Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you pickup and deliver?
A: Yes. Pickup and delivery are available with every order within the metro area.

Q: Do you accept both Macintosh and Windows files?
A: Yes. Both platforms are accepted, you may submit any of the following: Adobe InDesign (Mac/PC), Quark XPress (Mac/PC), Adobe PhotoShop (Mac/PC), Adobe PageMaker (Mac/PC), Adobe Illustrator (Mac/PC), Macromedia Freehand (Mac), Microsoft Word (Mac/PC), Microsoft Publisher (PC), Adobe Acrobat (Mac/PC).

Q: What software application is recommended for layout of my files?
A: We recommend that files for offset or digital print be assembled in either Quark XPress or Adobe InDesign. Imprinting on most promotions and embroidery require art be submitted in vector format (Illustrator .ai files).

Q: What file formats do you accept?
A: We accept Quark XPress or InDesign files that have been collected or packaged to include the links and fonts. Fonts in Illustrator should be converted to outlines. It is not recommended to use text in PhotoShop. High resolution pdf files are also accepted. Please call if you are using Publisher or Microsoft Word.

Q: What is the best way to send files to Tandem Printing?
A: Files under 2mg (if allowed by your host email server) may be sent via email to your sales rep or CSR. Larger files may be uploaded to our ftp site or burned to a CD or DVD.

Q: Should I compress files before submitting them via ftp?
A: Yes, please collect all of your project files in one folder, and then compress that folder into a ZIP or SIT archive file. After uploading to the ftp site inform your CSR that the file is on the ftp site.

Q: What is Bleed?
A: Bleed is necessary if you have solid fills or images that extend beyond an edge or edges of your layout. We prefer a bleed that extends 1/8” beyond the trim marks on your page.

Q: Should I build my files on an oversized page or “step” them for you?
A: No, please build your pages to the finished trim size with bleed if applicable. If you are building a pocket folder or folding brochure, please build pages to the unfolded flat size. If you are sending business cards, send them one up.

Q: Why don't spot colors on my proof from Tandem look exactly like the Pantone book swatches?
A: Our proofing devices are profiled to match the CMYK builds of our printing presses. You might notice a slight variation on the proof. Your Pantone colors on press, however, will match the Pantone solid-ink swatches.

Q: Do you accept images saved in the RGB color space?
A: Yes, you can save your files in RGB, however Tandem’s prepress will have to convert them to CMYK before printing. This may cause slight color shifts and/or additional time in the prepress department. We recommend changing your photos and files to CMYK.

Q: Why is creating text in Photoshop a potential problem?
A: We do not recommend composing your text in Photoshop. Photoshop is a raster-base program (pixels) that is designed for modifying photographic images. Although Photoshop does offer text features, the text may print ragged depending on the size and choice of font. We suggest using a layout program like Quark or InDesign in conjunction with your Photoshop files for your text. You can also use either Illustrator or Freehand, which are vector based programs.

Q: What is the difference between vector and raster files?
A: Raster images are made up of pixels, sometimes referred to as bitmap. Raster graphics can be scaled down with no loss of quality, but enlarging a bitmap image causes it to look blocky and pixelated. Vector graphics are comprised of paths and can be scaled to a larger size and not lose any image quality. For this reason, vector graphics are preferred for images which need to be scaled to different sizes, such as company logos.

Common types of vector graphics include Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia Freehand and have extensions such as .eps and .ai. Raster extensions include .bmp and .tif. Pdf files vary depending on what program was used to create the file.

Q: What resolution should my images be?
A: We suggest that images are at least 300dpi at their placed size for paper print. Signage can be as low as 100dpi.

Q: Why does my image look different when it is offset printed than when it is printed on my ink jet printer?
A: If you look closely at an ink jet image, you will see that variations in color are achieved by adding more or less ink from the printing head, producing “continuous tones.” Offset printing creates color shades by using larger or smaller dot patterns. Offset CMYK printing requires four separate printing plates (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK) which puts each color on separate plates with screen dots of various sizes that overlap at different angles.

Q: Why does color sometimes look different on my computer screen than what is achieved by offset printing?
A: The basic reason for the difference in the appearance of color on your computer monitor versus on paper is that the computer monitor uses RGB color (Red/Green/Blue) much like your television set. Offset printing creates all colors from a mix of cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks.

We also offer phone and on-site support, contact us to find out more!

Contact Us

Tandem Printing, Inc.

2970 Lexington Avenue South Eagan, MN 55121
phone: 651.289.2970
fax: 651.289.4399


Mon - Thurs: 8:00am-5:00pm
Fri: 8:00am - 4:30pm

Need help with your order? Contact our sales staff