File Formats | Color | Bleed | Resolution | Web Art | Graphics | Fonts | Size
Special Printing | Season Tickets | Thermal Tickets Thermal Printers

1. Programs and File Formats

Make sure you are using a program or file format listed below:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Quark Xpress
  • Adobe InDesign
     (these can be accepted from most programs):
  • .ai - Adobe Illustrator drawing or vector graphics file
  • .eps - Encapsulated postscript image file created using Adobe Illustrator; designed for high resolution printing of illustrations; standard file format for importing and exporting PostScript files
  • .tiff - Tag Image File Format; preferred bitmap graphics format for high-resolution postscript printing
  • .jpg - Standard format for photographic image compression developed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group
  • .psd - Bitmap file created using Adobe Photoshop
  • .pdf - Portable Document File from Adobe Acrobat. (Must be a Press Quality PDF. Please convert all type to outlines before creating. Your PDF MUST include at least 1/8” bleeds if applicable.)


Preferred format for printing is Illustrator, Photoshop or HIGH RESOLUTION JPEG.
* Programs like WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, and PowerPoint are not applications designed for typesetting or pre-press design. We make no guarantee how accurate your file will output when using these, or similar, programs. We cannot accept Microsoft Publisher files.

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2. Color

All images must be in CMYK color. Printing is always done in Four-Color Process, CMYK (this stands for the 4 colors used to create all printed colors, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black). Before sending your artwork, convert your document to CMYK. CMYK printing allows for great color variation, however the final product colors may not be exact due to printing variances. In situations where exact color match is imperative, pms colors are recommended. 

Please make sure that text that should be in black is set to 100% black and not made up of Four-Color Process.

What are pantone (pms) colors?
PMS stands for Pantone Matching System and you will hear people referring to spot colors as PMS Colors or Pantone colors. PMS color callouts allow us to specify exactly what color should be used. If spot colors are used in your artwork, please make sure they are well defined PANTONE spot colors.

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3. Bleed

Make sure to include at least 1/8" of “bleed" with your artwork. The image must extend beyond the trim area so that color will go edge to edge if there is a slight variance in the trim cuts. Bleed is a printing term that refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet after trimming. The bleed is the part on the side of your document that gives the printer that small amount of space to move around paper and design inconsistencies. Bleed information refers to elements outside the finished piece. Often a printer requires bleed information on pieces that have bleed to allow for "printer bounce" when cutting a job down to size. Failing to provide bleed information and crop marks can result in finished pieces showing a thin area of white on the edge.

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4. Resolution

Make sure your artwork's resolution is at least 300 dpi. (We do not accept anything lower than 300dpi.) This resolution will ensure that your design will appear crisp and sharp instead of blurry. Resolution refers to the number of colored dots or pixels that make up an image. It is commonly expressed in dpi or dots per inch. The higher the dpi, the greater the resolution, the better the image quality.

Helpful Tip:
Your screen resolution doesn’t accurately reflect your image resolution because monitor displays usually have about 72 to 116 dpi. To view print resolution of your image, zoom in up to 300-400%.

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5. Artwork from the Internet

Artwork taken from the internet is NOT print quality. Any image copied from the web is usually set at 72dpi (resolution) - print quality has to be no less than 300dpi (resolution). We do not accept web art.

Taking an image from the internet and enlarging it or increasing the dpi in an imaging program will not solve the problem - in fact it will make the quality of the image worse. So before you start creating your design, set your image at 300dpi (resolution). In Photoshop, when you create a new document it will ask you to set this up along with the size of your document.

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6. Graphics

Many people are confused about the difference between vector and raster artwork. Vector art is preferred for most files and ensures the best quality output for type and graphic elements and results in smaller file size with much sharper output quality.

Vector Images
  • Vector art is made up of lines and curves
  • Fully vectored art allows manipulation by use of nodes (or points) which can be moved within the graphic (edges can be straightened, lines smoothed, etc).
  • Clipart and scalable lineart are vector images
  • Resolution Independent – scaling images does not affect quality
  • Smaller file size
  • Not suitable for photo-realistic reproduction
  • Fonts are vector objects
  • Specific pantone colors are easily assigned to different areas in your design.
Bitmap/ Raster Images
  • Bitmap images are made up of colored dots (pixels) in a grid
  • Bitmap/ raster images (no nodes and cannot be manipulated)
  • Scanned images including scanned lineart and digital photos are bitmaps
  • Stretching images to fit your art after they are scanned will lower the resolution and cause your job to print pixilated.
  • Resolution dependent – resizing affects image quality (Resolution: 300 dpi for color photos, 600-2540 dpi for black & white lineart)
  • Scaled 100% to size when placed or linked in your final print image
  • Colors should be CYMK, Mono- Duo- Tritone – NO RBG or Web images

Pictures, process images and line art screens should NOT be less than 5%


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7. Fonts

You will need to include ALL fonts used to create your artwork. Please do NOT convert your text to outlines.

Helpful Tip: Please proofread your files before sending artwork. We are not responsible fo errors in supplied files.

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8. Size

Make sure that your artwork is at the correct size (100%)

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9. U.V. Varnish, Blacklight Ink, Foils, Die Cuts, etc.

If your artwork contains: U.V. Varnish, Blacklight Ink, Foils, Die Cuts, etc. We will need the original/native files so we are able to seperate out the file to make plates or dies for the special inks, varnishes, foils, die cuts, etc.

Helpful Tip:
Always provide every component of your artwork - fonts, images, specific colors. This will keep problems to a minimum because if something happens, your project isn't held up because the printer needs to get in touch with you. Most of the time, the problem can be solved if all components have been provided.

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10. Season Ticket Stock

  1. For readability, the barcode should be printed with black ink on a white background. The white space above and below the barcode isn’t as important as having white space buffer on each side of the barcode.
  2. The minimum print-area for the barcode is 2 inches wide by 3/4 inch high. The height of the barcode is important, if it is any shorter than the requirements, it can make it a difficult target to aim at with a scanner.
  3. The size of the form horizontally must be evenly divisible by 1/10 of an inch. The form must measure 10 characters per inch (CPI) left to right. The maximum number of characters that may be printed across the entire form is 132 characters.
  4. The customer must ensure that the form will physically fit in the printer(s). The vertical height of the form must be evenly divisible by 1/6 of an inch. The entire form must measure 6 lines per inch (LPI) from the top margin to the bottom margin. The entire length of the form must end at a full print line.
  5. The width of each individual ticket must measure to a full character (at 10 characters per inch). The width of each individual ticket for all rows of tickets must be exactly the same.
  6. All rows of the tickets on one sheet of stock must measure exactly the same height (from top to bottom) and must fall within the 6 lines per inch guideline.
  7. Expanded print (double-height) characters takes up 2 print lines (current print line and next print line.) All text that falls on a print line designated as an expanded print line will print in expanded format.


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11. Thermal Tickets

Direct Thermal Printers
Direct thermal printers are the most commonly used ticket printers on the market. These printers do not require toner or ink cartridges, and instead produce a printed image by selectively heating specially coated thermal paper. The ticket stock is heated through the printhead which generates heat in the shape or pattern provided, turning the paper black when the thermal coating reacts with the heating element. The majority of standard thermal printers are able to handle 200dpi and 300dpi printing resolutions. A printer's dpi (dots per inch) refers to how many dots per inch they are able to print. Printers with a higher dpi will print images and text more clearly.

Printer DPI
First, you need to know your printer's dpi. The dpi, or dots per inch, signifies how clear any text or images will appear on your printed ticket. The higher the dpi, the better the ticket's image resolution. Knowing the dpi is important, because 200 dpi thermal ticket stock will not print on a 300 dpi printer. Always ensure that your thermal stock and printer's dpi match.

Feed Direction
You will need to know your printer’s feed direction. This ensures yours that your tickets will be printed correctly. Please check with your printer specifications to find out your feed direction.

Timing Bar
Timing bars are the black stripes or boxes appearing on the back of ticket stock. These provide your printer a point of reference for starting and printing within the space between perforated margins. The positioning of the timing bars on the back of your thermal stock will depend on the type and model of printer you are using. Make sure Globe Ticket is fully aware of the exact printers you are using.

Quiet Zone
The quiet zone is located between the timing marks and must be free of printing or else be printed with ink that does not have any % of black in the color. (shown as shaded area below)


all tolerances are +/- .005” unless otherwise noted

Boca Ticket Specifications:
  1. No black ink can appear in the quiet zone (shadded zones)
  2. Timing Bar (black mark) should have a minimum PCS of 90% in the infrared range
  3. Background area in line with mark should have a maximum PCS of 20% in the infrared range
  4. Formula for timing bar location: b = 6.688” - (ticket length x n), where
    • n = 0 for 6.688” < Ticket Length
    • n = 1 for 3.370” < Ticket Length < 6.60”
    • n = 2 for 1.900” < Ticket Length
  5. Width = 2.00”, 2.12”, 2.50”, 3.00”, 3.25”, 4.00”
    (all dimensions are +.000”, -.030”)

NOTE: For 5.50” long ticket, b = 1.188”

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12. Standard Thermal Ticket Printers

Practical Automation

Boca Systems

Datamax Printer 

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If you have any further questions regarding artwork, please give us a call at 800-523-5968 or email us at