Digital Ad Materials

Hearst and its suppliers will not be responsible for files that do not comply with the below specifications.

The required file format is PDF/X-1a (vector) 300 dpi. All fonts and images should be embedded.

Export your file using the PDF/X-1a:2001 preset from Adobe InDesign CS2 or higher.

All partial page ads need to be supplied in the PDF/X-1a format.

Hearst will not accept TIFF/IT-P1, PDF/X-1a files converted from TIFF/IT-P1, or native application files.

Maximum ink density is 300 total. Recommended minimum dot is 5%.

Hearst utilizes Virtual Proofing technology at all monthly publication print facilities.
Hard copy guidance is no longer required.
If you opt to use a proof for internal color approval, please render at 100% size.

Include the IDEAlliance ISO 12647-7 2009 Color Control Wedge, measured within allowable tolerances (ΔE L*a*b).
For a complete listing of SWOP-certified proofing systems, visit for more information.

SWOP identifies new specifications to ISO standards in controlled lighting. All professionals who evaluate color under standardized D50 lighting in the graphic arts industry are affected by this standard. Please visit to read about what you need to do to comply with this specification.

What Is PDF/X-1a?

PDF/X-1a is a subset of the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) that was designed for the graphic arts, and is an industry standard. It specifies that fonts and images be embedded, and provides for many other publishing-specific options.

Hearst requires vector PDF/X-1a:2001 or PDF/X-1a:2003 and does not accept raster or alternative PDF exports.

How Do I Create PDF/X-1a?

Make sure your native file is created properly.

To create your file properly, work in a professional publishing program, such as InDesign CS2 or higher, Illustrator CS2 or higher, or QuarkXPress 6 or higher, and follow these procedures:

Fonts: Fonts must be loaded and updated, using PostScript Type 1 or OpenType Type 1. No TrueType or Multiple Master.

Images: All images must be loaded and updated, high-resolution (300dpi), CMYK (no RGB), and the appropriate file type (native Photoshop, native Illustrator, JPEG, TIFF, or EPS), opened to include 1/8" bleed on all sides, if applicable.

Colors: Only CMYK colors should be used in your ad, unless you have purchased an ad with spot colors.

Trapping: You are responsible to trap your ad at appropriate settings for your ad content.

Size your ad properly.

See our mechanical requirements to find the trim and bleed size of the magazine you are running in. All trim marks must be located outside the bleed area. Hearst will not be responsible if ads are furnished to the incorrect size or specifications.

For images crossing over an advertising spread, consider potential image loss between LH and RH pages.
Any image area critical to remain continuous, please make sure this area does not cross into the gutter.

Create a PDF/X-1a using the Hearst Ad Creation Kit.

For Adobe products, base your export on the PDF/X-1a settings that are pre-loaded with the suite.

For Quark users, please see special instructions.

Be sure to include crop marks with at least .25" offset outside of final trim size.

PDF/X-1a Print-ready Compliances

Hearst accepts only vector PDF/X-1a file formats.

Type / line art should be .009 or above at the thinnest part of the character.

Single color type should be .005 or higher.

Maximum ink density is 300% total.

Two color density is not to exceed 180%.

Minimum dot for gravure pages is 5%.

Fonts, images, colors, and trapping must follow instructions above.

Size your ad according to the magazine title's mechanical requirements.

How to Send Your File

Deliver your PDF/X-1a files via the Advertising Gateway links on the mechanical requirements page.

Files must be delivered via the Advertising Gateway web upload portals.

Hearst PDF/X-1a Creation

Follow the Hearst PDF/X-1a Export Instructions. Download and install the Hearst PDF/X-1a Export Settings, and move to the appropriate folder following these Export Instructions.

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