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Submitting your electronic files for printing at Red Sun
OK, so electronic file preparation isn't the kind of thing that gets you too excited. But you've spent a long time creating and editing your documents, so sending them in the optimal format for printing should be the easy part.

File specifications
Red Sun will accept files in a wide variery of formats. We can scan, convert, or repair your files as necessary. However, it is best to keep in mind a few basic rules concerning issues such as document size; use of spreads; appropriate photo and graphics usage; what to do about bleed area; when and how to use spot colors; and how to package files for output.

PDF/X-1a (preferred format)
Although we will accept many different file formats, we strongly recommend preparing your final document for submission as a standardized PDF/X-1a. This subset of the PDF format contains all the important information we need to output your job successfully on an offset or digital press. Consult your software documentation if you are unfamiliar with exporting a file using PDF standards. It usually requires looking for a menu item or check box indicating "PDF/X-1a" Standard when you Export or 'Save As" your PDF (hint: InDesign makes it extremely easy). The mainfeaturse of X/1-a, for printing purposes, is that it will always embed all your fonts, and it will convert any RGB colors, such as those in jpeg camera photos to CMYK for printing.

Always check your PDF before sending it, making sure that all looks good. If possible, use Acrobat's "Output Preview" for accurate viewing of all content and color seperations in the PDF (set the Output Intent to SWOP or Gracol to preview offset printing). In case you missed the pop-out tip above, always include a bleed area in your final PDF if your document includes bleeds. Your final PDF will show the trim marks and the bleed in a white area surrounding your "cropped" page.
File submission via FTP
Once your files are prepared to specification, you may upload them to Red Sun's FTP site via a dedicated FTP application such as Fetch, CuteFTP, or Transmit. If possible, zip or compress multiple files into a single archive for easier transmission. If you do not already have a user name and password, please contact a customer service representative in order to have access to the site. Settings for your FTP client software should be configured like this:

User Name: (name you recieve from customer service)
Password: (password you receive from customer service)

Web File Manager
Alternatively, you may also upload files with this link to our Web File Manager. The Web File Manager will prompt you to locate and upload your files. If possible, zip or compress multiple files into a single archive for easier transmission. If you do not already have a user name and password, please contact a customer service representative in order to have access to the site. The web file manager will let us know that your files have been recieved, and production on your job can get underway!

For files of appropriately small size, email them to your customer service rep. Most email servers will accept up to 10 Mb or so.

Alternative methods of file transmission are also possible. We can accept media like CDs or USB drives, and we can receive YouSendIt files if no other options are possible.


If you are sending native files (not PDFs), please include copies of all fonts and images used (InDesign and Quark will package those things for you using the "Package" or "Collect" features).

Spot colors, such as those in the Pantone guides, are good when a specific hue and value are critical. Also, a printing job might be less expensive using spot rather than full color. If you use them, make sure that each color uses the same suffix: For instance, use only Pantone 342 U, not 342 U, 342 C and 342 M all in the same document.

Include a bleed area of at least 1/8 inch if your page elements appear to touch or go over the page edge. In page layout, just drag those page elements over the edge of the page a little (InDesign will show a red border if you specify the bleed area). The bleed will allow us to trim your piece accurately. This bleed area should always be included in any final exported PDF.
Please, use photos and graphics of appropriate quality whenever possible. Images grabbed from the web will look like, or worse than...images grabbed from the web. Photos and pixel graphics should be 300 dpi (don't enlarge them a whole lot in the page layout program). Black and white line art should be at least 800 dpi.
Do not set up "printers spreads." Instead, use single pages in any multi-page document. (page layout software will often arrange the single pages into "readers spreads" for viewing. This is OK, but it's usually best to not export a PDF as spreads).
Set your document size to the final trimmed size of the finished piece. (Don't lay out a 4 inch by 5 inch postcard as a little area on an 8.5 by 11 inch page). This is easy in page layout programs by specifying the size in Document Setup or Page Setup.
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