add crop marks and flatten your files before uploading.