You’ve got a project all ready to upload to your printer. But before hitting “send,” consider these time and money-saving tips for how to prepare your files for printing.
Generally, the higher the photo resolution, the better the image quality. That may increase your file size. Keep in mind:
If your design calls for full bleed (or edge-to-edge) printing, make sure you’ve set up your file correctly. For full bleed printing, your design or image must be slightly larger so that it can be printed, then trimmed to your final size requirements (you’ll need full bleed printing if any part of your file design touches the edge of a sheet of paper). A bleed will extend your design by 1/8 inch on all sides. For example, if your finished document is 8.5 inches by 11 inches, with no margins, your designed file must be 8.75 inches by 11.25 inches.
Using crop marks is helpful. Crop marks are little marks at the corners outside the design, in the bleed area, that indicate to your printer where your design should be trimmed.
PDF is used most often. Images can be sent as .jpg, and, if you’re asked for a vector file, your printer may need an .eps or .ai file. Be sure to ask.
Uploading, storing, and downloading on various computers can be tough on your files. If you have multiple files to send, they benefit from being compressed into either a ZIP file or SIT package so your files aren’t corrupted during transit. Your printing company can tell you its file requirements.
Not sure how to indicate a full bleed in your design? Don’t know the right resolution to make your images great? Give your printer a call. Uploading your files correctly the first time means you’ll get your project back on time, without extra rush charges.