File Submission Guidelines

Printing Basics 101

Artwork, including fixing poorly created or improperly submitted files, finding files, and revisions, will incur a $100.00 per hour charge. Need help with your design project? Let us transform your design idea into a finished piece, or you may submit your own designs by following the instructions below.

Provide a High Resolution PDF with proper bleeds and crop marks in the correct color space as described below.

Bleeds: Bleed is when printed matter extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming. Any bleed must extend at least 1/8” beyond the edge of the page. Include crop marks and set crop mark offsets to .167”.

Color Space: If printing full color, the ideal color space to submit files is CMYK, which ensures proper color values. If printing PMS colors, please use Pantone colors to call out the color. Do not use RGB.

Borders and Safeties: All graphics not intended to bleed must be a minimum of .167” from the trimmed edge. This will ensure proper trimming/binding output.

PAPER OR SUBSTRATE: Stock selection is essential to the look of a finished project. Ink absorbs differently on each substrate, which can significantly affect how colors appear, even when the same ink is used.Be sure to keep this in mind when choosing to print on
coated or uncoated paper.

For best results, please ensure your file is designed to the correct print size and minimum resolution of 300 dpi at 100% of printed size for images before submitting to us.Create your document in Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress or in any program you have. Any bleed must extend at least 1/8” beyond the edge of the document. Make sure your fonts are real and are able to be embedded in a PDF file. Export your file to a PDF with compression turned off, bleed set to .125”, crop marks turned on and crop mark offsets set to .167”.

Export your document to a PDF file. Open the PDF in a Vector Drawing Program (Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Macromedia Freehand, etc.). Convert all fonts to Outlines (Curves) and make sure the only colors in your pallet are the ones you want to print. Any bleed must extend at least 1/8″ beyond the edge of the document. Send a PDF with compression turned off, bleed set to .125″, crop marks turned on and crop mark offsets set to .167″.

Please click on the following link to download the Mariano Press PDF export preset file:

Adobe PDF Preset 1.joboptions

Please click on this additional link for instructions on how to import the Mariano Press PDF preset to your computer:

How to install the Indesign Mariano Press PDF preset

Please be sure when sending us your booklet design that your file is a pdf in single page format and not in printer spreads. Please see the following link to view some helpful information when setting up your file.

MP_Perfect Bound Guide

We use imposition software that will create the pagination during the preparation process.

The die line must be made using a vector design program such as Adobe Illustrator or InDesign. When the actual die is created, a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine will be used. This machine uses CAD software to send the design commands to the CNC machine and requires vector lines to operate. Programs such as Adobe Photoshop use raster lines that are created using pixel blocks which then create small jagged edges along the perimeter of the line. These jagged edges are not usable when working with die lines.

The most important step is to convert the color of the die line into a PMS color that will be named “Die Line”. The purpose of making the die line its own PMS color is so that it separates correctly when making plates. The CMYK parts separate accordingly for printing and our “Die Line” PMS will separate as one separate plate for the die.
As always, Mariano Press, LLC is here to help guide you with any questions regarding the set up of your die line.

Are my files press ready?

What’s the difference between RGB, CMYK, and Pantone Color?

Pantone Color: Also known as PMS or Spot color, it is a standardized color reproduction system, which uses 13 mixing pigments, plus black, to produce over 1000 colors. By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colors match without direct contact with one another.  Pantone’s color gamut is much larger than the gamut available in CMYK. Many Pantone colors cannot be simulated with CMYK. For more information on Pantone Color, see this link:

RGB Color Model: RGB is the color scheme that is associated with electronic displays, such as CRT, LCD monitors, digital cameras, and scanners. It is an additive type of color mode that combines the primary colors, red, green, and blue, in various degrees to create a variety of different colors. The combination of red, green, and blue light creates white, with the intensity of the RGB lights affecting the perceived brightness of the of the colors, with black being the absence of light.  For more information on RGB Color Model, see this link:

CMYK Color Model: When printing full color process, color is printed on paper using the subtractive color method of CMYK.  CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. CMYK printing utilizes the paper for white and subtracts white by laying down transparent inks as percentages or screened values of CMYK. This brochure is printed in CMYK. For more information on CMYK Color Model, see this link:

Why RGB Colors Need to be Converted: The RGB scheme has a greater range of colors than CMYK, and can produce colors that are more vivid and vibrant. These colors are beyond the range of CMYK to reproduce, and will print darker than what is seen on the monitor. Because RGB has the full range of colors, documents shown in CMYK will always display correct on-screen. RGB colors, however, will not print as they do on-screen. Toaccurately print the document or image, it must be converted from its original RGB format to CMYK.

Color Matching: Color accuracy is the most daunting challenge in producing printed materials which both meet your expectations and pleases your customer. This discussion is intended to establish realistic expectations and to avoid disappointment. Only digital printers and presses will be considered here; offset press output presents somewhat different, but equally challenging color matching issues.

The Constraints in Detail:

1. Monitor Variation: Communicating what a color should look like can not rely on the image seen on a computer screen. Differences in the types of monitors as well as variable settings (contrast, brightness, saturation, color temperature, etc.) means we will all be observing different colors.

2. The Limits of CMYK: We utilize the (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) or ‘process’ color printing method. These primary colors are combined to emulate the RGB colors (red, green, and blue) observed on a computer screen, as well as Pantone (PMS) spot colors. The CMYK process can generally come close in matching RGB and PMS ink colors but many colors can not be replicated at all because they fall outside the available physical CMYK color gamut. Additionally, the CMYK process results in colors which are generally not as brilliant as RGB or Pantone.

3. No Two Digital Printers/Presses Will Print the Same: Fluctuations in the operating environment such as temperature, humidity, toner consistency, the level of wear on drums and other imaging components will also affect the consistency of digital printer output.


File Submission Guidelines
To be sure your art files are ready to be sent, please follow these guidelines before uploading to our FTP
We accept Macintosh and PC files. If you have any questions, call our Art Department
at 732-247-6828 x 104. The file submission button is at the bottom of the page.
Files under 20 Megabytes can be sent directly to
We are currently having issues with our upload, you can send big files to us for free with

We accept the following file formats

  • Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) Preferred
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe PageMaker
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • QuarkXpress
  • Microsoft Publisher*
  • Microsoft Word*
  • Microsoft Excel*
  • Microsoft Powerpoint*
  1. All files should be accompanied by the images
    (graphics, photos, etc.) used in your documents,
    as well as the applicable fonts.
  2. EPS files should have fonts converted to outlines or curves.
  3. PDF files should be optimized for Press. Include .125″ bleed, crop marks, and set crop mark offsets to .167″
  4. Optimum resolution for photographs is 300dpi at 100%.
  5. For promotional items, check the maximum imprint size and imprinting limitations based on decorating techniques.
*Microsoft files depend on the printer style for formatting, and often behave unexpectedly. Production time may be needed in order to properly output these files and additional charges may apply.
Our policy on artwork and proofing
All files received are to be accompanied by a paper proof (preferred) or a PDF file for a proof. If we do not receive a paper or PDF proof, we will have to make one and get it approved before we can continue with the proofing process.If changes have to be made, they have to be done in the PDF or paper proofing process. We do not charge extra for minor changes at this stage.After a paper or PDF proof is approved, we will provide either an Ink Jet color print or a Digital Production Proof. This proof has to be viewed and approved by the customer before the job goes on press. The approved proof must be in our possession in order to begin printing, as we use that proof for printing positioning, color, and bindery positioning. Changes made after the Ink Jet or Digital Production Proof is produced will be charged at the rate of $80 per hour, plus the cost of a new Ink Jet print or Digital Production Proof, which must also be viewed and approved.After the final proof is approved and returned, our turnaround time until delivery is generally 5 working days. This time may occasionally be shortened, but it is best to allow for the full 5 days to make sure you get your pieces finished when you need them. The 5-Day turnaround can also be lengthened by certain bindery or finishing procedures.

If you have trouble sending through our upload, you can send big files to us for free with