Expand Artwork and Printing FAQ

General

 

Q. How do I upload my file(s)?

A. Expand has an easy-to-use FTP site. You can download the FTP instructions in PDF format by clicking here.

If you would like to get started with the FTP transfer, please click here to get started.

 

 

 

Design

 

Q. How do I set up my file(s)?

A. Expand has put together a Printing Guidelines page on our website. You can get to the page by clicking here.

You may also download the Expand Printing Guidelines in a PDF format so that you can send it to your client or designer.

 

Q. How do I export spot colors from InDesign to a PDF?

A. You must convert Pantone Swatches from Process Color Types to Spot Color Types by following the directions below:

1. Choose a Pantone color applied to the file that has a process color type chip in the name and double click

2. This will open the Swatch Options window. From here, change the color type from process to spot and click 'OK".

3. Do this to all Pantones with a process color type chip. Now your swatches palette should show Pantone colors that have been identified as spot (shows a square with a "spot" in it).

4. In the swatches palette, open the drop down menu and choose Ink Manager. In this window, make sure the option "All Spots to Process" is unchecked.

5. Export the file as a PDF and check the results in Adobe Illustrator.

 

Q: Why are programs like InDesign and Quark not recommended for large format graphic production?

A: Programs like InDesign and Quark are multi-page layout programs meant for small format such as books, magazines and pamphlets. When creating graphics with the size dimensions common in large format, these programs create “bloated” files packed with often unnecessary information. These files must also be exported out of the original program as either an EPS or high resolution PDF files so that we can preflight in and print from Adobe Illustrator files. Expand does not print InDesign or Quark files. Most commonly, we encounter problems such as trapping issues, off-color boxes, or just unnecessarily large file sizes in general. 

 

Q: I want to design a mural graphic using 2 or more retractable displays, should I use single panel templates, or should I put them together?

A: Expand offers multi-panel templates for mural graphics. We do not require bleed between multi-panel graphics because doing so can create continuity issues in the design (i.e missing letters in text, incomplete paths in line art, incomplete pictures). While the hardware can cause a small gap between the panels once they are mounted, this gap does not need to be accounted for in the creation of the art. Contact Expand's Customer Service representatives or your Account Executive for access to these templates.

 

Q: I was told my file is missing fonts, but I sent a print ready Acrobat PDF, why am I getting this message?

A: Expand does not print directly from art submitted by the customer. Each file submitted to Expand is preflighted in Adobe Illustrator. When a file is saved as or exported as a PDF, the fonts are embedded for Acrobats use. They are not, however, embedded for programs like Illustrator. You will either need to package the entire font family prior to submitting the file, or convert the fonts to outlines or paths prior to creating your PDF (this depends on the capabilities of the program that was used to create your art).

 

Q: I was told my file is missing links, but I sent a print ready Acrobat PDF, why am I getting this message?

A: Expand does not print directly from art submitted by the customer. Each file submitted to Expand is preflighted in Adobe Illustrator. When a file is saved as or exported as a PDF, the images are embedded for Acrobats use. They are not, however, embedded for programs like Illustrator. You will either need to package all links prior to submitting the file, or embed the links prior to creating your PDF (this depends on the size and number of images contained within your file, too many will create a large file).

 

 

 

Color

 

Q. How do I export spot colors from InDesign to a PDF?

A. You must convert Pantone Swatches from Process Color Types to Spot Color Types by following the directions below:

1. Choose a Pantone color applied to the file that has a process color type chip in the name and double click

2. This will open the Swatch Options window. From here, change the color type from process to spot and click 'OK".

3. Do this to all Pantones with a process color type chip. Now your swatches palette should show Pantone colors that have been identified as spot (shows a square with a "spot" in it).

4. In the swatches palette, open the drop down menu and choose Ink Manager. In this window, make sure the option "All Spots to Process" is unchecked.

5. Export the file as a PDF and check the results in Adobe Illustrator.

 

Q: Does Expand provide color matching to the Pantone colors used in my file?

A: Expand is able to provide a commercial color match to most of the Pantone colors you may use in your file, provided that those colors are chosen from the Solid Coated or, if absolutely necessary, Solid Uncoated Swatch Family. Please remember to use the actual spot color in your file, not its CMYK equivalent. Also, it is important to leave the proper Pantone name of the spot color intact. We cannot provide a color match to colors whose names have been changed (i.e. Company Logo Blue and so on). In InDesign and Illustrator, make sure the Pantone color is listed as a Spot color not a Process color.

 

Q: Can I use my E-Proof for confirmation of color?

A: All E-Proofs sent by Expand are intentionally low in resolution for the purposes of email and DO NOT contain accurate color information. These E-Proofs should only be used for the confirmation of content and layout, not for color or quality accuracy. Due to variations in monitors we can neither control not guarantee the color accuracy of the E-Proofs we send. All monitors are backlit and use different color profiles in addition to the various brightness/contrast settings that are possible. If you wish to confirm color accuracy, we recommend ordering a printed proof. We will print and ship your graphic printed on the appropriate material in both a miniature measuring w4" x h10" as well as a 100% section measuring w9" x h11". You may also consider using a Pantone color, or sending us a sample to which we can provide a commercial color match.

 

 

 

Electronic Proof (E-Proof)

 

Q: Why do some letters in my PDF Proof appear bold while others do not?

A: The bold letters you notice in your PDF file is a result of vector text being viewed at a small scale in Adobe Acrobat. If you zoom in over the text in question, in the PDF proof, up to 100%, you’ll notice the error corrects itself. It is a common problem in Acrobat files. It will not happen in text generated from a raster image because that text has been flattened. Please note, however that Expand prints from EPS files, not low resolution compressed PDF files so this issue will not occur on your final print.

 

Q: Why does my graphic look fuzzy on the E-Proof I received?

A: All E-Proofs sent by Expand are intentionally low in resolution for the purposes of email. These E-Proofs should only be used for the confirmation of content and layout, not for color or quality accuracy. If you wish to confirm image quality, we recommend ordering a printed proof. We will print and ship your graphic printed on the appropriate material in both a miniature  measuring w4" x h10" as well as a 100% section measuring w9" x h11".

 

Q: Can I use my E-Proof for confirmation of color?

A: All E-Proofs sent by Expand are intentionally low in resolution for the purposes of email and DO NOT contain accurate color information. These E-Proofs should only be used for the confirmation of content and layout, not for color or quality accuracy. Due to variations in monitors we can neither control not guarantee the color accuracy of the E-Proofs we send. All monitors are backlit and use different color profiles in addition to the various brightness/contrast settings that are possible. If you wish to confirm color accuracy, we recommend ordering a printed proof. We will print and ship your graphic printed on the appropriate material in both a miniature measuring w4" x h10" as well as a 100% section measuring w9" x h11". You may also consider using a Pantone color, or sending us a sample to which we can provide a commercial color match.

 

Q: What is the cassette bleed box and profile box covering my art and will they print?

A: The grey/green cassette bleed box and profile non-visual areas you see on your graphic are 2-D representations of the 3-D hardware that your graphic will eventually be mounted into. While these boxes do not actually print, the content beneath them will be covered by actual hardware and will not be seen once mounted.

 

 

Q: How long will my project take?

A: You can find out the estimated lead time for your project by clicking here.

 

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