Clients and businesses cannot afford to have costly mistakes and unwanted surprises. We’ve highlighted some key topics in order to assist you.

Rules are meant to be broken. Just not these rules.

Download PDF: ArtworkGuidelines.pdf

The learning curve for customers and printers has increased dramatically; clients and businesses cannot afford to have costly mistakes and unwanted surprises. We’ve highlighted some key topics in order to assist you in growing and delivering your ideas.


Aradius Group will accept files from both Mac and PC platforms. We keep up to date with all graphics applications and versions. To make sure we are on top of the game, ask your Aradius Group Account Executive to confirm that your software is compatible with ours.


Preflighting checks for errors in your document and can save you time and money. If you need some direction on how to start this process, please contact your Aradius Group Account Executive and they will put you in touch with the right person.

Quick Tip: Missing fonts and images are the most common items fagged in a preflight.

Collection of Your Files

Collecting a job for output is very important. This helps you in getting all the files associated with your project to us at Aradius Group. When sending files, please provide a hard copy of your final document so we have something to compare. (Preferred File Type: PDF)

  • Quark XPress : Go to File > Collect for Output
  • Adobe InDesign : Go to File > Package…

Creating PDF Files

Please refer to Page 5 of this guide for PDF specifications. (Preferred Format: PDF/X-1a:2001)

Send Us Your Files

You may send us your files via CD/DVD, e-mail (if under 5MB), or use our secure FTP site at Please refer to Page 11 of this guide for FTP instructions.

File Preparation

Bleed Requirements

If you have any objects printing to the edge of the page, we require these objects to have bleed set at least 1 8-inch. If a bleed is required, set your PDF file ¼-inch larger than the final trim size. (i.e. If document is 8½” x 11″, the PDF size should be 8¾” x 11¼”). If no bleed is required, then make your PDF its final trim size. Please do not include crop marks on your final PDF file.


4 Color Process (CMYK) should be used. Convert all spot colors to process before creating your PDF if you are printing on our Digital Offset Press. If your files require printing with a spot color, use the Pantone Color naming convention. Please delete all unused colors in your document.
(Rich Black Recipe: C:60%, M:40%, Y:40%, K:100%)


Avoid font styles (subset fonts). Use the actual font by name if you want your text bolded or italicized (i.e. Helvetica Oblique). No type smaller than 7 points should be used.


  • Resolution All images should be at least 300 dpi when used for printing. Images pulled from the internet are typically 72 dpi (low-resolution). Line art should be at least 1200 dpi.
  • Color : All images being used in your document should be converted to CMYK.
  • Ink Density : Keep the maximum ink density at 300.
  • Compression : Do not apply compression to fles (e.g. JPEG or LZW).

Variable Data

If your job prints with variable data, please set up the objects in your file exactly the way you want them to appear. (Position, Color, Font)

Guidelines for Creating PDFs

To avoid potential problems and delays, wee recommend that you submit a high-resolution PDF file, more specifically a PDF/X-1a file. Creating PDFs properly will save you time and money.

Submitting High Resolution PDF/X-1a Files

Q: What is a PDF/X-1a file?
A: There are many different favors of PDF files that can be created. PDF/X-1a is a favor that was specifically developed for the graphic arts industry and is intended to create a smoother and more predicable transition from the client to the printer. PDF/X-1a has also helped reduce and eliminate the most common errors in file preparation today.

Most applications have the ability to directly export your document to a PDF/X-1a format. We have highlighted the most common applications and this document will guide you through the procedures for each application.

The Mac platform is shown here, however, these procedures can easily be duplicated on the PC. If you have other applications that you need to produce a PDF from, please contact your Aradius Group Account Executive.

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