File Prep Information

File Formats Accepted

Please Note: Most file types and versions are accepted; however an artwork processing fee may apply to those formats not listed here.

  • InDesign
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator (.ai or .eps)
  • Acrobat (High Resolution PDF)
  • Quark


Artwork Development Settings

Page Setup

  • Set all pages—including crossovers–—as facing pages and not as reader spreads.
  • Set all files to final trim size.
  • Apply the correct page count.
  • Set bleeds to at least 1/8” (.125”). A document has bleeds when the content has been extended past the trim edge of the document.


  • Rich Black should be built as (40-Cyan and 100-Black).
  • Convert all RGB images and graphics to CMYK process.
  • Convert all Spot PMS colors to process unless you are printing as a spot color.
  • Do not use images in RGB, LAB, or Indexed color, regardless of job specifications. These modes will not convert to CMYK reliably and will have potential color variation.
  • Remove all unused colors from the swatch pallette.
  • Match all colors in your document to your estimate and/or file instructions. (For example: If you have requested a two-color job, please make sure that your artwork reflects this number of colors).


Images and Graphics

  • Save all vector graphics as an illustrator EPS.
  • RGB photoshop images should be converted to CMYK.
  • High resolution images are at least 300 dpi. 72 dpi is considered low resolution (dpi = ppi pixels per inch).
  • Please note that once images are placed into the document, resolution cannot be adjusted. Resolution must come from the properties of the original image’s file. If the image has too low of a resolution, the final printed product will not look as clean or as crisp as a file that has followed these guidelines.


  • Send fonts used in vector images with the files or convert fonts to outlines before finalizing the document. Note, while Hotspot Printing has access to many fonts, we cannot guarantee an exact match to the font you used unless you provide the font in either method cited above.
  • Send all fonts when sending an open document artwork file. Always compress or “zip” (using applications like Stuffit, etc.) fonts and files when sending them via e-mail or FTP (file transfer protocol).
  • Always package fonts with files and links.


Submitting Your Artwork

  • Always send a hard copy of all pages submitted to Hotspot Printing. (If you are submitting your artwork via our Upload page, please email a PDF or fax a hard copy to your Hotspot Printing representative. Or, if you are submitting open artwork, include a PDF.)
  • Use e-mail for smaller file submissions. Avoid email submissions of 5mb or larger.


**Setup for SPOT UV / FOIL / DIE CUT processes:
When setting up a design that includes special effect print processes, in almost all situations, we need to be supplied with a vector file. This can be either a .AI, PDF, or EPS file. When setting up your vector file, your finished file should contain one layer for all printable date, and then one layer (to be used as a map guide) for all special effects printing. Please be specific in the naming of your layers, so that it is understood which layer pertains to which print process. For example, if you are submitting a business card that uses SPOT UV, your file will contain two layers. The first layer will be labeled “PRINT LAYER.” This layer will contain all information that you wish to be printed. The second layer will be labeled “SPOT UV LAYER” and will include a vector outline / map that shows explicitly where the SPOT UV (spot gloss) will be applied too. This layer is only a guide layer to show where the SPOT UV effect will go, and should not include any other print objects. The above process applies to using FOIL, or custom shape / die cutting. In all of these cases, you will include one print layer, and an additional layer to map out where each effect (foil, spot UV, or die cut) will be applied. If you are unable to create a usable file, in most circumstances we are happy to assist you in creating a file that will print to your criteria. If you are unclear about how something will print using effects, we can provide you a digital proof that will explicitly show how your project will print.

If you have any questions regarding prepping a file you are ready to submit to us, contact one of our Hotspot Printing & Packaging specialist today!

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