FIBS: Help with File Preparation

File preparation can sometimes be the vast territory separating the graphic designer from the printer. Here is a simple way to remember the key points of file preparation: Fonts, Images, Bleed and Spell check or FIBS.


We need fonts to make your artwork look like it does on your screen. While we have access to many different fonts, when we start replacing them, weird things happen! Your best bet is to either include the fonts with your job if you are submitting a packaged file from InDesign or Quark. Normally, the program will go and fetch all these extraneous items for you. If you don’t want to or can’t include the fonts, just outline them in your program so we won’t need them. Doing this comes with it’s own set of warnings.


If you are designing in a program like Photoshop, you probably won’t need to worry about this. However, if you are using InDesign or Quark just be sure to use the “Package” or “Collect” command.


If you have a color head shot and the color extends all the way to the edge, you will need to configure bleed on your artwork. In this example, the headshot, the color -whether it be a background color or image or a border, actually extends about 1/8″ further on all sides. So a final sized head shot of 8″ x 10″ will actually measure 8.25″ x 10.25″. Why is this necessary you ask? Due to inconsistencies in the printing and design process, tight tolerances are not realistic. Bleed ensures that are no unprinted edges or white hairlines along the edge of the page after trimming.

Spell Check

We do our best to catch as many errors as possible. However, unless we are typesetting something for you, we will not spell check your design before printing. Please take this extra measure before submitting your files for print.

At Modern Litho and Brown Printing, we are committed to providing a high level of service. We are here to help with any questions you might have regarding: file preparation, layout, pre-press and proofing!