Ideally we prefer to receive high-quality PDF files that have finalized artwork and are ready to print. For most jobs this means a file that is in the CMYK colorspace and 300 DPI; it’s important that you start your artwork with these settings so we suggest reading through that link before you get your artwork going. We’re always avaialable for questions!
For more complex jobs, or if you aren’t sure how to export your file properly for printing, we are happy to accept native adobe design files such as Photoshop PSD, Illustrator AI and InDesign Indd. When submitting your native files, it’s important to use the “package” option instead of simply using the “save” option. This will include all the fonts and original graphics with your design in case we need to change something on our end.
CMYK, RGB AND PANTONE:
Generally speaking, all jobs are printed using CMYK colors. The exception is if your job contains a pantone color and is one of our products that supports pantone (e.g. flyers) – in that case we will print using the Pantone inks in your artwork. All RGB files or files containing Pantone in error will be converted to CMYK before printing. Please keep in mind that while our press color-converts to the nearest CMYK values, there is almost always some color shift during the process. Ideally you should start your document in CMYK, or convert it yourself using Photoshop to get an accurate idea of how the final file will print. Unfortunately RGB is a digital-only color space and printing directly in RGB is technologically impossible.
If you’re new to the world of printing or design, you may not be familiar with the term “bleeds”. To make a long story short, the “bleed” is an area approximately 0.125″ on all sides that extends past your final design; it’s extra space but it’s not blank – it usually should contain an extension of your base artwork or background colour. By extending non-essential artwork into the bleed area (striped in the graphic below), when we cut your print down to size we eliminate any possibility of there being a white strip of paper on any of the sides. If you’ve ever tried to cut a straight line with scissors around something you’ve printed out, you’ll know what we’re talking about – it’s like that but we’re cutting hundreds of sheets at a time. It’s also wise to maintain a safe area (gold in the graphic) around all text to ensure nothing is accidentally trimmed off!
Here’s an animated graphic of a business card to help you visualize, with the dotted white line representing the final edge of the physical business card once printed and trimmed: