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What applications can I use to make ads for publishing?

We prefer Adobe Acrobat (pdf) files created via Adobe Distiller (high-resolution graphics and all fonts embedded). We also accept Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator files (Mac or Windows). Please include any fonts or graphics used. We can accept files created with many other applications as well, provided they are saved in a production-compatible file format (i.e. eps, pdf, tif, etc).

Files created in non-professional publishing applications (such as MS Word, PowerPoint, etc) will have to be re-created in order to be published. In most cases, this is a simple thing. However, be aware that some reprocessing of your files will frequently be required - and some actions (changing your art from an RGB to a CMYK colorspace, for instance) may affect quality.

If you fear that issues with your file will decrease the visual quality of your ad, we encourage you to talk with one of our artists, who can help you find a solution. Most problems are easily fixed if we can just keep the lines of communication open.

The State News has one of the largest distributions of any college paper in the country.

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Can I talk to a human being about my ad?

You bet. If your question is related, you can start at the top by calling (517) 295-1680 - and talk to the professionals in our Production Department.

Sales questions should be directed to your account executive at (517) 295-1680. Accounting and credit-related questions should be directed to our office manager at (517) 295-1680.

Your other options for asking questions can be found on our contact list.

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What do I need to know about using color in my advertising?

Color in newspapers is created in one of two ways ('process' and 'spot'). For photography (or images with many colors), the ink is laid on the newsprint in four layers - the ink colors are; cyan, magenta, yellow and black (hence the acronym CMYK - the "K" is black). This is known as "process color." This convention requires that imagery be prepared specifically for this method of printing.

Typically, however, materials prepared for digital usage are formatted for RGB, which is the red - green - blue display method of your computer monitor - and these files will not work (as is) for publishing. They can be converted, but since the printing press is a less accurate and capable device than your monitor, some color data is reduced.

Some applications, like MS Word, have no ability to deal with this issue (as they were not designed for publishing), requiring that the ads you make be rebuilt in a format that allows for this.

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What is 'spot' color?

'Spot' color is when a single color (sometimes more than just one, but usually a single color in newspapers) is used on a page - often to match a company's logo color. This is usually used on inside pages of the newspaper and is less expensive than a 4-color (CMYK or 'process') ad. These pages are printed with a color made from a *single, premixed* ink, rather than color created by successive inks laid over one another.

'Spot' color offers a few advantages over process (for advertising use) besides just expense. Colored text, for example, doesn't suffer legibility problems due to irregular press registration (that blurry effect caused by inks that didn't line up just right on the press). Spot color can also be 'matched' using a system of printing standards that allow the press crew to know *exactly* what the color should look like. One example of these standards is called Pantone, but there are others. If you know *exactly* what your color should look like, please make sure we do too.

If you're going to use a spot color, and you don't know how to specify what you want, it may help to contact us.

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How do I send my finished files to you?

Depending on the severity and complexity of the problem, either your account executive or someone from the Production Department will contact you about it. Please be aware of copy deadlines, as these are designed to give us enough time to try to resolve technical issues before the publication runs.

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How will I know there is a problem with my files?

You can either use our FTP server ( or email them (only for files smaller than 2 MB, please) to You can also find information on sending files electronically in our rate card, which can be downloaded via the link on the frontpage. If you email them, please include your account executive's name in either the subject or the body of the message. Please. Really. Please.

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What makes a "good" PDF?

The elements that make a good pdf are really the same things that would describe any well-made publishing file. Specifically; art that is at least 180ppi, correctly-specified colors, fonts are properly embedded (or otherwise available).

It is important to note that while many applications support the generation of a pdf file, they do not all do it equally well - and poorly-made files can cause trouble, particularly in regard to color. If you've created color advertising pdf files without Adobe Distiller please make sure to meet the ad deadline, so we can spot any problems before they become a big headache for you.

A note about pdf document security: Please do not send us pdf files with document security enabled. It creates problems during our pre-flight check and can sometimes render the file unusable in our workflow. While we have no intention of changing the appearance of your ad, we need to have full access to it in order to verify its compatibility with our standards and to make occasional technical adjustments.

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