File Preparation Tips

There are many reasons why a file you send to us may not be ready for printing. These may include an incorrect document size, low image resolution, insufficient margins, no bleed and font issues.

Here are some of the common issues we often come across and how you can help us to make your printing project run quickly and efficiently through our shop.

Document Size

Setting the document size correctly is important in order to ensure that we understand what the margins and trim size are for the final product. Eg. a business card is 3.5" x 2"

Bleed

Bleed is art set to print up to the edges of the finished product, a line, photo, graphics, background, etc. that will "run off the edge" of the paper. Whatever you want to bleed must be positioned PAST the document edges where you want it to bleed. This is due to minor variations in printing, trimming, folding, etc. to ensure that there is no exposed paper on the edge(s). The minimum bleed is 0.125"

Margins

Anything that you do NOT want to get cut off should not be placed too close to the document edges. This is especially important for text. The standard is to not place anything closer than 0.125" (1/8") to the document edge.

Image Resolution

All photos and images should be at least 300 to 350 dpi to ensure that they print clearly. Anything lower than this may result in blurry,

bit-mapped or pixelated quality. Note: images downloaded from a website are probably only 72 dpi. Although they may look fine on your computer screen, they are not appropriate for commercial quality printing.

Colours

Do you need your piece printed in colour? Files that contain colour text, artwork, or images must be saved in four colour “CMYK” (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) colour mode. Files submitted in the RGB colours will need to be converted to CMYK. Note that converting RGB to CMYK may cause color shifts as they are not from the same color spectrum.

(Note: Pantone colours can be used if required to follow branding guidelines.)

Fonts

There are literally thousands of different type fonts available, and no printing company has them all. OUTLINE YOUR FONTS - Many design programs, including Adobe Illustrator, InDesign & CorelDraw, have a method of turning the type fonts into objects, so they are no longer a type font. Make sure you make a copy of your document before you outline the fonts in case you need to go back and make text edits. If you have not outlined your fonts and are providing a print ready PDF file please make sure that all of the used fonts are embedded in the document.

Artwork Checklist

  • Check your artwork for spelling mistakes and grammar.

  • Check to make sure all images used are high resolution (300 or more).

  • If the images are linked, you will need to supply the original images.

  • Make sure that bleed and margins are correct.

  • Make sure your colours are either CMYK or Pantone System.

  • Please generate any print ready PDFs using the High Quality Print or PDF/X-1a 2001 settings.

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