For any printing job you are going to undertake, the printing specifications are very important. Whether you print with us or another company, if you are going to create the artwork yourself follow the guidelines below to ensure that everything will print perfectly:

1. Always ask the printer for a template or the exact dimensions of the document and any other measurements for folds or bleeds that you may need to know.

  • - If your document is going to have a bleed (something in the artwork goes to the edge of the paper) make sure to extend the bleed out at least 1/4" past the the size of the document unless otherwise specified. Also, keep all important images and text at least 1/4" in from the paper edge.
  • - If printing flyers, make sure all important information is at least 1/4" away from all paper edges to prevent it from getting cut off.
  • - You can find many templates for our most popular items here. When opening a template in Photoshop, make sure the resolution is at 300dpi before you start designing.

2. Make sure you are using a program or file format that the printing company uses - the most popular are:

    Adobe Photoshop
    Adobe Illustrator
    Quark Xpress
    Adobe InDesign

    .PDF - press quality or higher
    .JPG(high resolution only)

Most printing companies or advertising agencies use Macintosh computers - always ask about compatibility.

3. Artwork taken from the internet IS NOT print quality. Any image copied from the web is set at 72dpi(resolution) - print quality has to be no less than 300dpi(resolution) unless the printer has said otherwise. Taking an image from the internet and enlarging it or increasing the dpi in an imaging program will not solve the problem - in fact it will make the quality of the image worse.

Before you start creating your design, set your file to 300dpi(resolution). In Photoshop, when you create a new document it will ask you to set this up along with the size of your document. Illustrator is automatically set at 800dpi.

4. Always provide the printer with every component of your artwork - fonts, images, specific colors. Providing the original file with all the layers(Photoshop, Illustrator...)is the best option, if possible. This will keep problems to a minimum because if something happens, your project isn't held up because the printer needs to get in touch with you. Most of the time, the problem can be solved if all components have been provided.

5. Printing is always done in CMYK (this stands for the 4 colors used to create all printed colors.) Before you save the file for the printer, convert your document to CMYK because colors do change from RGB(screen colors) to CMYK. This way you won't be surprised by darker colors that you weren't expecting. TIP: Always save your document with all the layers and then save a seperate file with it flattened - just in case changes need to be made.

6. If providing only a press ready .PDF, save it as a "Press Quality" file or higher. Quality of the final printed product cannot be guaranteed if the artwork was created by someone who is not a graphic design professional. Please follow all instructions above and provide all original files along with the print ready .PDF to ensure high quality of the final printed product.

7. When in doubt about any part of the creative process - CONTACT THE ART DEPARTMENT OF THE PRINTER OR DESIGN AGENCY TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE DOING EVERYTHING CORRECTLY. This will cut down on the cost of your project by eliminating costly errors that will need to be corrected. If we are printing this for you, click here to contact our art department.