PRINT SUPPORT | Prepping your files for final print production
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Below, we have compiled a list of key print topics that will help guide you to create high-quality files that are ready for print! Files that are not prepared correctly could cause delays in your order turnaround time. To avoid this, please email us your concerns along with the artwork you're submitting for print. Our production team will review your files and flag any issues that are identified.
Questions about your prepped artwork for print, please email your files to - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have your artwork all ready to go for print, please be sure to double check this list to ensure you're not missing a step!
/// Artwork Resolution Set to Minimum 300 DPI
/// Document Color Mode Set to CMYK ( not RGB )
/// All Fonts Are Converted to Outline
/// All Images and Links are Embedded into Document
/// Document Contains Bleed Lines ( 0.125" or 0.25" )
/// Lines, Text, Artwork appear Sharp & Crisp ( NOT Blurry or Pixelated )
Following this simple checklist will not only ensure your files are ready for print but will avoid any delays with production due to faulty artwork.
For an in-depth review of topics that are vital to the files you submit for print, see below.
What is a bleed line and why do we use it? The bleed line (typically the red line) represents where we will be cutting. We print using full bleed, meaning if you desire your photo or artwork to meet the edge of the card, the artwork must extend pass this line.
We require a minimum 0.125" bleed on all 4 sides of the document. For example, if you're ordering business cards sized at 3.5" x 2", your artwork dimensions should read 3.625" x 2.125". (we also accept the 0.25" bleed.)
For information on document bleed set up, please click here.
Trying to pick the perfect color for your print job can be very important. Understanding the difference between the colors being displayed on your monitor versus color being printed is key. Our print production process uses the Gang-Run Print Method. Using this process helps to offset the production cost which is in return given back to you on low cost, quality print media. Though natural, this process can have a color shift tolerance between 10-15% between runs. We do offer custom PANTONE® inks! If custom ink is needed, please submit a quote here.
For information on color matching and gang-run printing, please click here.
Exporting your files for print, you'll want to make sure your fonts are converted to outline ( software like Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign. ). Though a very simple step, often overlooked. To avoid delays with production, please be sure to covert your fonts to outline or flatten in photoshop. Following these simple steps will create a flawless transaction with production.
To learn more about converting fonts to outline, please click here.
Adding borders to your design gives off a great look and really ties the design together. We do not recommend the use of borders with your artwork. If you must use borders, we would insist on making your border at least .25" thick (even then, you may notice your cards look at little uneven.)
To learn more on how to avoid your borders to look uneven, please click here.
Dots Per Inch = DPI
The required resolution is a minimum 300 DPI. If your artwork reads anything lower than 300 DPI, this will appear to print blurry or look pixelated. However, due to the view distance, Large Format Print items such as Banners, Billboards, Posters can have a lower resolution (DPI).
For more information on setting your resolution and why it's important, please click here.
RGB Color is currently being displayed through your monitor. Your computer monitor creates bright and vibrant colors. Believe it or not, your monitor is creating shades of colors that do not exist in the print world. Crazy, right? Colors being displayed on your monitor will not print exactly as you see it! To help zone in on the correct output color, we require you to submit your artwork in a CMYK color mode. Switching over to this color mode will help guide you in the correct direction of what your colors will appear like when printed.
For more information on converting your files to CMYK, please click here.
What is a Mask File and why is this needed? A mask file indicates where we're applying your custom print option such as Spot UV or Foil. We require this to identify the exact position you need the custom print option to be placed. Ordering any custom print option such as Spot UV or Color Foil, you'll be required to submit mask files for each print option. For best results, we recommend using vector-based software to create your design and mask files.
MASK FILE SHOULD ONLY CONTAIN A WHITE BACKGROUND WITH YOUR CONTENTS COLORED @100% K. Do not use shadows, glows or grayscale images. The white area represents the void area where we do not apply this option.
Learn how to set up a basic mask file for print, please click here.
As discussed with our process using the Gang-Run Method, colors tend to shift, blue in particular. Have a really nice blue color throughout your design? Double check the formula to ensure you have at least a 30% difference between your Cyan and Magenta values. Blue is fairly close to purple in the CMYK color spectrum. With that in mind, use a low amount of Magenta whenever using high amounts of Cyan to avoid a purple hue in your final printed product.
For examples on how to avoid this color shift, please click here.
Download our Certified Print Templates for a stress-free setup, every time. Print templates are 100% ready to use for print. Simply start designing inside the template file, or copy your design right over the template. For your convenience, our print templates include the required 0.125" bleed line, CMYK Color Mode and a set resolution to 300 DPI.
To download our certified print templates, please click here.