There are four very important factors when designing for print. Please only send us files once you’ve read about the subjects below: – Acceptable file types – Safe zone – Bleed – Resolution
ACCEPTABLE FILE TYPES
Printable requires your file to be sent to us in a PDF format. If you are designing in another program, such as Microsoft Word, then you’ll need to convert your file to PDF. You can use a free online tool: http://www.freepdfconvert.com Most designers use Adobe InDesign when creating artwork for print. Adobe Photoshop is great for manipulating images but InDesign gives you the best results when laying out a document. Although Printable accepts .indd, .ai or .psd files, a high resolution PDF is best.
All printing moves, not much but there is something called mis-registration. All guillotining moves too, it’s called guillotine slur. Even though Printable has the best print equipment possible, your designs need to cater for a small amount of movement. Most printing companies including Printable use a safe zone of 4mm. This means, you shouldn’t place anything in your design within 4mm from the final trimmed size. Your coloured background is excluded of course because you want the colour to bleed off the page. Sometimes people want images bleeding off the page which is fine to have in the safe-zone but avoid having text or lines within 4mm from the edge of the trimmed card.
Is what printers trim off. If you have a business card design with colour right to the edge, then you actually need to design your card with some extra colour that we can cut off. Printable has print specifications that require 2mm bleed on every edge of your design. That means that if your business card is 90mm x 55mm when trimmed, the design needs to be 94mm x 59mm.
Make sure your artwork’s resolution is at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). This resolution will ensure that your design will appear crisp and sharp instead of blurry and pixelated. Graphics from websites are usually unsuitable and are at 72 dpi. A 300 dpi bitmap file at 94mm x 59mm will have 1110 x 697 pixels.
Your files should be saved in CMYK mode before you send them to Printable for printing. When we receive a design file in RGB mode, we automatically convert the files to CMYK mode for printing. Not every RGB colour has a CMYK equivalent, and the result could be more than just subtle colour shifts.
If you are designing in a vector graphics program like Adobe InDesign, please convert all fonts to outlines (paths) prior to sending your design.
HOW TO SET UP A NEW DOCUMENT – Download a PDF
Photoshop and InDesign treat a document set-up slightly differently. The main difference is how to set the bleed. InDesign is made for document layouts so it asks for the bleed settings. In the example below you can see that we’ve inserted 2mm bleed. Photoshop is made for photo manipulation rather than documents so to add bleed to a document you need to manually change the size of the document to include 2mm on every side. In the example below, the business card is 90mm x 55mm but in photoshop we’ll need to make it 94mm x 59mm.
HOW TO CREATE A PDF – Download as PDF
HOW TO REDUCE FILE SIZE
The main reason for a large file is that you might have a large .psd, .tiff or .jpeg embedded. Before inserting an image into your InDesign or Illustrator document , flatten the image in Photoshop, resize it to the correct dimensions you need for your document and make sure it’s saved at a resolution of 300 dpi. Correctly sized files should very rarely exceed 10MB.