Design Tips - Printing Services - St. Cloud State University

Design Dos and Don'ts

Do Not:

  • Do not design page layouts in Microsoft Word, Power Point, Excel, Publisher. Font problems increase when using these programs.
  • Do not send images that are in a Word file. Image file extensions end with .jpeg, .jpg, .tif, .eps, .psd. They do not end with .doc, .docx, .dot
  • Do not design page layouts in Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop converts colors to 4 color process, which makes it difficult to separate colors when printing.
  • Do not use low resolution web graphics. The print quality is poor.
  • Do not use the transparency pallet to create a screened or tinted color. When creating a screened or tinted color, use the screen slider in the Color Swatch Pallet.
  • Do not copy images from the internet or another source and paste them into an InDesign document. Instead use the "Place" function.
    1. Choose File > Place
    2. Locate file to be placed
    3. click "Open"
  • Do not skip page 1 when using the "Facing Pages" option when laying out a booklet. The single page 1 is the cover of the booklet and the single last page is the back cover.
  • Do not use international paper sizes (A4, A3) when creating a file. Use U.S. standard sizes (Letter 8.5 × 11 inches, Legal 8.5 × 14 inches, Tabloid 11 × 17 inches)


  • Do save a file at it’s final size. One to a page.
  • Do send a paper copy of your job along with your Printing Services request form.
  • Do send all fonts and images used in your file along with the file itself.
  • Do fill out the Printing Services request form as complete as possible.

Design Tips to Consider

  • When creating a 2 color job with black and another color, use the standard black color in your color swatch pallet, do not use Pantone Black from the Pantone Swatch Pallet.
  • If designing a file in Adobe Illustrator, outline the fonts before sending to Printing Services.
  • Change like Pantone Swatch colors to one color. For example, if your color pallet lists Pantone 201 C and Pantone 201 U, change them to one or the other. They may appear to be the same color, but the computer reads them as 2 colors.
  • If you are using black and white images, check to make sure they are set in "Greyscale" mode in Photoshop. Grey images set in "RGB" mode are not black.
  • When placing text on top of a solid color background, use a Sans Serif font (Helvetica). Serif fonts (Times) can fill in when there is a color heavy background.
  • If creating a file with multiple pages, use one file with multiple pages, not multiple files with one page in each.