Jul 172016


Provide only the essential information and leave the creativity up to the Valpak artists:

• Business Name/Logo

• Business contact info (address, phone number, website, hours)

• Image (one good resolution image or request a PhotoSource image)

• Lead Offer (one or 2 for side one) supporting offers can go on side two.

• Headline (keep it short)

• Additional Info (can be a short list of services)

or instructions such as:

“Redesign as necessary”
“You have a lot of freedom to design this ad”
“Any help with this new client is greatly appreciated”
“See website for ideas/colors”


Provide a high quality image. One large dominant image is more captivating than multiple smaller images.

Therefore, limit the front of your coupon to a single image whenever possible.

Provide a high quality vector logo if you can:

The final “Custom” ad created by the Valpak artist:


Ask the business owner if they have a PDF they can email you that has a vector logo of their company.

Although there is no guarantee a PDF will contain an embedded vector logo, the chances are much better that it might. Note, a JPEG or PNG will NEVER be vector.

Vector graphics is the use of polygons to represent images in computer graphics, not pixels. DPI does not apply to vector graphics.

Why Vector?
Because vector graphics do not lose quality when scaled.


Do not Provide specific layout instructions!
Specific instruction like the ones seen below restrict the artist, hinder creativity, and seldom translate to what one might have envisioned in their mind.

And absolutely DO NOT attach mockup for a Custom Ad order:

Although you might think a mockup helps an artist, it seldom does and often adds confusion and results in franchise calls.

A mockup defeats the purpose of a “Custom” and restricts the designer.

Wouldn’t you rather get an ad like the example below instead…
Let the artist do what they do best, design. (Do not restrict them with a mockup)


If you are going to take a photograph of a logo make sure you take the photo in good lighting and the camera is level.

Good Example:

And btw, please Do Not send a “screenshot” of your phone’s image. Please send the actual file in it’s largest file size.

Even Better…

When possible, look for logos/images that are on a white background.

Depending upon the quality of the logo, a Valpak artist should be able to successfully remove/separate the logo from a white background. This will allow the logo to be placed on any type of background design:

Please avoid image submissions such as these:


A logo should be prominent and of high quality. A blurry/poor quality logo on an ad looks less professional than the business name typed out in a similar font.

Notice how small and how poor the quality is for this logo:

If the only logo you have is poor quality, then please include an MDC instruction explaining that it is acceptable for the Valpak artist to set the business name using a font similar to a font within the logo or a font seen on another image.

Side 1
This is the best logo we could find. If you cannot improve upon its look, then please typeset the business name using a font similar to the font used for “Little Pub”.


Request that Valpak picks an appropriate image from our PhotoSource library if you don’t have a high quality image available.

Example: Use PhotoSource image: PS-14766Reflect_4CTI.tif


If you cannot read the copy in the file you attach, then a Valpak artist cannot either.


Do Not Provide a copyright map, such as a Google map.
Per Valpak legal policy, copyright maps cannot be used.

Provide a simplified hand-drawn map for us to build from or don’t supply a map since most people look it up on their phone.


Do Not Reference a color from a logo or image:

So what happened and why?

 The issue is due to the fact that the RGB color space used by a computer monitor (or iPad) has a much wider color gamut than that of CMYK. In other words, almost all of the colors you can see with your own eyes can be reproduced on a computer monitor, but not all those colors can be reproduced in print. This color shift is clearly visible in more of the vibrant bright colors seen on your monitor. (see below)

Reference a swatch from our “Valpak Color Contrast Swatch Book”.


Do Not Attach stock images with watermarks.

For legality reasons, images with watermarks cannot be used.


Keep your headlines short so they can stand out and they do not hinder creativity by taking up too much real estate on the ad:


Research has proven that fewer offers on side one better attracts a consumer.
Fewer offers also allows the designer to focus more on the imagery.
Limit side one to one or two offers if possible, and include more offers on side two.

Too many offers:



Provide images that are product/service related.

For example, On this carpet cleaning ad below, an image of carpet or carpet being cleaned works better than the owner’s photo and a dog.

This might be confused as being a veterinarian ad upon first glance.

Better image:



When possible, limit the amount of copy within your disclaimers. Excessive disclaimer copy can take up valuable real estate resulting in the other offer copy to become smaller and less prominent.

All these disclaimers essentially mean the same thing, there is no need to include all of them:
Limit one offer.
Cannot be combined with any other offer.
One offer per customer.

Less disclaimer copy = BIGGER Price Points:


Keep in mind that the aesthetics of an ad might be compromised if you submit a new replacement image at Proof that differs in color or size formatting from the image that what was originally there.

Original “Custom” designed by Valpak:
Notice that the ad was built around the colors and wide format of the original image.

New image provided by franchise to replace the original image:

Note, this image is not wide enough to fill the designated area.

Poor Result:
The new image no longer fits the allotted space and it also does not look as balanced in terms of color.

This ad would result in a franchise call explaining that the new image no longer “works” and that the ad would need to be altered to accommodate the replacement image.


When ordering a  “Custom”, let the Valpak artist choose the placement of fonts, colors and design elements.

Avoid being to restrictive as follows:

Side 1
Please use hot pink and yellow color theme throughout ad. Set ad’s background as pink and use lime green text and yellow backgrounds for both offers.

If a client is adamant about using a certain color or color scheme, then include an instruction similar to this:

Side 1
Client really likes pink, try and use it somewhere within the layout.

The result is a better balanced ad in terms of color:


If you provide an attachment of an ad, or part of an ad with multiple images, explain exactly what you want to appear on your ad from the attachment. If the reason for providing an attachment is for Valpak to match the look and feel, then please explain this as an instruction.


Additional Information

Question: What are those white lines on my PDF proof… Can I do anything about them?

Answer: Yes you can! Click Here to learn more.

Note: If you have questions about any of the items on this page, feel free to contact me directly:
email: jeff_reumann@valpak.com
phone: 727-399-3000 ext 3713

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