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By All Means Graphics

How to prepare print-ready files

File Formats

We accept the following file formats:
PDF (preferred), Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, SVG, EPS, JPG, TIFF, TIF, and PNG. Just make sure that your PSD, JPG, TIF and PNG files have sufficient resolution for print. We accept BMP and GIF files, however they are not recommended.

We can also accept .docx, .xlsx, and .csv as text files for use in layout, but not as final layout files. To print these file types you must convert them to PDF before submitting them to us. If you don’t, the fonts will likely change, your carefully constructed layout and spacing may shift around and the pictures you included may become pixellated or disappear altogether! PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It’s purpose is to collect all the pieces of your design and package them all up in one place so that your document looks the same on any computer system.

Resolution

All file formats must have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch). Images designed for the web have a low screen resolution of 72 dpi. Print images need to be CREATED at 300 dpi and 100% or larger size or there may be a substantial drop in quality.

If your images aren’t available in high resolution (300dpi at 100% size) then consider using stock images from our Getty Image library. If you find a graphic you like, jot down the creative ID # and send it to us. We’ll download the high resolution version with our account and insert it into your layout!

Worried that your images aren’t big enough for a large banner? No fear! Large format graphics can still look good with resolutions as low as 140 dpi because they are viewed at a distance.

Fonts

    1. Fonts must be embedded in PDF files. (Some fonts have copyright restrictions and will not embed in PDF files.)
    2. Embed all images and convert all text to outlines in Illustrator files.
    3. Flatten all layers, or at least rasterize all text layers, when sending in Photoshop files.

Color Mode

You could take classes on color theory for years! But basically, there are three color modes – RGB, CMYK and Grayscale. RGB (Red Green Blue) is what your screen displays with light to create colors. CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow blacK) is what a printer or press uses to make colors. Digital printers are very good at translating RGB images into CMYK, so if you leave your files in RGB, you’ll get vibrant, rich colors. Not as vibrant as can be created with light on a screen, but still rich. Offset printing presses must have CMYK images. They aren’t that good at translating RGB in CMYK, so it’s best if you (or we) do it. Offset presses lay ink down in layers that are supposed to line up, but they don’t always do it perfectly. Because of this, it’s best if anything black in your file is 100% black, not rich black, which is a mixture of all the colors. 100% black will be crisp and clear. Any black that is made up for multiple colors can look muddy when the registration is a tiny bit off.

Black & White

All black and white artwork and/or images must be provided in Grayscale mode to avoid incurring color charges.

What is Bleed?

Bleed allows your artwork or background to print to the very edge of a sheet. The bleed is the portion of the art that will be trimmed off when the product is cut to the final size.

The amount of bleed required depends on the project. Most projects require .125″ bleeds, but larger ones may require as much as .5″ of bleed area. Contact us about bleed requirements for your project.

Sometimes Bleeds Add Cost!

Some bleeds require a larger sheet to allow for trimming to your final size. This may increase the cost of your project. Consider whether or not it’s worth the extra money to have your image extend to the edge. If it’s not adding much to your design, save money by creating
a .1875″ white margin around your art.

Proper Margins

Do not put important elements closer than .1875” to the finished edge of your piece. Thin borders near the edge are oftentimes a problem as there may be some movement in trimming which will make for uneven borders (this can be less noticeable with thicker borders)

Help! I’m Not Able to Add Bleed Myself...

Never fear! Ask us to evaluate your art. It’s often possible for us to add bleed to your art for as little as $10. We have special powers!

Bleed Zone:
Make sure to extend the background images or colors to the black line.

Trim Zone:
Everything outside of the magenta line will be trimmed off.

Safe Zone:
All critical elements (text, images, logos, etc.) must be kept inside the blue line.