File Preparation & Color Guide Lines

Thank you for choosing the Gotham Group!

To ensure your graphics are produced to your satisfaction, please read the following carefully. Files supplied incorrectly may require rebuilding in which additional charges may be incurred. If you have any questions, please contact your Sales or Account Service Representative who will be happy to help.

Accepted Media
How We Handle Fonts
How We Handle Color
Color Proofs
Crops & Bleeds
Vector vs. Raster Art
Scanned Images

FTP Upload Login:

CLICK HERE to upload files to our FTP.

Accepted Media

CD, DVD, BluRay, USB Flash Drive (also known as “Pen Drives” or “Thumb Drive”)

We DO NOT accept files via e-mail over 5MB for the total email, please direct all files over 5MB to our FTP.

NOTE: Include a file directory listing the contents of your supplied media. Only files pertinent to the project should be included. Additional charges may apply if we need to sort through and find relevant information. Also please supply a print to match content and a color match if possible.

Please note that it is industry standard to list width before height (WxH). Keeping consistent with WxH in both communication to us and in the file name will help to keep workflow efficient.

Software and Formats

Adobe Acrobat:

Adobe InDesign: 
.pdf, .eps, .idd 

Adobe Photoshop: 
.tiff, .jpg, .pdf, .psd
(high quality only, see raster
section below for details)

Adobe Illustrator: 
.pdf, .eps, .ai

Quark Xpress:
.pdf, .eps, .qxd, .qxp

Gotham accepts both Mac and PC files, and we strive to use the most up-to-date versions of the leading software.

Accepted Versions Include:

Adobe Illustrator ver. 17 "Creative Cloud" (or lower*)
Adobe Photoshop ver. 14 "Creative Cloud" (or lower*)
Adobe InDesign ver. 9 "Creative Cloud" (or lower*)
QuarkXPress ver. 8 (or 3.1+*)

We do not accept Microsoft Publisher, Power Point, Excel, or Word; and Corel as print files. Any art designed in these Applications may be saved as a high quality PDF(s), but printability is not guaranteed.

*There may be compatibility issues with older versions, If we cannot resolve them here, we will notify you. Quark XPress 3.0 and older cannot be opened on our systems, please save as outlined (text to path) PDF or EPS.

All files must be in US English format and supplied in the original layered file format.

If you are working on a platform that doesn't support any of these applications, please contact your sales associate to discuss your options prior to producing any artwork. Files supplied in other applications will require rebuilding, and may incur additional charges, or may not be useable at all.

"Filters and Effects" in Illustrator and InDesign do not always print correctly. If we are supplied a file using these attributes, additional time may be required to print the file. Also, Photoshop files that are embedded in Illustrator are not accepted. Files must be PLACED. Be sure to include the linked Photoshop file.

PDF's: The PDF format is very efficient, but can be limiting depending on how the file is set up. If the type is not outlined, or the fonts and images aren't embedded, we may have print issues. Adobe's "High Quality Print" preset tends to be a very good option, but please be sure that all type is either outlined or embedded, and all images are embedded. Feel free to discuss with your Account Service Representative whether a file should contain bleed, or if there's any special setup is required, as we may not be able to edit the files you send.

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How We Handle Fonts:

To ensure that all designs print as intended, please provide all fonts (both screen and printer) used in your document(s). Alternatively, convert all text to paths in vector applications.
Do not supply TrueType Fonts or any Macintosh System Fonts, as they will not process.

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How We Handle Color:

Vector artwork must be specified using the PANTONE® Matching System (coated). Accurate color matches cannot be achieved through the use of CMYK values due to the differences in ways that all printers and technologies interpret those values. Specifying colors using PMS (coated) provides us with a precise color reference and greatly increases our chances of accurately producing your colors.

Always include a color proof with your electronic files and specify whether we are to match to your printed proof or the actual PMS color(s). Colors not assigned to PMS (coated) or supplied without a sample match will print as is. If working in Illustrator, please supply vector artwork in "CMYK mode," as opposed to "RGB mode."

Raster based artwork will print as is unless we are supplied a proof indicated for matching. Do not include color profiles - use adjustment layers and be sure to include the layered file on disk. Please supply all raster files as RGB unless you are experienced in the conversion to CMYK. If they already exist as CMYK do not convert them to RGB. Supply as is. Color proofs are available upon
request for a minimal charge.

NOTE: Due to the inherent nature of large format digital printing, perfect color matching cannot be guaranteed. We will make sure every effort is made to match your colors as accurately as possible; color shifts and/or differences should be expected. Reprinted archived files will never exactly match original prints. If color matching from one job to another is critical, all jobs must be printed at the same time.

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Color Proofs:(available at a minimal charge)

When color matching is critical, we recommend the printing of a color proof. We will print the proof using the same processes and materials that will be used in the production of your final output. We suggest you supply us with any form of printed materials you would like us to match and we will make every effort to get as close as possible to the supplied art.

A minimum of two days from the receipt of production-ready art is needed to produce a color proof.
Upon receipt, please examine all proofs very carefully. By approving these, you are accepting responsibility for the content and instructing us to proceed with the printing of your graphic(s) as it stands. Please contact your Account Service Representative with any questions you may have ASAP.

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Cropmarks and Bleed:

Please send all files with .25 inch bleed on each edge with no crop marks at 100% (unless software limits the ability to create at 100%). Please see the "Vector (Illustrator) vs. Raster (Photoshop) Artwork" for more details on quality and resolution of rastered images.

If you are creating layouts to be used as individual graphics, cropmarks are not necessary; however, be sure the document size is set to be the final print dimensions or a directly scaled version of the final print.

When creating layouts that will span multiple panels, do not dissect (panel) them. Supply the layout as a single piece of artwork with 1" bleeds around all the external edges (at final output size). Files supplied incorrectly may require rebuilding in which additional charges will be incurred.

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Vector (Illustrator) vs. Raster (Photoshop) Artwork:

Vector provides the highest quality output while maintaining the smallest file size. It is particularly well suited for logos, line drawings, charts and graphs, and text which require sharp, clean lines. Scaling to any size is possible without degradation of quality because it is resolution independent.

Raster artwork, which is resolution dependent, is best represented by photographic type artwork. It's not recommended for reproducing logos, line drawings and text that is intended to be as crisp as vector artwork. If doing so, all raster artwork must exist at full size at the required resolution determined by the method of output.

We require all raster artwork to be 100-150 ppi (pixels per inch) at final output size, 200-300 ppi at half size and 400-600 ppi at quarter size, etc. Files should never be greater than 200 ppi at 100%, as the human eye can rarely distinguish over 150 ppi when converted to dots per inch on our printers. Files over 200 ppi at 100% are only effective at slowing workflow. Artwork that is formatted below quarter scale may not be accepted.

Do not interpolate or "res-up" raster images. Doing so will enable you to meet the dimension and resolution requirements, however, image quality will be greatly affected resulting in a poor output. See the example below.

Vector vs. Raster

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Scanned Images:

All scanned images require a resolution of 100-150 ppi at final output size. This resolution will provide the maximum print quality for large format digital printing. Images supplied below 100-150 ppi may result in poor output.

Images supplied with more than 100 ppi in resolution will not print any better. The result will only be a larger file size which can lead to longer upload, download and processing times. When supplying high resolution scans please leave them in their native RGB format.

Do not convert them to CMYK.

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For more detailed information and further reading on the printing industry,
see the external links below:


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