Graphics Guidelines


Allegheny uses a Macintosh based platform coupled with the Agfa Apogee Computer to Plate (CTP) workflow. Following these basic guidelines will ensure proper processing of your proof without delay. Our Pre-press department will work with you to ensure accurate and optimum performance of your graphic files. Please submit your artwork in the following graphic applications:

  • InDesign® (preferred layout application) 
  • Adobe® Illustrator
  • Adobe® Photoshop 
  • QuarkXPress
  • Print Ready PDF (include 1/8" bleed with crop marks, no die lines)

Size Specifications

Standard credit card size is: 2.125" x 3.375" with a corner radius of .125". All bleeds should be .125” on all bleed edges. Please import all photographic or line art images into your layout program at 100%. 

Font Specifications

Please include all screen and printer fonts used in your design or outline the fonts in an application such as Illustrator. Do not send True Type Fonts (they will have a “TTF” after the font). Do not use the font options in the “measurements palate” in QuarkXPress or the “control palate” in Page Maker to achieve your desired font. For example: if you want a Helvetica bold font, do not use the font “Helvetica” and click the bold option on these palates. Using fonts in this manner may result in unexpected imaging results which may not match your desired effect. 

Color Specifications

Please save all color photo images as CMYK. If the photo is a grayscale or line art image, please save it accordingly. Specify the PMS colors correctly in the Illustration application and avoid duplicate names of the same color. Delete all unused PMS colors. Specify elements which print in CMYK and PMS colors. Ensure that all embedded files are of a high resolution, are in CMYK, and are imported at 100%. 

Colors displayed on your monitor will not represent final color of your artwork. Nor will a color print on a low end printer. Allegheny will supply you with a final proof in CMYK which will be used as a color match on our presses. If PMS colors are desired, Allegheny will match the specified colors. Special color matches will be accepted upon review. Allegheny utilizes an Agfa digital proofing system which has been calibrated to our presses. It is NOT a dot for dot proof. Press proofs and pre-production samples are available for an additional charge.

Image Specifications

Files created in Photoshop must be saved at the following mode and resolution: CMYK/GRAYSCALE IMAGES : Please provide a bleed of .125” if applicable and at a resolution of 300PPI.

Images should also be at optimal size. Using a low resolution file and reducing it in QuarkXPress does not create a high resolution output. Images must be at a high resolution at the conception of the file. Using low resolution scans and increasing the image size in Photoshop does not create a high resolution image.

Please save images in a TIF or EPS format. (A file containing a full bleed, four color process image should be close to 3 MB).

BITMAP IMAGES: Provide bitmap images at a resolution of 1200 PPI and saved as a TIF image.

DIE LINES : Please do not include or embed any die lines into the art files. Allegheny has standard die lines which will be used on your final proof. TEXT CREATED IN PHOTOSHOP AS RASTER DATA WILL NOT PRINT CLEANLY! PLEASE CREATE ALL TEXT IN VECTOR BASED APPLICATIONS SUCH AS ILLUSTRATOR TO AVOID UNEXPECTED PROBLEMS.

Graphics Specifications

Please outline all fonts or supply both printer and screen fonts. Include all linked files unless embedded. (All embedded files must be CMYK and imported at 100%.) If you are in a PC format, all fonts must be outlined to convert to a Macintosh platform.

Art should have a bleed of .125” if applicable. Please save files in EPS format and please do not trap your art files. We utilize current trapping software in our Apogee workflow to ensure the highest print quality of your art files. We do not accept PDF files as artwork. Please send your art in the original applications. Please send a laser proof or a PDF proof of your files as well to ensure positioning and proper flow of type.

More Questions?

Have more questions about the graphic guidelines and specifications for your project? We are happy to help! Give us a call at 1.800.933.4123 or send us a message.

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