Pre-Press Guidelines

Art Guidelines

In order to avoid costly errors and/or delays, please adhere to the following artwork specifications and requirements and review your files carefully prior to sending them to us. If you do not design your own files, please provide us with the name and contact information of the person or firm that designed your file(s).


Adobe InDesign (INDD) files in PC format are greatly preferred, but Adobe Illustrator (AI), Adobe PDF, or Adobe Photoshop (PSD) formats will be accepted if InDesign is not available. Photoshop is not recommended due to the possibility of “fuzzy” text, especially at smaller point sizes. Regardless of format, all variable data must be isolated on a separate layer. Any images, graphics and fonts used in the design should be included as separate assets (see below). Macintosh files will need to be tested before they are approved for production.


When any image or element on a page touches the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge and leaving no margin, it is called a bleed. Bleeds may extend off one or more sides. Photos, rules, clip art, and decorative text elements can bleed off the page. Missing or incorrect bleeds are the most common oversight in files provided by customers. All design files submitted to InGate Solutions must include 1/16” bleed on all sides.


If you are designing a ticket sheet, your final document size should include the 1/16” bleed on all edges. Example: A ticket sheet with a finished cut size of 10.0” x 6.0” will have a design file with dimensions of 10.125” x 6.125”. Ticket books will have a .5” binding edge and this must be taken into consideration when designing the job. A common mistake is to extend the design and critical copy into the binding area. If you have any questions about what your document size should be, please contact your sales representative.


Raster file formats should be a minimum 300 dpi (dot per inch) resolution and sized at or larger than the dimensions at which the file will be used. Artwork from the internet is typically 72 dpi and is not suitable for use in printing. Please do not embed artwork. Raster images to be placed into designs should be flattened and saved separately as TIFF files whenever possible. JPG format will be accepted if no other format is available. Please save JPG files with the least compression (highest quality) possible.


To ensure accurate reproduction, set black values to C=0, M=0, Y=0, K=100. Digital presses such as those used by InGate Solutions will represent this mixture as a deep, rich black. Four-color black should be avoided wherever possible.


All screen and printer fonts utilized in your document files must be included with your files submitted for output. Exact output cannot be guaranteed if fonts are not included. Due to cross-platform compatibility issues, Macintosh font files may not work. If files are submitted in PDF format, fonts must be embedded.


All critical copy must be at least 1/8” (.125”) from the final trim to avoid the possibility of being trimmed off. The use of borders in design files is not recommended due to potential shifting in the cutting process, which may cause borders to appear uneven.


To reduce delays and extra costs from troubleshooting, please double-check your files prior to submission. A preflighting tool will help catch any missing graphics, files or fonts, material not intended for printing, mistakes, or any other issues that could prevent the file from printing the way you want.


Files should be uploaded at Once there, click the “Upload Files” link in the menu, then choose whether you are uploading art or data files.


After your data file and artwork is received, the InGate Solutions design department will compile and send a proof for you to sign. InGate Solutions utilizes the ProofHQ proofing system ( and requires all changes and approvals be submitted through this system rather than via email. Depending upon the complexity of your data files, you may be asked to verify and approve those as well.

Variable Data Guidelines


The specifications for variable data artwork files are the same as those contained in the InGate Solutions Prepress Guidelines.


InGate Solutions accepts the following data file formats: Microsoft Excel (XLS, XLSX), Separated Values Text, Microsoft Access (ACCDB, MDB), Tix files (provided by Ticketmaster, remember to also add the .txt file that corresponds with it) or Paciolan data. If you have a file format not included in this list, please contact your sales representative.


Files should be uploaded at Once there, click the “Upload Files” link on the menu, then choose whether you are uploading art or data files.


In addition to your data file(s), it is suggested that you provide an explanation of your variables and how they will be used in the design. Most are obvious, such as name and address, but some may not be. This extra step can save a lot of time, especially if the database contains variables which will not be used.
If a database is particularly complex or requires a substantial amount of manipulation, you make be asked to approve a proof of the finished database which has been modified for production. With this proof, InGate Solutions will provide a list of columns used and a short description of what they are and where they go in the design.


Below is an example of how data files are used to place variables within a design:

In this example, each row, or record, includes the customer’s name, address, seat, section, row, etc. Records should contain any and all information that will vary on each ticket, sheet or book. In this case, the database does not include game times or dates as these will remain unchanged on every sheet. However, since there are six games on each sheet, the customer has provided a separate barcode for each game. Each column represents a different variable on the ticket. A variable is anything that will change between records including name, seat information, addresses, barcodes, graphics, ticket price, etc.



Top 5 Most Common Issues With Digital Files

Missing or incorrect bleeds
Incorrectly sized artwork
Missing or incompatible fonts
Critical copy too close to the edge
Raster artwork submitted at less than 300dpi


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