Design Guidelines

No marketing department? No problem.

Graphic design for restaurant menus is a challenging labor if you don’t have a dedicated marketing department with technical expertise.  Luckily, we offer assistance for clients requiring a little bit of help.  So, whether your PDF is ready for print, or if you still need some help with your initial design… can help you cross the finish line!
  • Available to edit your design or create a new one.
  • Skilled with Photoshop & Illustrator.
  • Talented brand managers to assist with your marketing coordination.
Get Help.

Checklist & Guidelines.

  • .AI – Adobe Illustrator. Convert all fonts to outlines and embed any linked graphics.
  • .INDD – Adobe InDesign. Converting your fonts to outlines is recommended if you are not using True Type
  • .JPG or .JPEG – Photographic images. Set your camera to the highest resolution if using your own personal non-commercial photos. Note that most jpeg images downloaded from the web are low quality and unsuitable for printing.Fonts (.TTF). Package your files to include your fonts and links. Compress the packaged folder (.zip or .sit) before sending.
  • .PSD – Adobe Photoshop. Flatten your layers before submitting your files.
  • .TIF or .TIFF – This graphic file format will retain the highest possible image quality.


If you’d like a background or graphic to extend to the edge of the finished page, you need to design your project with bleed. When designing a project with bleed, extend images to an area .25” larger than the finished project. When saving your file to the proper format for printing (we prefer .PDF) do not use any crop or printer’s marks.


When printed projects are trimmed, there can be a cutting tolerance of 1/16th of an inch. This may result in uneven borders, so we don’t recommend creating an artificial border on your printing project. If borders are necessary for your piece, the border should be at least .25” thick and at least 3/8” from the bleed line. Even with these guidelines, perfect borders cannot be guaranteed.

Color Mode

For best results, files that contain colorful text, artwork, or images should be saved in CMYK color mode. We will print projects that are submitted in RGB or Pantone color mode, but we must convert them to CMYK, which may result in a color shift in the final printing.

Black and white, as well as text-only projects, must have all artwork or images saved in Grayscale color mode.


For vector files, like those generated by CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator, or Adobe Freehand, all text must be converted to outlines before output to a PDF file.

For bitmap files (like those exported by Adobe Photoshop) image layers should all be flattened before output.

Avoid font smaller than 8pt or unusually narrow fonts, as these may not display well (especially against dark backgrounds.)

Image Resolution

For best final results of your printing project, we recommend using a digital image with a resolution of at least 300 dpi. We will honor requests to print files with a lower resolution, but the results may not meet your standards or ours.


All lines should be at least .25 pts thick, or they may not be printable. Remember that smaller lines that are visible on your screen may be too thin to print properly.

Safety Zone

Design your project with a 1/8th-inch “safety zone” inside of the final print size. Any text or images within this safety zone MAY be cut off in the final project. Make sure no crucial information (names, numbers, etc.) is located in this safety zone when outputting your final file for printing.


Does your artwork contain images, text or graphics that extend the the very edge of the finished piece? This is called “bleeding off the edge” or simply “bleed”. Files with bleed need to be built to the final trim size plus 1/8″ extra on each side for the bleed. Example, if you are ordering an 8.5″ x 11″ sell sheet, the graphic file’s size should 8.75″ x 11.25″. When saving the file into the proper format (preferably PDF), do not use any crop or printer’s marks. These will increase the dimensions of the file.