“The Little Sign Shop That Does..”


Print File Preparation

1. File preparation – All files should be in one of the following formats;

  • PDF – save as High Quality Print(use all default settings).
  • EPS – save as CS6 EPS. Please embed all linked images and fonts.
  • AI – save as CS6 AI. Please embed all linked images.
  • TIFF – save as uncompressed PC/Windows TIFF.
  • Jpeg – save as maximum quality(12), absolutely no compression.

2. Files MUST have all type and strokes converted to outlines.

3. Files MUST be at full scale unless they are larger than AI or PS can handle. These may be at 50% or 25% scale, the dimension scale must be indicated in the file title or outside the artboard.

4. Bitmap images, even those embedded in an EPS or PDF should be at the proper dpi when at full size. Do not try and send very large images at high dpi, this does not make the print quality any better. The following rules should be applied to bitmap resolution;

  • 11×17 or smaller prints – 600 dpi
  • larger than 11×17 up to full poster size(24×36) – 300 dpi
  • larger than poster size and up to 4’x8′ – 72 to 150 dpi
  • Very large files – 36 to 72 dpi

5. Double-check all print PDFs for transparency issues. Poor use of embedded images and their transparencies will often cause white blocks in the printing process.

6. Include desired trim lines: If you would like trim lines, place the outlines where desired.

7. Clearly indicate any white space or areas outside the visible artwork that must be included in the final product. Only include the necessary artwork in the file.

When creating your artwork, choose the artboard dimensions to match the dimensions you want the printed product to be, and include the desired white space.

When sending multiples in one file clearly indicate the exact dimensions and number of each print job.

8. Always preview any print PDF in Adobe Reader not your design program. Common errors can often be spotted in this simple step.

If you are sending your print job other than full scale, set the view scale at the inverse value to look for print issues.

If designing at 50% set the view to 200% to see what it will look like at full size. Look closely and ensure your resolution will be acceptable, make sure all elements are present and appear as you expect them to.

File Preparation – Colour

We have in-house colour ICC profiles our printers but unfortunately by its very nature CMYK digital printing cannot match all desired colours due to its reduced colour gamut as compared to RGB.

If colour accuracy is critical and the order size is significant, it is best to order a test print of your colours first for verification, as Sign Fast Signs does not guarantee colour accurate prints.

You are Also invited to make an appointment to come by the shop and we can assist you in choosing your colours from our CMYK colour print out table.

We update our colour table twice a year to give an accurate sample of our printers colour output. Please note below some of the common limitations in regards to large format printing.

  • Colour shifts between different prints and medias may occur, especially if they are printed at different times.
  • Vector art such as text and logos will print differently when rasterized in your file or exported as a tiff or bitmap, as it will be processed as an image rather than vector art.
  • Your colour accuracy will always be better if the document set up in your application is set to CMYK mode rather than RGB. (Images can remain in RGB if you wish.)
  • Pantone spot colours will print more accurately and more consistently if they are left as a spot colour in your file rather than converting it to CMYK.
  • Any Pantone spot colours that interact with a transparency in your file will be disregarded by our system. Be very aware of the use of transparencies in your files, especially PDFs.
  • Sign Fast can not guarantee colour accurate prints and does not use Pantone colour system.

Cut File Preparation

1. All cut files MUST be at size. If this is not possible all scaled dimensions must be indicated in file title or inside the working file.

2. All type and strokes must be created as outlines.

3. A single cutable object must have all of its components merged together, this includes strokes and any holes or voids.

Die Cut File Preparation

1. All Contour Cut files MUST be at size. The physical limit to what can be die cut is 48″ wide by 144″ long.

2. All Contour Cuts should have a safety zone and bleed of at least 1/8″ each.

3. All Contour Cut must be on their own layer in the EPS or AI file and indicated as such.

4. All Contour Cuts must have a stroke 0.0025” thickness composed of 100% Magenta Spot Colour. This spot colour swatch must be named CutContour. The name of the swatch has to be spelled exactly as indicated for it to work.

The RIP software interprets this item and uses it to identify the cut path. Alternately you can download the CutContour swatch here. Upload it to your swatches folder in illustrator and use the swatch for any Contour Cut in your vector program download the swatch here.

Sending Digital Files

Sending Large Files can be difficult.

To save the frustration of bogging up your email and ours
Sign Fast Signs recommends you use the File transfer service


Using WeTransfer is easy, free and allows you to send up to 2GB of files for free in each email. WeTransfer has been our service of choice for large files for over 3 years now.

Meet The Talent..


Big Z

A.K.A: Zachary Croxen