Ad format and guidelines

We can accept ads in many different formats, but if you follow our guidelines below, there is more chance that the printing quality will be as you would expect.

Computers may have a different selection of fonts on them. If you send us the ad as an editable document, such as a Word or Photoshop file, and your design uses fonts that we do not have on our machines, then it is possible that the ad will look different to us on our machine, than it does to you on your machine.

That is why is is often best, either to 'package' the design to include all the fonts, or to export (or save) the design into a print-ready format that will automatically embed all the necessary fonts etc.

* Best format: CMYK, 300dpi, PDF *

The best format for sending us ads, is as a PDF* in CMYK* format with 300dpi resolution, no bleed or crop marks. This will generally produce the highest quality. It is though possible (albeit rare) for mistakes to creep in during the conversion to PDF, which may not be apparent.

The second best option is to save as a PNG or TIFF file, again in CMYK format at 300 dpi. This will usually produce good quality as well and is the safest option, as it the finished design is effectively "locked" into the exact image that you see.

Many modern software design packages have the ability to convert your document into a PDF, PNG or TIFF. The PDF option, if available, can be found either in the "Print" menu, or the 'Save" or "Export" menu.

There are also online tools you can use to convert your design to PDF if your design software does not allow it.

We receive many ads designed in RGB and at low resolutions such as 72dpi. While we can accept them, the results when printed may not be as good as you would like. RGB is the default format for many software design packages and is used for creating graphics that will be displayed on the Internet or printed to your home printer. Commercial printers, such as the ones that print the Adscene, require the document to be in CMYK format. We can convert the format for you, but there may be a slight color alteration. If you are contracting a designer to create an ad for you, it is always best to ask them to design the ad in CMYK format. They will usually be familiar with this term.

72dpi (Dots Per Inch) is fine for web graphics, but may look pixelated or jagged when printed using commercial equipment. Ads for print use should be designed at 300dpi to ensure the best results.

Also, if you have the option, keep all text as fonts or vector curves, rather than 'rasterizing' it. This again can improve the end result.

As the ad will be inserted directly into the magazine design, you do not need to worry about 'bleed' and please do not include 'crop marks'.

Any questions, please feel free to contact us.

*PDF is the industry-standard format for print-ready documents and stands for "Portable Document Format".

*CMYK is the color format used by commercial printers and means "Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black"

*dpi stands for "Dots Per Inch" and spcifies the Resolution of the image. A higher resolution will generally provide better printing results.

We can help!

We are able to offer most advertisers free assistance with designing their ads. If you would like to take advantage of this service, please keep the following in mind.

This is a free service and as such we cannot spend much time designing your ad. The price for your ad only covers the printing cost. Do not expect us to spend hours rehashing designs for free. In most cases, advertisers are more than happy with our free design service.

To receive the free design service, email all relevant information to us, such as the text and any photos or logos you have. You can also send us a 'mock-up' in something like Word if you have a specific design layout in mind.

If you are looking for someone to take more time to create something unique for you, we can also offer a professional paid design service, which can extend to encompass all your marketing material, your logo, brand and so on. Please ask for details.