File Preparation Guidelines
Don´t worry, every print file you submit goes through both
our automated and human review process to ensure technical quality.
A quality product starts with proper file setup. Below are helpful tips to get you started.
If your file has a quality issue, you will get a Low notification.
Please submit your file in a print-ready PDF format. This is the best option to successfully process your file. For photo or full graphic products, we can also accept straight graphic files such as jpg, jpeg, gif, png, eps, pdf, zip, tar, rar, images.
|Trim Line: -----|
Product will be trimmed along this area and indicates the final size. Please remember, due to minor mechanical tolerances, the cut may shift up to 1/16 of an inch in any direction.
Please submit your file in single page PDF – each page is in correct succession. Uploading a single page PDF does not mean one PDF file for each page. It means all the pages in your PDF should be single pages (not spreads).
Please make sure ALL your fonts are embedded.
Color file set-up:
When setting up a color in your file, please make sure to embed the color profile in your PDF print file. Any files that are not tagged with a color profile will be processed at GRACol.
Pantone color matching is not a Printshop USA offering. However, if a Pantone spot color is found, we will create that color using the CMYK process. Be aware that this is not an exact match process and Pantone colors can show a marked color shift when converted to CMYK.
If color accuracy is of extreme importance, requesting a hard-copy proof is the best way to see the exact color you will get in your final printed piece.
Crop Marks and Bleeds: └┌
It is best to set up your bleed space at the very beginning of your design process – so you do not have to adjust at the end.When using any of the design templates, you will see bleed, trim line, safety, and borders mentioned. Here is a graphic to help you understand.
OTHER FILE CREATION TIPS
And finally, more tips to consider when you are creating your print file and preparing for submission:
- Remove any objects from the artboard that are not to be printed (including extra layers, swatches, links or extra objects)
- Do not use ‘PDF security’ as it sometimes interferes with file workflow
- Full-sized monochrome scans are recommended to be 600dpi but less than 1200dpi
- Make sure each page in your file has a consistent page size with any foldouts or oversized covers as their own separate PDF files
- For 2-sided designs, please include each side of the print in one PDF instead of two PDF’s.
- Make sure your black and white images have not been created in CMYK
- Avoid converting to CMYK during PDF output
- Avoid converting Pantones to RGB or CMYK builds
- Avoid using Pantones over transparent elements
- Avoid using elements not intended for print
- To avoid ‘visible dots in text’ (text screening) text values should be:
- 100% for grayscale
- 0% for all RGB channels
- K value at 100% for CMYK
- Pantone at 100% or black (K) equivalent
If you have questions or a specific situation that is not covered in this guide, please feel free to contact us.