You are here

Ad Specifications for Prep Event Journals

Thank you for your interest in supporting the mission of Saint Peter's Prep by advertising in the journal for one of our events! We want to help you get the maximum value from your contribution by having your ad look its very best. Not everyone is a graphic designer, of course, so we've created this guide to help you make the most of your ad space.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please don't hesitate to email communications@spprep.org

Here are some things to keep in mind when creating your ad. Click each point for a detailed explanation:

  1. All Prep event journals are printed in full color.
  2. Low-resolution images will appear blurry in print. Please use 300 ppi minimum.
  3. Please be mindful of the dimensions when creating your ad.
  4. A minimum 1/8" margin will ensure legibility.
  5. We can print your ads with full bleeds. If you would like us to do so, please provide a 1/8" bleed area.
  6. It's (almost) always better to email your ad than to mail it.

1. All Prep event journals are printed in full color.

No need to limit yourself...we print all our event journals in full color, so we incur no extra cost by printing your ad in full color...that's why we're proud to show our gratitude for your support by displaying your ad in color at no extra charge! 

Like most full-color publications, ours use a four-color printing process. That means you'll get the best color reproduction if your ad uses CMYK color. If your software cannot convert between RGB and CMYK color, we can do it for you, but the results may appear different than what you intended. Without getting too much into color theory, it's a matter of additive (RGB) vs. subtractive (CMYK) color mixing.

RGB color best for on-screen use CMYK color (simulated) best for color printing

[back to top]


2. Low-resolution images will appear blurry in print.

In the age of digital imaging, there are few concepts as poorly understood as image resolution. Part of the problem is that this key concept overlaps with the related concept of image size, and that different media require different levels of resolution in order to display images correctly.

In brief, resolution is a way of describing the amount of detail present in an image. The more pixels per inch (ppi) or dots per inch (dpi) in an image, the finer the detail that can be seen, and the more closely the image can be inspected before it appears blurry or blocky. Therefore, we ask that you use the highest-resolution version possible of your images. Ideally, logos or other simple images should be a in vector format like .eps or .ai, which can be resized without affecting resolution, and photos (in .jpg, .png, or similar) should be as close as possible to the original size that came from the camera.

If your software allows you to check the resolution of your images, we recommend keeping it at 300 dpi or greater. Anything less is at risk of appearing blurry – and blurring will definitely occur if your resolution is less than 150 dpi.

A simulated illustration of the same image rendered at different resolutions. Source: en.wikipedia.org

Read on for much more about resolution, or skip ahead.

It can be hard to discuss resolution in the abstract, because our eyes play tricks on us. A low-resolution image might look just fine on screen, but if you've ever tried to print a photo that someone emailed you, you've probably discovered that it doesn't look so good on paper. That's because screens typically display 72 pixels per inch – so an image that appears to be 6" wide and 4" high on screen only needs to be 432 px x 288 px to appear "normal." But most printing processes (including ours) work best with a minimum of 300 pixels per inch. That means a 6" x 4" image would need to be at least 1800 px x 1200 px. 

Complicating matters further, resolution is like so many other things in life: you can find a thousand ways to make it worse, but there is simply no way to make it better. Yes, if you have Photoshop or a similar program, you can resize your image. Even Word and PowerPoint offer some form of resizing. And if you're making it smaller, then you'll probably have excellent results. But if you're trying to make it bigger (i.e., trying to increase the size or resolution), you're actually asking the computer to add a bunch of information to the file, and to interpolate (a nice way of saying "guess") what those new pixels should look like.

To illustrate the problem, let's switch apps for a moment and pretend you're a student typing a paper. Right now, it's 360 words long, but you're shooting for 1500 words. Pressed for time, you find an obscure feature in Word that allows you to resize your 360-word paper into a 1500-word one. Well, you've provided less than 1/4 of the information yourself, and now it's up to Word to look at what you have, run some equations, and fill in the other 1140 words based on lucky (and unlucky) guesses. It's safe to assume that, under the scrutiny of the human eye, the result won't make a whole lot of sense. Images are no different.

That's why it's best to start with a high-resolution image, and keep it as large as possible throughout the process. We can scale it down for you if necessary, but we can't scale it up (and neither can anyone else) without losing quality.

[back to top]


3. Please be mindful of the dimensions when creating your ad.

Submitting a finished ad allows you greater control over how your ad looks. If you do submit finished artwork, please ensure that your ad is formatted for the dimensions of your ad space. After all, you're paying for the space, so you should use all of it!

Below is a guide to typical ad dimensions in Prep journals:

Grand Gala, PPA Fasion Show

Center spread  11" H x 17" W
Full page
(or back cover or inside front/back cover)
11"H x 8.5" W
Half page 5.5" H x 8.5" W
Quarter page 5.5" H x 4.25" W

Legends of Prep, Prep Hall of Fame, Football Programs

Center spread  8.5" H x 11" W
Full page 
(or back cover or inside front/back cover)
8.5"H x 5.5" W
Half page 4.25" H x 5.5" W
Quarter page 4.25" H x 2.75" W

If your ad does not fit the selected dimensions, we will resize it to use as much of the available space as possible, but we will not "stretch" or "squash" an ad (i.e. change its aspect ratio) in order to fill the space. Therefore, some portion of your ad space might be left empty.

If you prefer, we can assemble an ad for you, using text and/or logos that you provide. Just let us know!

[back to top]


4. A minimum 1/8" margin will ensure legibility

Please make sure that all text, logos, and "essential" areas of photos (e.g. faces) are positioned at least 1/8" away from the edge of your ad.This will ensure that nothing is "cut off" in the manufacturing process. Saddle-stitched books like our journals are printed, trimmed roughly, coallated, bound, and then trimmed to their final size. It's a pretty precise process, but your 1/8" margin will protect your ad from the manufacturing tolerances.

Note: Even if your ad is less than a full page, we ask that you allow the 1/8" margin on all sides. This allows us maximum flexibility when placing your ad in our layouts. Thanks!

[back to top]


5. Ads with full bleeds...

We are happy to print your ad with bleeds (i.e. with the background color or image running all the way to the edge of the finished page). This effect can give your ad a more polished look, but please feel free to disregard this section if you do not intend for your ad to bleed at the edges. There's no extra charge for this feature, but for best results, please follow these guidelines:

  • Please include a 1/8" bleed area on all sides if you would like your ad to bleed. In effect, this means your background images or colors should extend 1/8" beyond the dimensions of your ad space in all directions. Bleeds are created by printing an image larger than the final page size, then cutting away the excess in the binding process (described above) to leave an image that goes right up to the edge of the page. The part that will be cut away is the bleed area.
  • Bleeds are in addition to the nominal size of your ad. For example, if your ad dimensions were 8.5" x 11", the overall size of your artwork with bleeds would be 8.75" x 11.25"
  • As with the margins, we ask that you include bleeds on all sides even if your ad is less than a full page. This allows us maximum flexibility when placing your ad in a layout.
  • Please do not include crop marks in your artwork. If your software gives you the option to include crop marks, please don't.They can be helpful in many instances, but our printer asks that we do not provide crop marks in our submissions, so you can help our production schedule stay on track by leaving them out.
  • Please consult the following diagram as a guide.

 

Note that the yellow lines would correspond to the edge of the finished page; the bleed area (between the red and yellow lines) would be trimmed away in the finished product. Your text and other essential content should stay within the green "safe area" lines.

 

[back to top]


6. It's (almost) always better to email your ad than to mail it.

In general, it's most convenient for you and for us if you can email your ad (to communications@spprep.org). We can accept ads in hard-copy if that's most convenient for you, but that requires us to scan the document before inserting it into the layout, which takes time and can result in a loss of quality. 

That being said, if for some reason your materials exist only in hard copy (e.g. you've purchased a business card ad in the Fashion Show journal, and you only have a printed copy of your business card, not the PDF from which it was printed), it might be best to mail them. You're welcome to scan these materials yourself and email them, but for best results we recommend letting us do the scanning.

In that case, you can mail your item(s) to:

Mike Jiran
Saint Peter's Prep
144 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302

And under no circumstances would we recommend faxing anything – just look at the print quality of the last fax you received (presumably it was a lunch menu or something about winning a cruise) and you'll see why! There is no practical way to undo the damage to your image that would be incurred while faxing.