Design Specifications for Newsprint Production

General Information

Torstar Printing Group presses print on uncoated paper using cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink (also known as process colour).  Many of our presses are also able to print spot colours if required.

Customer Supplied Material

  1. Torstar Printing Group accepts digital files via our ftp site, email or on portable media for computer-to-plate output.
  2. Preferred file format is PDF. All PDF files to be supplied with all fonts embedded as CMYK composites. PDF setting should be PDF/X1a 2001 with version 1.3 compatibility.
  3. Prior to design, please contact Torstar Printing Group for detailed page specifications in regards to final trim size, live image area, safety area and bleed requirements.

Design Guidelines

Please follow the guidelines below to for best printability and reproduction quality.

  • Rules that are 4 points or below should consist of only one colour
  • Small type should consist of only one colour. Small type is defined as:
    • Sans-serif fonts 7 points or smaller
    • Serif fonts 12 points or smaller
    • Fine-serif fonts 14 points or smaller
  • Type smaller than 12 points should not be reversed out of a four-colour background
  • Type smaller than 10 points should not be reversed
  • Reverse type should not be positioned in any background consisting of a total area coverage less than 45%
  • Type should not be reversed in a yellow or any other light colour background
  • Screen values greater than 80% will generally reproduce as a solid
  • Screen values less than 5% will generally not print
  • Compensate for 25% dot gain
  • Ensure a minimum trap of 0.36 point (0.005") for best registration (1" = 72 points)


Dot Gain

Compensate for 25% dot gain on all images

Total Area Coverage and Colour

Torstar Printing Group recommends using Gray Component Replacement (GCR) when scanning or colour correcting images.

Recommended settings are GCR Heavy with 240% total ink limit (**see below), black maximum 95%, 15% black start. Total Area Coverage is the sum of all tone values on the colour separations in any area of an image.

**It is recommended that total ink limit be set to 220% maximum for paper weights less than 30Lb / 48.8gsm to minimize show-through and ink rub-off.

Halftone Resolution

A scan-to-screen ratio of 2:1 is recommended for halftones. Torstar Printing Group produces plates at 100 lpi, therefore an image requires an effective resolution of 200 dpi to be reproduced at 100%. Use the formula below for minimum scanning resolution for output sizes other than 100%.

Output Size x Scan-to-Screen Ratio (2:1) x Line Screen (lpi) = Scan Resolution (dpi)

Eg. 200% x 2 x 100 lpi = 400 dpi
  800% x 2 x 100 lpi = 1,600 dpi

Images can be scaled after scanning to increase size, but enlarging a halftone after it has been scanned may result in a loss of sharpness and clarity. Re-scanning the original is recommended if image is to be scaled plus or minus 10%.

Line Art and Pre-screened Copy

Line art and pre-screened copy should have a minimum input resolution of 1,200 dpi. Line art and prescreened copy should be scanned at close to the final reproduction size to avoid scaling issues such as loss of detail and moiré patterns. Re-scanning the original is recommended if image is to be scaled at greater than 110%.

Screened Tone Values for Neutral (Gray) Areas in Images


Grayscale equivalent

Non-Detail 0%
Highlight 3%
Quartertone 18%
Midtone 35%
Shadow 85%

Production Charges

Torstar Printing Group does not accept responsibility for reproduction when materials supplied do not meet these specifications. Torstar Printing Group reserves the right to charge back to client for costs of additional materials used due to variance from above specifications.

The above specifications have been compiled in accordance with the Specifications for Newsprint Advertising Production (SNAP) August 2009 from the Newspaper Association of America (NAA). More information on SNAP or NAA can be found at and

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