Film, Print & Mechanical Specifications
Mac Designer Templates | Download
PC Designer Templates
Note: Many CMYK projects now
bypass the film stage and go "Direct-to-Plate"
Please see Designer's Top 10 Check-List
If going to film (and not direct-to-plate) CD Folder/Tray &
Cassette Insert film must be 150 line screen right reading, negative,
emulsion side down, typically at 2550 dpi and include registration
marks (and individual CMYK names & color bars on each of
the 4 film sheets where applicable). All colored panels must
be set up as CMYK files (not RGB) and must be provided with proper
Allow 1/8" bleed on all
sides, and never place any item or type that can't bleed-off
closer than 1/8" from top, bottom or either edge of finish
trimmed size. Indicate all fold, perforation and crop marks in
margins just outside bleed areas.
Even if your cover will print
"direct-to-plate" you will still require CD or tape
imprint films from a reputable film service bureau. Films must
be right reading, positive, emulsion side up at 2550dpi using
a 100 line screen with elliptical dots for any images that include
For CD, DVD, Cassette & Video labeling or imprinting, we prefer to do the layout and any films because of the very tight tolerances on tape shells. If you intend to supply your own files or films, be certain you fully understand the technical requirements.
Please see FAQ
(frequently asked questions) on our main page for a discussion
of the use of UPC barcodes, the MAPL symbol and copyright concerns
Be sure to include your CATALOGUE
NUMBER and MADE IN CANADA on all cover and CD/Tape imprint graphics.
Explanation of Terms
For Process Color. 4 Color & CMYK
- For Process
film: C = Cyan, M = Magenta, Y =
K = Black.
When you see cover printing
described as 4/0, 4/1 or 4/4 here's what it means:
4/0 is full color (CMYK) on the front with no printing on
the back or reverse side.
4/1 is full color (CMYK) on the front with black printing on
the back or reverse side.
This is the standard configuration for all Summit cassette
inserts and CD Folders.
4/4 is full color (CMYK) on the front and full color on
the back or reverse side.
This is an option for CD folder/tray cards as well as
cassette inserts but adds cost.
If there is to be printing on
the back of any colored panel, it must also show crop & fold/perf.
marks. (especially spine position on cassettes) Mark the
top edge or each item "TOP" in the margin, just above
bleed area as we have done on our Summit layout sheet. Mark page
numbers below each panel in the margin, outside image areas.
Computer Platforms (Mac & PC) Downloading or Printing Summit Layout Templates
- Download Mac Designer Templates
MAC: If you are using a Mac you can download the applicable CD or DVD Layout sheet(s) as a Quark document. Just click on download link above Call if you have questions or require specuial templates and Summit will email these to you. You may also download a PDF layout for use with Photoshop, In-Design or Illustrator .
- Download PC Designer Templates
PC: If you are using an IBM/PC compatible computer, you can download our Photoshop templates by clicking on the link above, download our PDF templates, or just print the html layout sheet and create your own template using measurement information provided.
- Regardless of which platform you use to create cover art (Mac or PC), you need to know that even the very most expensive monitors can rarely be trusted to accurately indicate finished colors. For accuracy, believe your Process color chart not the monitor! Scans and color panels that look one way on screen may actually be TOTALLY different when printed. To avoid disappointment follow these two basic
Rule #1: Shoot all digital images at your camera's highest resolution and convert to 300dpi at final cropped size.
- Rule #2: create all color panels and type, for
cover printing in the CMYK mode (not PMS/Pantone or RGB) and
then instead of believing what you see on the screen, create
colors using percentages from a CMYK color chart such as the
"Pantone Process Color System Guide" (not to be
confused with a PMS Pantone color Chart). This will avoid
unpleasant surprises when the job comes back from press. Note:
make sure you convert all colors and images to CMYK before saving
your final layout. Note: Colors for Disc imprints
are are not CMYK but are Pantone PMS format.
- Please See Designers Top 10 Check-List
- MAC: Summit Sound uses all popular Mac based graphics software including, QuarkXPress, Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop. The easiest method is to convert your finished layout to Printable PDF at 300dpi with all text embedded and we will print from your PDF files - OR your complete working files may be supplied for output on CDR or uploaded to our FTP site (call or email for FTP info)...If supplying your working files, be sure to include all fonts and images (scans, clip art, logos etc.) that you have used in your layout. If in doubt about any scanned image, scan it to size (properly cropped) at 300dpi in Photoshop and save as an EPS or TIF file Saving drawings & type (converted to curves) as Adobe Illustrator files ("Vector" format) is also a good way to ensure the most compatibility at final output, but this leaves us less options to make corrections if required. *After saving a layout in QuarkXPress use the "collect for output" command in Quark 5-7 (or a utility such as Extensis - Collect Pro for earlier versions of Quark) to ensure that all fonts and images used are included with your file. If using In-Design please note this when sending files, flatten all layers, embed text and convert to 300dpi printable PDF.
PC: If sending IBM/PC files, 1. Photoshop or In-Design* converted to CMYK, "flattened" with text embedded and all images at 300dpi. 2. In Illustrator, make sure to convert all type to curves and save final files "flattened" as AI (Adobe Illustrator which is a "vector" format). 3. Acrobat "printable" PDF in CMYK at 300dpi also with text embedded. 4. Corel Draw (must be version 6 or higher to be usable) files should use only "Artistic text" then convert type to curves, next convert ALL spot colors to process and export the entire file as an Adobe Illustrator (AI) file, to avoid lengthy and thus expensive "rip" times and font incompatibilities.*If using In-Design please note this when sending files, flatten all layers, embed text and convert to 300dpi printable PDF.
When in doubt, call us BEFORE you do something you may later
- Shopping For Professional
Your cover is VERY important, and like it or not, the contents
will be pre-judged by what people see on the outside. A poor
looking cover can scare potential customers away from a great
Few people who own a PC and a
copy of "Corel Draw" are trained as graphic artists,
and even fewer have any experience with CMYK output for high-end
When shopping for a "professional" graphic designer, the first question to ask is what platform they work on. Our experience has shown that doing your design on a Mac will ensure the best results with a minimum of complications pre-press.
Most high-end printers as well as photo & film service bureaus are very cautious about IBM /PC files unless they are 300 dpi printable PDF's with all text and images embedded.
Creative & Graphic Design Services
- Please see Summit Design link
Summit Sound has been providing complete in-house creative and
graphic design services since we opened in 1974. We have created
many hundreds of album covers for CD, Cassette, Records and even
good old 8 track tapes back in the 70's. Since we do this kind
of work every day, we know what to do and how to avoid problems.
Another advantage to using Summit is that when we are doing everything
we are completely responsible for the final outcome. This is
in sharp contrast to situations where several parties are involved
and when something goes wrong, everyone starts blaming the other
guy for the problem.
Submission of Design Files and/or Film
There are really 3 ideal (MAC) options for submission of files/film
to Summit, plus a fourth that we have found quite satisfactory
for IBM/PC files:
1.) Let us do everything including art, type, scans, and then
you can approve a color laser proof or a PDF before we go "direct-to-plate'
2.) Hire a local graphics firm, (ideally using Macs) have them supply final files to Summit (following our specs.) and you can approve a PDF version before it goes direct-to-plate to press.
3.) Have your scans done by a good service bureau on a drum scanner,
create all your colors in CMYK using a color percentage matching
chart and then supply final files to Summit (following our specs.)
and you can approve a PDF version before it goes direct-to-plate
4.) Supply PC files exported as 300dpi printable PDF's converted to CMYK, "flattened" with all text embedded. Let us take your files direct-to-plate and do your film output for your disc imprint,. We'll send you a PDF for approval before going to press. If using In-Design please note this when sending files, flatten all layers, embed text and convert to 300dpi printable PDF.
Other options can get complicated, so if one of the above 4 options
won't work for you,,. it may be best to discuss this with us before sending your files.
To avoid problems, we prefer to handle all cover printing along with your CD or DVD duplication or replication. The most critical items are CD folder/trays which must be PERFECTLY sized and printed on very specific stock even with the stock grain turned in the correct direction etc. to allow for automated packaging. If you plan to have your covers printed elsewhere (not recommended), call Summit BEFORE you go to press... we can provide proper specifications and save you a lot of grief! While it is technically possible for you to take your film to another printer and provide us finished printed CD or DVD graphics for "standard-run" product, it is unlikely that you can match our quality or pricing for full color printing due to the volume of work we do. If you are doing small quantities of color CD graphics or cassette inserts, we can also produce these in ANY quantity at competitive prices. If someone else is doing your "short-run" CD or DVD inserts do all your art using the exact specifications from our Summit layout sheets (see Download)
and make sure you supply the finished graphics to us trimmed
to size & scored or pre-folded. Again if you have questions,
call us first so there are no surprises!
Ensuring The Best
If you have never worked with Process (CMYK) color before, it
can all seem quite complicated. If you are not sure you are up
to the challenge, this really is not a sign of weakness. You
can save yourself a great deal of heartache by turning this task
over to someone who truly knows what they are doing. Lots
of people use computers, but VERY few really know how to create
good CMYK files for process color printing. Unfortunately there
are still very few PC based designers with the experience to
do good CMYK work. If you are paying someone else to provide
this service, get quotes in writing and ask to see commercially
printed samples of their process color work before you commit
to anything. Summit Sound Inc. will gladly quote in writing
and provide samples upon request. We try our best to take the
mystery out of this entire process, but if you still have questions,
Summit Sound provides a free
consultation service on your cover design and can recommend the
proper route to take (along with cost estimates) to ensure a
professional finished product.
If you have any questions call
us toll free at 1 800 403-9755 or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Summit Sound Inc, 184 McAndrews Rd. POB 333, Westport, ON K0G