Artwork & Templates FAQ

Artwork & Templates FAQ

How should I prepare a file for printing with you?

The basic and easiest answer to this question is that you supply a PRINT READY .PDF file. We recommended a minimum of 300dpi, converted to CMYK colorspace, all fonts outlined AND embedded. Specify your trim area with crop marks (Don’t place crop marks inside the work area). Make sure you have a minimum of 1/8″ (0.125″) BLEED on all edges of your job, and a 1/8″ (0.125″) SAFE area that has all critical design element such as text, pulled away from trim.

If you are using Acrobat Professional, using the pre-flight options will help correct any transparency, flattening, font or RGB issues. Following these guidelines, and CAREFULLY CHECKING THE RESULTING PDF before uploading will greatly reduce the possibility of error and accelerate your job through production.

PDF print ready files:

  • Minimum resolution of 300 dpi
  • CMYK colorspace
  • All fonts outlined and embedded
  • Specify trim area with crop marks (Don’t place crop marks inside the work area)
  • Artwork should have 1/8″ (0.125″) bleed from trim line
  • Information content (“Safe Area”) should be 1/8″ (0.125″) away from trim line.

What file formats do you accept?

We accept the following file formats below, keep in mind anything other than (.pdf ) files will incur additional charges. A properly prepared PDF file will greatly reduce processing time and error on your proofs, as opposed to working with external elements such as fonts, images, and layout files.

What is bleed?

Bleed is the extended image area of your print job, that prevents unprinted paper from showing on the edges of your finished job. We require an 1/8″ (0.125″) bleed, on all projects. It is not practical to print the image exactly to the edge of your finished product. Instead, additional image area is printed past where the item will be trimmed. This will add 1/4″ (0.25″) to your overall image area, on both dimensions. Below are some example layout files incorporating our templates available in our Product Templates section.

In this example, if you wanted to print a 3.5″ x 2″ standard business card with image all the way to the edge, you would need to submit a file 3.75″ x 2.25″.

How much safe area do you require?

Safe area contains all critical elements/information of an artwork that cannot risk being cut off, and is any area that is 1/8″ (1.125″) from within the trim line. Generally, important information such as text, addresses, borders and titles rest within the safe area.Although we have digital state-of-the-art cutters, and very accurate operators, printing is a multi-variable process, and is not exact. Just as we require bleed, we require a clearance area between the cut and the important image area. The important design elements are those which you cannot risk cutting into, such as contact information and text. We recommend a 1/8in (0.125in) safe area inside from trim line. If you choose to make less than this minimum clearance, we will NOT be responsible for items that are cut off in this area. The illustration below is an example showing bleed area, cut line and safe area.

Artwork with borders

It is common for designers to place their borders too close to the trim line. Art borders that are not within the specified safe area may result in an uneven border on the final trim, therefore it is important that enough clearance should be provided. Safe area contains all critical elements/information of an artwork that cannot risk being cut off, and is any area that is 1/8″ (.125″) from within the trim line.

Export InDesign File to PDF for printingExporting a document or book to Adobe PDF is as simple as using the default High Quality Print settings, or as customized as you need it to be to suit your task. The PDF export settings you specify are saved with the application, and will apply to every new InDesign document or book you export to PDF until you change them again. To quickly apply custom settings to PDF files, you can use presets.1. Choose File > Export.

2. Specify a name and location for the file.

3. For Save As Type (Windows) or Format (Mac OS), choose Adobe PDF (Print), and then click Save.

4. Choose the Press Quality preset from the Adobe PDF Preset menu.

5. Next is customize options, select the Marks and Bleeds category.
Check Crop Marks and set bleed measurement to .125 for top, bottom, inside and outside.

6. For Compatibility, choose the lowest PDF version necessary to open the files you create.

7. Click Export (Windows) or Save (Mac OS).

8. Open your PDF. using Adobe Acrobat Professional and confirm that all the pages produced and that there are crop marks and bleed.

9. In Adobe Acrobat Professional, click Tools < Preflight. After the Prefilght window opens, select Prepress < Sheetfed offset (CMYK).
Click “Analyze and Fix” then save the new file.

The new PDF file that Acrobat produces will be preflighted giving you a “flattened PDF”.


Are there extra charges for file corrections, like adding bleed or fixing safe content?

Yes. All of our pricing is based on print-ready files. Please check and correct any issues BEFORE uploading your files. If a prepress technician finds something lacking in the file, they will either contact you with a description of what the issues are that need to be resolved with your file or if they can’t get in touch with you they will correct it(you will be responsible for charges incurred).

What are print ready files?

Print-ready files are files that follow all our guidelines and require almost no intervention to print.

How do I specify which side will coat of my “UV 1 side” job?

In the case of UV 1 Side jobs, the odd pages in your supplied .pdf proof will always be the coating surfaces. For example in a single-version postcard, page 1 would be coated. In the case of a 3 version business card, pages 1, 3 and 5 would be coated. If you are supplying individual files for the front and back, you may want to name them “Coating” and “No Coating”. Remember, despite how you submit files, you will be held responsible for checking the coating sides of your job.