Our standard order process is to provide you with a PDF or other electronic format proof for your review. Anytime you request a correction or revision to a proof, we will send you further proofs until you’re completely satisfied and give us proof approval to begin printing your order. For orders where you may have concerns regarding the final printed color and/or the paper stock selected for your order, we can provide hard copy proofs for your review.
FILE FORMATS and ARTWORK REQUIREMENTS:
Our first preference is that you supply us with a 1-up, press-ready PDF file with crop marks and bleed allowance (see section below regarding Crop Marks and Bleeds for an explanation of those terms). If you do not have an electronic version of your artwork available, we can (in some cases) scan an original copy of your artwork and attempt to print your order using that scan. However, print quality will not be nearly as good as when printing from electronic files.
CROP MARKS and BLEEDS:
Crop marks are lines indicating where the paper stock should be cut in order to get your printed piece down to it’s final size. Most desktop publishing and design software have options for including crop marks when you export your artwork to a PDF.
BLEEDS and BLEED ALLOWANCE:
A print job that has “bleeds” refers to when any element on your piece prints to the final, trim edges of your piece. In order to prevent your printed product from potentially having unsightly white lines around the border, you must set your document up with a “bleed allowance”. Bleed allowance refers to an extra 1/8” (.125 in) of image or background color that extends beyond the trim area of your printed piece. A print job that bleeds, is printed on an oversized sheet that is then cut down to the final size so that the image appears to be “bleeding” off the edge of the paper.
For example, a standard business card is 3.50 inches wide by 2.00 inches tall. If any element of your business card design is meant to print to the very edge of the card, then it is considered a “full-bleed” print order. In that case, your business card art file dimensions should end up at 3.75″ wide by 2.25″ tall (i.e., adding 1/8″ inch all around the document).
ANY element of your design that is intended to print to the edge of the card, needs to extend 1/8 of an inch beyond the border (i.e, the final trim edge) of the card. This will ensure that when the final trimming of your card is done, there will be no white edges showing where any layout element should be printing to the edge of the piece.
ARTWORK COLOR SPACES – CMYK, RGB or GRAYSCALE:
We can accept artwork files in either CMYK, RGB, or Grayscale color spaces. Our workflows will automatically convert your artwork files to the appropriate color space for your print order.
We recommend that all artwork files submitted for print orders be at least 300 dpi in resolution. If you’re having us do the design and layout work for your order it is preferred that all images (photos, logos or other graphics) be 300 dpi if at all possible. In some cases, lower-resolution images and graphics may still reproduce adequately, but higher resolution files are always recommended.
Below are links to PDFs for common sizes and items that provide information regarding artwork requirements and “best practices” for dimensions, bleed allowance, and postal design considerations when applicable.
If you have any questions or concerns at all about artwork requirements, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 913.724.3444, and we’ll help guide you through the process.