Print Ads – Creative Specifications

IMPORTANT TIP: Do not use four colour black for text.

Please submit files to us through our online submission form (or deliver them on optical disc or thumb drive). We accept files from either Macintosh or Windows platforms. Please follow this list of procedures when transmitting your files electronically.

If you have an inquiry regarding the information provided on this page or require assistance with implementation of the specifications below, please contact the PNG Ad Production department at

Software Compatibility

The Vancouver Sun and The Province are equipped to receive postscript-compatible files built in the following software packages:

  • Adobe Illustrator CS6
  • Adobe InDesign CS6
  • Adobe Photoshop CS6

Adobe PDF Format (Preferred File Type)

Specs and Resolution:

  • 24 microns Stochastic (this equates to about a 150 screen)
  • Minimum highlight dot 2%
  • Preferred resolution 300 dpi

Recommended Colour Space Settings:

  • RGB (camera/monitor) should be set to sRGB IEC61966‑2.1
  • CMYK should be set to U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2
  • Required PDF Export preset: PDF/X‑1a:2001

Download: PDFX1a (PacificNewsGroup) joboptions for Adobe Acrobat in ZIP format.
Westcoast Homes and Design Magazine joboptions for Adobe Acrobat in ZIP format. 

Unsupported Ad Formats

  • Word processing documents (.doc, .wps)
  • Powerpoint (.ppt) documents as ad or graphic files
  • Claris Works files or MS Publisher

Colour Specifications

Everything is printed 4-colour process CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black). Text must be set to overprint on a colour background. We need at least four days notice when booking colour ads.

Please note: 240 ink limit

If you have to cancel a colour booking, please give at least two days notice.

Reading the Colour Code

Colour Code Example: 0AA2 (RED WITH 20% BLACK)

  • The first digit in the code is the cyan dot percentage. 
The 2 represents 20% cyan.
  • The second digit in the code is 
the magenta dot percentage. 
The 5 represents 50% magenta.
  • The third digit 
in the code is 
the yellow dot percentage. 
The A represents 100% yellow.
  • The fourth digit 
in the code is 
the black dot percentage. 
The 1 represents 10% black.

When using Pantone colours please include the CMYK values. You can create most colours by combining various percentages of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. Please use a 150 line screen. Do not use four colour black for text and/or elements.

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