Tips and Tricks

We prefer to receive files in PDF format (for information on converting your files to this format please contact the helpdesk), but we also accept Microsoft Office Applications and graphic files (JPEG, TIFF, etc.)

Pictures and Graphics

Brand Guidelines

Seattle University has a variety of resources available on their website: officially approved logos, templates, photography, and most importantly the official Brand Guidelines that can be excellent resources for your designs.

 For the poster designs on the Marketing and Communications site, the Microsoft Office Publisher files can be downloaded as zip file: Publisher Templates. The Adobe Indesign versions can be downloaded as a zip file: Indesign Templates


You’ve scoured your computer and found the perfect photograph to put on the cover of your full color printed brochure, you send it off to Repro, but when it’s delivered the next day the photograph is all jagged and ugly looking, what happened? You’ve just run into one of the most vexing issues in the desktop publishing world, low resolution graphics. To start we need to think of the two different worlds that graphics exist in; screen and print.

Screen resolution is generally 72 dpi, this means that every square inch has 5,184 (72 x 72) dots or pixels in it, since the ability to run programs and to load web pages is dependent on the speed of the computers processor and speed of internet connection, graphics intended for screen use cut quality corners quite liberally in order to maximize these resources. The file types most associated with screen graphics are .GIF and .JPG.

Professional print resolution is ideally 300 dpi for photographs and up to 1200 dpi for text and vector graphic information. When it comes to graphics for print, the larger the file and the higher the dpi the better. For instance, a picture that looks good on your computer screen might be 576 x 360 pixels or 8 x 5 inches on your screen. That same picture, that took up almost half your computer screen, should be printed no larger than 1.6 x 1.2 inches, or a little larger than a postage stamp.

File Types  

The file types most associated with printing are .EPS and .TIFF in CMYK format, although low/no-compression .JPG is sometimes acceptable. When choosing logos and logotype for reproduction at Repro, please use the “.EPS” files, the screen preview may look 'fuzzy' when inserted into some programs, however since they are vector files, they can be scaled to any size without losing quality when printed.


Like pictures and graphics, there is a difference between how color on your computer screen works and how it is created for a printed document. Computer screens, TVs, digital projectors, and other similar equipment use the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) method where different spectrums (colors) of light are combined. Printing most commonly combines 4 inks; Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK) together. To reconcile these two different color models and methods professional design studios will have a variety of calibration equipment for high-end computer monitors, scanners and printers so that they are all synchronized. 

Since most of the computer equipment on campus is consumer grade, this can pose some difficulty and frustration when trying to match colors. If exact color reproduction or matching is important to your project, please talk to us ahead of time so that we can find a solution based on the equipment and software you are working with.


There is an official University font set that should be used for official print and web communication, further information can be found at Marketing and Communications' website ( If you use any special fonts, make sure that you embed them or include a copy of the font for us to install on our computer. Many programs do not give a warning if a font is missing, so when we open your document on our computer that is lacking a font that you used on your computer, we have no idea that it’s missing. Keep in mind that it generally a good idea to limit your font choices to no more than two per document.

Microsoft Office

When designing with Microsoft Office, keep in mind that each of the programs was developed to fulfill a particular task.

Microsoft Publisher is the best option for laying out printed documents. It has many useful templates to easily set up booklets, brochures, folded cards and other printed documents. It has rudimentary diagnostic tools to let a third-party printer know if something is wrong with the document (missing fonts or graphics) and to more easily fix those problems.

Microsoft Word was developed from old word processing programs, over the years more features we’re added to allow more formatting options and even adding pictures, but fundamentally its’ main purpose is to act as your computer’s text editor or ‘typewriter.’ When designing documents like tri-fold brochures or quarter-sheet flyers it’s important to think out your margins and columns carefully. Keep in mind that Word does not output high-quality graphics and pictures, its designers have desktop inkjet printers in mind for final output rather than professional printing equipment.

Microsoft PowerPoint is a great tool for putting together presentations for computer screen or overhead projection and printing notes and outlines to help an audience follow along with a presentation. Designing other documents (brochures, flyers, booklets, etc.) in Power Point is not recommended, it is nearly impossible to get professional printing results because of its focus on screen output rather than printing output.

Microsoft Excel is designed to organize data, there are a variety of functions for which it is very useful (organizing addresses for a mail merge for instance), but laying out a printed page is not one of them. Since the entire purpose of the program is organizing raw data, most “layout” functions are lost when opening an excel document on a different computer than what it was originally designed on.

Adobe Creative Suite

Similar to Microsoft Office, each program of the Adobe’s Creative Suite has a specialized purpose. All Adobe products can save or “export” to PDF. Unless we at Repro are expected to be doing additional design work, we’d prefer to receive files in this format (use “Press Quality, or “High Quality Print” settings when doing so and remember to include 'bleeds' if applicable.)

Photoshop is designed for image and bitmap manipulation, such as correcting contrast and color on photographs destined for publication for print or internet. While it is possible to do design work in Photoshop, it is generally not recommended for print output.

InDesign is Adobe’s flagship graphic layout program and can be used to design and layout everything from business cards, brochures, books, epublications, magazines, and newspapers.

Illustrator is designed for vector graphic manipulation and creation. It can also be a very useful tool for layout, but multi-page documents are not it's strongest point.


We're always happy to help walk you through steps in programs you might not be familiar with, help you set up templates, or clarify anything that you have questions about. Feel free to call: (206) 296-6180 or Email the Reprographics Team with any questions.