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Guidelines for Submitting Electronic Files

Quick Checklist:

  • PDF files are the best file format for our purposes
  • Please outline all fonts (turn fonts into vector art)
  • Do not put crop marks, trim marks, or other file information outside of the advertisement
  • Full page ads with bleed should have all text and other important information at least 1/4 inside the trim area (trim is 8.375 x 10.875 inches)
  • All images in the ad should be at least 300 dpi and in CMYK format
  • Include your company name in the filename
Please read the following guidelines before sending us your advertisements.

What programs and platforms do you use?

Peterson Publications, Inc., is PC-based, using Adobe InDesign CS and Photoshop CS. NOTE: We do not use QuarkXPress or Microsoft Publisher. Please do not send those type of files.

Do you need crop marks or registration marks on the file?

We request that all electronic files NOT have crop marks or registration marks included in the file, even for full page ads. We ask that all ads match the measurements listed below:

Width Height
Full Page (no bleed) 7 1/2" 10 1/2"
1/2 Page Horizontal 7 1/2" 4 7/8"
1/2 Page Vertical 3 3/4" 10 1/2"
1/4 Page Horizontal 7 1/2" 2 1/2"
1/4 Page Vertical 3 3/4" 4 7/8"
Full Page Bleed 8 5/8" 11 1/8" (includes bleed)
Trim size 8 3/8" 10 7/8"
Live area 7 1/2" 10 1/2"

What file formats can I send?

We request that you send Adobe's Portable Document Format (.pdf) files and Tiff (.tif) files. NOTE: We do not use QuarkXPress or Microsoft Publisher. Please do not send those type of files.

If you need any assistance in creating a .pdf file, check out Adobe's site. We request that your pdf file be accompanied by a flattened .tif file as well, saved at 300 dpi minimum (higher if there is small text in the ad and 600 dpi minimum if the ad is black-and-white or grayscale.) Occasionally, a pdf file will cause problems for the printer and we would like to be able to immediately substitute a .tif file.

What about .jpgs?

Files saved as .jpgs can work as long as they are saved at the highest possible quality. Keep in mind that .jpgs are a lossy compression format, which means that image detail is removed to make the file smaller. Before saving a file as a .jpg to make the file smaller, try saving the .tif with lzw compression and see what effect that has.

How should I name my file?

Ideally, your filename should include the name of your company or establishment. In the past, many advertisers have sent us ads named Plastics-ad.tif or InsideFinishing-ad.tif. As you can imagine, once there are two or three files named this way things can get confusing. We suggest naming your file along the following conventions:
CompanyName_Publication_date.tif

For example, if Nike wanted to place an ad in our Winter 2015 Topeka Visitors Guide, they could name their ad Nike_TVG_Winter15.tif. This will avoid all confusion and ensure that the ad finds its way to the proper publication.

Remember to make sure the correct extension (.tif for TIFF files and .pdf for Adobe Acrobat files) is included in the filename. Mac computers don't automatically add this extension to their filenames. PC's only know a file's type by checking the extension.

What media should be used?

CDs. Do not send film, floppy disks or zip disks.

Can I email my materials?

Usually, yes. Our email system can accept large attachments, but some email programs and some servers that transmit email limit the size of attached files that you can send. For most that limit is 2 MB, while others limit it to an even smaller size. A good rule of thumb is to keep the file size below 1.5 MB. (This problem is happening less frequently as ISPs continuously upgrade their systems.)

How can I reduce the file size?

Black-and-white .tif files are the smallest of the three different color modes. A quarter-page black-and-white ad will probably be under 1.5 MB. Larger ads and those in grayscale or CMYK formats will naturally be larger. If your file is larger than 1.5 MB, try saving the file with LZW compression to dramatically reduce the file size.

My file is too large to email. Can I upload the file to an FTP site?

We've found that using an FTP server does not work for many people due to firewall issues. We've started recommending the site www.mailbigfile.com. It's a free service that allows you to send us a file up to 100 MB in size. Any file that's larger than 10 MB should be sent to us by www.mailbigfile.com since our email system cannot accommodate anything larger than that.

How can I create a .tif file with my software?

With most desktop publishing programs, such as Pagemaker and QuarkXPress, it's possible to either print your file into an .eps file or to export it as a .pdf or other file that Photoshop can read. Once in Photoshop you can save it as a .tif file. Most versions of Illustrator and Freehand have the ability to export it directly as a .tif file. Once you've brought the file into Photoshop check it over carefully to make sure the file is how you intend it to be printed. If you have questions about how to do any of this, please email our Art Director at becky@petersonpublications.com.