The prepress department at Marquardt Printing, have created “Best practices” guidelines” for you when sending files to ensure that your project goes smoothly, and stays on the time frame required. As always, there may be: special circumstance, issues not covered, and items that may require further clarifications. Please do not hesitate to our prepress department at (630) 887-8500 for any questions or further assistance.

Programs that we support

Please send native files.

  • Adobe InDesign
  • Quark Xpress
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe PhotoShop


  • Design to Flat Sizes
  • Always include a 1/8” (.125) bleed on any side that bleeds
  • Include Die-lines in separate layer and set not to print
  • Allow 1/8” for inside folds (like a double-gate fold)
  • Provide separate versions or pieces as separate documents
  • Try to keep all type 1/8” away from all cut lines
  • Use solid colors (Pantone or 100% K, for example) for small type for Digital


  • Place fonts in a separate folder (ie. in a directory named “Fonts”)
  • Include all families (screen & printer) for the job
  • OpenType (.otf) fonts preferred
  • No Fake styles (bolding, italic, etc) use the correct font from the family version


  • Use Pantone Matching System names from swatch books
  • When using Pantone Colors, remember the substrate the piece is being printed on (ie ‘C’ for coated, ‘U’ for uncoated)
  • Always include a 1/8” (.125) bleed on any side that bleeds
  • NO RGB colors, kindly convert them to CMYK values
  • Consider using Rich Blacks when doing large solid areas of black for Offset (C=75 M=68 Y=67 K=89)
  • If possible, use black grays (levels of K) for solid panels
  • When using color profiles be sure to embed them.


  • Send all linked graphics separately in their own folder
  • Should be sized 100% and with the dpi around 250-350 dpi, default 300dpi
  • Use .TIFF, .JPG or .EPS formats
  • DO NOT send RGB images, convert these to CMYK
  • Flatten effects like transparency and drop-shadows for Digital

Print Ready Files:

  • Use PDF formats that are transparency friendly: PDF/X-1a, PDF 1.3 (Acrobat 4)
  • Include a 1/8” bleed where appropriate
  • Fully Embed all fonts
  • Run the document through an Acrobat Preflight:
    Advanced -> Print Production -> Preflight -> (Sheet fed offset or Digital Printing Color)
  • Produce Spreads, where appropriate

Sending / Collecting / Packaging:

  • Use OS independent friendly names: shorter than 128 characters, ASCII alpha-numerics, use file extensions, and no special characters
  • In InDesign and Quark, use the built-in Package/Collect facilities and collect into a separate folder
  • Remember to include any fonts or images used within placed Illustrator files
  • Compress all files into a .zip file, per document. For example, if collected a document into Folder “Collected” compress that into “” or “Collected.sit” format
  • Upload files to our UPLOAD Area on our website