Preparing Ad for Newsprint

When preparing your ad, please keep in mind that we can be up to two rows of dots out of register and still be within industry specifications. Follow these guidelines while creating your ads so that they reproduce most effectively in our newspapers.

Designing for Newspaper

Spot color ads are based on NAA colors and should be made accordingly. See Page 5 for available colors. Name your color the 4 digit code. The same 4-digit spot color needs to be used throughout the ad including all supporting elements that are contained in that ad. All spot colors must be vector art and any photos must be monotone or duotone with the correct 4 digit spot color.

BW ads should not have any color elements. Photos need to be grayscale.

4 color ads are CMYK. Convert all PMS colors and RGB color to CMYK. All black text and fills should only be on the black plate.
The relationship between tones in an original (color transparencies, photographic prints, color and electronic artwork, line art) and tones in the printed work is known as tone reproduction and is often called contrast. Because of tone compression, newsprint reproduction has significantly less contrast than the original or magazine publications (SWOP).


Newsprint is very thin and dries by adsorption which can cause bleeding and spreading ink. The smallest type used should not be smaller than 6pt black. We recommended that reverse type or color type be a minimum of 12pt sans serif bold. Do not set white type to “overprint” fonts.

We use OPEN TYPE FONTS. The client needs to include ALL FONTS used with their document. This includes fonts that are part of a graphic
within the document. We recommend Reverse Text to be at least 12 pt and bold.


Any file type can be uploaded, but we prefer TIFF, EPS and PDF files. If/when you upload gifs, jpegs, bmps, wmfs or picts image quality may be lost during conversion.

All colors must be in CMYK format. Ensure all colors are prepared for process-color (CMYK) separations. Newspaper color separations are always combinations of CMYK inks. Avoid hairline rules, as they may not reproduce. For thin black lines, use a .5 point rule.

Any element that is black should be made up of black ink only. Be sure to check ALL text, logos, scans, and photos. Make sure your black is 100%K, not a CMYK mix, not 0R 0G 0B, not 32R 32G 32B, not “automatic” or “rich black” or “registration”. Blacks that are not 100%K will print on all CMYK plates have a greater chance of misregistration and look fuzzy or shadowed. We are not responsible for this if your ad is not set up correctly. Make sure your white vector art is not set to overprint

Grayscale and four-color scans are required to be 200 dpi. Art should be within 5% and cropped for the needs of that particular ad.
All artwork and scanned photos must be included with each ad. Each graphic needs to have a name which does not include special characters (such as apostrophes or asterisks).

Line art resolution should not exceed 1200 dpi. ( 600 dpi is preferred )

Photo reproduction – Spectral Highlight=0%, Highlight dot=3%, Quartertone=16%, Midtone=32%, Shadow=85%.
180 Total Ink Coverage for 4 color and 90 for grayscale.
Dot Gain: 21%.
Line Screen: 110 lpi.
Printer Resolution: 1200 dpi.


Set your document to the size ordered. Avoid creating complex clipping paths in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator because they may be impossible to image. A complex path is one that has many control points. · Clear the pasteboard surrounding your document of any unnecessary items, and make sure that there are no non-printable items in the document. · Check the colors in your document and eliminate non-printing and unused colors.

Portable Document Format (PDF)

PDF is the standard for electronic distribution of documents and is also our preferred file format. PDF files are created when a file is saved as a PostScript file then “distilled” or converted to a PDF file using Adobe’s Acrobat Distiller. Many software packages allow you to create a PDF file from within the application. These PDFs do not always generate a correctly built PDF, and can cause unexpected results in the final output so it is recommended that you use the following instructions. It is a two-step process requiring Acrobat Distiller.
STEP ONE: Creating the PostScript file.
STEP TWO: Distilling the PostScript file. Use the PDF-X1a 2001 setting as transparencies need to be flattened. Set the compression to 200 for grayscale and color. Set the compression to 700 for monotone.

If the Ad Is Black & White: All artwork is line art or grayscale (check the mode of images in Photoshop).
If the Ad Is 4 Color: All elements are CMYK (check the mode of images in Photoshop). All graphics are properly separated for color (blacks are 100% K, not any other mode)
If the Ad Is Spot Color. All graphics are either grayscale or the 4 digit spot color ordered. Photos to be grayscale, Duotone or Monotone. Other art elements should be vector with the 4 digit Spot color code.
PDFs should be the job size without any excess white space, crop marks or page infomation.
Open your completed pdf to make sure colors are separating properly by viewing the menu: Advanced/Print Production/Output Preview/Seps on.

Please note: If this is the first time your company is supplying us with a computer file for output, we suggest you provide us with the first file or a test file 72 hours in advance of your ad’s deadline.