for your custom mousepad! OK, let's go!
Here are the general guidelines for setting up your artwork for printing to our mouse pads.
We typically work from your digital files. In setting up these files, please note the following:
Our mouse pads are 9.25" wide and are 7.75" tall but we set the artwork up 1/8 of an inch larger than this actual pad size. You can set-up your image horizontally or vertically as the mouse pads can be used both ways. We set the overall image (or background color or image) to "bleed" 1/8" over the actual size of the mouse pad. This full bleed size being 9.50" X 8.00". Any other logo's, type, phone numbers, etc. to be printed on the pad we try to keep approx 3/8" INSIDE the ACTUAL mouse pad size (see the illustration). This keeps us from "cutting off" important copy at the edges. Most importantly, remember that mouse pads have ROUNDED CORNERS, so we cannot set type, logos, etc. too tight into a corner or it will be lost. Along these same lines, designs that are enclosed in a square box or square border do not work well (square pegs do not fit well in a round hole!) It is much better to have a background image or color and allow for it to run or "bleed" completely off the page and then set other type, logos etc. well within the edges of the pad.
We accept 100MB Zip disc, 3.5" floppy, etc. and CD media. These will gladly be returned to you with your order. If your design is a photo or picture image, the entire design could be supplied to us as any of the common image formats such as tif, bmp, jpg, pcx, eps, etc.. The most common programs we work with are Adobe Photoshop (both PC and Mac) or Corel Photo Paint (PC), so the file can also be sent as such (PSD for Photoshop and PCX for Photo Paint) Otherwise, most other image editing programs will let you save your file in one of these formats. Our process prints at upwards to 400 dpi resolution, however you will notice that an image set-up to full mouse pad size at 300 dpi resolution will result in a file size of approximately 20 MB, which is fine, but for mouse pads you certainly don't have to work with this large of a file. Saving the image at 200 will yield very good results. If 3.5" floppy is the largest storage device you have you can save your image as a jpeg (jpg) file, 200 dpi minimum! (or 1900 X 1600 pixels) and save at the highest quality (lowest compression) setting. Images created or saved much smaller in size and at resolutions less than 180 are likely to look "pixelized" when enlarged to mouse pad size. Note: web images are small low resolution files and generally will not print well when enlarged to mousepad size.
Images may be able to be e-mailed to us but larger files often do not transfer well via e-mail and sometimes create a problem for our mail server. The exception to this would be high resolution jpegs or compressed bitmaps. Simple vector images from Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator will usually be small. Try to keep file size to 2 megs or less. Once again, web page JPG's and GIF's do not work well, they are generally too small and at 72 to 96 dpi will not enlarge to mouse pad size without noticeable "pixelization".
We also work with drawing programs such as Adobe Illustrator (8.0 Mac or 7.0 PC) and Corel Draw (6.0 Mac or PC) and you are welcome to send files in these formats. In fact, your logo's and other type will often print with sharper edges set-up in these formats and then placed over your background color or picture image. One note: If you are "embedding" images into these files, please save a copy of these image files separately and send them along with your original file.
Remember, that although we have over a thousand fonts, we may not have the exact font you use. We recommend you CONVERT YOUR FONTS TO "OUTLINES" (Illustrator) OR "CURVES" (Corel Draw), or that you include your fonts with your file. If you work in other drawing programs, see if they will allow you to save your file as an "eps" or Adobe Illustrator file ("ai"). If prompted to ask if you want to export text as text or curves, choose curves.
QUARK files (Mac V3.3) are welcome, however, remember to send all your fonts. Also we recommend you also save a duplicate file as a Quark EPS file ("Save page as EPS") and send it along too. Often we can work with this eps file in the case that the original file presents a problem.
If you can, it's also a good idea to include a color print of your design if you can. This way we know the colors we see are the same colors your seeing, especially if you are really critical about your colors. Although we carefully watch over every step in the print process, keep in mind that there are SEVERAL factors that can cause slight changes in colors or tints. Even the format that a file is saved in can affect this. Monitors also do not always display colors the same way and for sure do not always display colors exactly how they print.
Yes, we can print an actual production proof for you to see before we print the bulk of the order. However, please realize that this entails us to go through the entire set-up process in order to do this so please be prepared to pay for any set-up charges and shipping prior to receiving this proof.
Keep in mind that if you don't have an in-house design department or agency that does your production for you, we can offer design and art services to you. Just send us your ideas (the more details you can provide, the better) color print, artwork or photos you want on the pad. Also include any additional information such as phone numbers, web addresses, and type styles desired. Design services are billed at $40 per hour. Credit card information is required before we can begin production. Upon receipt of your ideas and information we can provide you with a good approximation of cost of the production.
Please feel free to call if you have any questions. We're glad to help!
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