File Preparation

Follow these guidelines to ensure files you send us for printing are properly prepared.

Supported Software

Preferably, files for printing should be sent to us in high-resolution Adobe Acrobat PDF format with all fonts embedded. However, we do support a wide range of PC and Apple Macintosh-based software. Primarily, this includes the suite of software from Adobe (InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop) and QuarkXpress. If sending layout files for InDesign or QuarkXpress, you must include all fonts and graphics used in your designs. Use the Collect/Package features of these software programs to ensure all the appropriate files are packaged for delivery to us.

Document Specs

Use the settings in InDesign and QuarkXpress to specify the exact document size and the required bleeds (see below). The page size should match the final trim size of the document. Avoid manually adding bleeds or crop-marks. Provide each component of your project as an individual file (e.g. one file for your letterhead, one for your business card, one for your brochure); do not combine distinct projects into one file. Where different components of one project require different document sizes, please provide these components in separate files (e.g. the inside pages of a book; and the book’s front & back cover, and spine).

Bleeds

Bleed refers to printing that goes off the edge of the paper (i.e. beyond where the page will be trimmed). The bleed will be cut off during finishing, allowing any graphics or images to extend to the edge of the sheet without any un-printed area. Generally, you should allow 1/8″ for the bleed on all edges of your printed piece. For example, to allow for an 8-1/2″ x 11″ final trim size on a document, the effective “bleed” size of the document is 8-3/4″ x 11-1/4″ before any trimming takes place.

Colour Mode for Images

For full-colour offset printing, images must be in CMYK colour mode. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, the four colours that are used in full-colour printing. This means that all RGB (Red/Green/Blue) colour mode photos must be converted to CMYK colour mode. Photos left in RGB mode may result in poor colour reproduction, or additional charges if we need to convert the files.

Image File Formats + Resolution

Images should generally be saved in TIF/TIFF or JPG/JPEG formats. Avoid overly high levels of compression, as this can introduce blurring or pixelation into the images, resulting in overall degradation of image quality.

We use a line screen of 150 to 175 lines per inch (lpi) for offset printing (i.e. on the press) and digital copying. Generally, the resolution of your images (pixels per inch — ppi) should be two times the line screen value, i.e. 300ppi to 350ppi at final resolution. This will ensure your images and graphics print clearly, without pixelation.

Delivery of Files

PDFs of 15MB or smaller can generally be delivered to us via email. Projects consisting of multiple files should be placed in a ZIP archive before transferring them to us via our website, wetransfer.com, or DropBox.