Preparing a file for print

Preparing a file properly before sending it to print not only ensures both consistency and quality, it can also save you money!

Take a moment now to make sure your document meets the following requirements:

  • Bleed
  • Safety Zone
  • Resolution
  • Fonts
  • Colors
  • File Formats
  • Borders
  • Transparency

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If you want your design to reach the edge of the printed page (no white border), the digital file you send must have the colour or images stretched or “bleeding” 0.125″ additional on all 4 sides past the cut line. If you have a white border on your print, you don’t need a bleed.

Safety Zone

All critical elements (text, images, logos, etc.) must be kept in the safety zone at least 0.125″ on all 4 sides within the cut line (or final size of the printed product) to prevent it from being cut off.


All artwork should be at a resolution of 300 DPI (Dots per Inch) or higher. Avoid taking low-resolution pictures from the web because they are usually 72 dpi or lower and will look pixelated when printed. Please do not attempt to change a low-resolution image to a higher one by changing the DPI in your imaging software; despite what you may have seen on TV, it’s impossible to add resolution to an image.


Outline your fonts to avoid font changes from computer to computer.


  • For full-colour digital print jobs, convert all RGB to CMYK. Pantone spot colors are OK
  • For full-colour offset print jobs, convert all RGB and Spot Colours to CMYK
  • For black and white print jobs, use grayscale color mode (not CMYK or RGB)
  • For 1- or 2-color jobs, use Pantone spot colors. Use “True Black” or “100% K” for all text
  • For black backgrounds and large areas of black, use “Rich Black

File Format

We prefer that you save your file as a high-resolution PDF (with bleeds and crop marks if applicable), but we can also accept InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Corel, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. If sending working files, make sure you package all the linked elements and fonts needed for us to open the document on our end.


Be aware that shifts in the cutting process and digital printing process can cause borders to look uneven. However, if you do with to include borders, aim to have them at least 1/4″ inside each cut line for the best results.


Never use shadows, glows, or any other transparency (image or otherwise) on top of a spot color. Always convert your spot color to CMYK for full color jobs and flatten all transparencies before sending.

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