File Prep:      

In order to offer the lowest price possible we do not budget for labor time in a job to check and repair files. 

This page is for the Experienced Designer.  If you know how to do separations this page well give the spec to prepare your files for the best possible outputs.

If you are not that experience, this page can help you get a little bit more information about Pre-Press.

In order to insure the best price, download and use the Stock Page Templates and follow these File Prep Instructions.


We recommend that you download and use the Templates provided by NWG.  Do not alter the page sizes in any way.  Printer marks can be moved if needed.  To download the Templates, Click Here.

  Art Size:      

Make art to actual size.  The art must be sized at 100%

  Type of Separations:      

There are a few different types of Separations.  Spot/PMS, CMYK or Index Color Separations.  We have found one of the most common sources of errors is improperly use of colors in files.

  Spot Color

If using the Spot/PMS color separations, the most common method for silkscreening, only use PMS colors.  All of the approved Programs use the PMS Color System.  There should not be any other color pallets in the file such, as CMYK or RGB.  To see a example of Spot Color Separations, Click Here.

  CMYK Color Separation:      

CMYK is a great way to keep the cost down and print a large range of colors with only 4 pieces of film.  But there are some draw backs.  First, some blues and oranges do not print well.  You can print some PMS colors + CMYK to compensate for the limitations.  Second, the big dot used in silkscreen printing makes the final project look grainy. And lastly, you can’t print on dark shirts, even with a Base/Flash.  To see a example of CMYK Color Separations, Click Here.

  Index Color

Index Color Separation is the hardest method of Pre-Press Separations.  We recommend using Photoshop®.  Your File's dpi shouldn't be any higher then 200dpi.  After Indexing is done save colors in Channels.  Each Channels should be converted to Spot Color in the Channel  Options.  Convert the File to CMYK Color Mode and Flatten Layers.  Save as .psd with Spot Colors box checked.   Then place in Adobe Illustrator®, using one of the Stock Page Templates.  Make sure the file is Linked when placing in AI.  To see a example of Index Color Separations, Click Here.


RGB is used for light.  It's good for Monitors, TVs and Projectors, not for Ink. So please don’t use in your files.


Convert all fonts to Curves/Outlines.  If using Quark Xpress® send Fonts with Files.


Don't use overprints unless you need to and know what it used for.  This is one of the most common errors, the improperly use of Overprints. 
To see what Overprints are used for, Click Here

  Special Effects:      

Do Not use any special effects that turn your vector art in to bitmap art unless your are doing a CMYK Process.

  Grouping Objects:      

Everything that needs to stay together has to be grouped together.  All the graphics for the Front Hit should be grouped together, the same for Back Hits, Sleeve Hits and so on.

  Locked Objects:      

Unlock any Objects that have been Locked. 


A Base/Flash is an undercoat for printing on dark garments.  We recommend not putting a Base under Black and other Dark inks, it will lighten those colors.  Also don’t forget to trap your Base/Flash.  

  Saving Files:      

Save your job in one of the approved programs in there approved versions.  Also add the 3 letter extension at the end of the filename.  Use the Approved Format Chart below.

  Approved Formats:      

Adobe Illustrator® (.ai)

10 - CS2

Quark Xpress® (.qxd)


Encapsulated PostScript (.eps)

5 - CS2
Templates for all of the above Formats and Versions can be found on the Template Page. In both Mac and PC. Click Here.
  Compressing Files:      

If you are uploading or emailing your files to us, it may help to .zip or .stuff them to decrease file size and speed up the transfer process. You may use any popular program that produces .zip,  .sit, or .sitx filesTo download Compressing Software, Click Here.  

  Disc Media:      

If you are not sending your files to us electronically, then compile them and burn them to CD or DVD. Be sure to include all necessary files such as embedded graphics. (Flattened files work best as they include all of the information in your graphic in one file).  CD’s and Disc will not be automatically returned to client unless other wise specified.

  Sending Files:      

You can Email, FTP, Mail or Drop off your files, For Contact information, Click Here.

  Order Form:      

Fill out the Online Order Form as complete as possible.  To start your Order, Click Here.

  Layout Policy:      

You are 100% responsible for the accuracy of your layouts. Please proof read all layouts carefully.  NWG is not responsible for any proofing error such as spelling, grammar or any layout and design problems.  Customer must be diligent in their own proofing and are responsible for any errors.  The NWG consultants make their best effort to print your file, however, technical problems that are missed by the customer can occur and we can not guarantee results in these circumstance.  Please be exact when setting up your art.

  Prepress Charge:      

When we receive an order and Pre-Press is not requested we assume all files are print ready.  Please check your files carefully.  NWG will not be held responsible for errors when files are not submitted in exact accordance with our specifications.  Even a slight difference between our requirements and your digital file may cause delay and extra charges.  Please be exact when setting up your files.

If files are prepared properly and NWG Templates are used there will be no charge for Pre-Press.  To download the Templates, Click Here.