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.
That means the resolution of your files are lower than 80 dpi and images will start to appear pixelated or blurry.
If your file is printable, you will get a Medium notification.
That means the resolution of your files are between 80 dpi and 155 dpi. It still may be pixelated or blurry.

If your file quality is good, you will get a  Vector approval.
The resolution of your files are between 180 - 300 dpi.
Good for print.
If your file quality is excellent, you will get a  Vector approval.
Your file resolution is higher than 300 dpi. Perfect for print.

We recommend at least 300 dpi but less than 1200 dpi for optimal print output.
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.

Spelling errors:
Make sure all text is spelled correctly and accurate. Check that the text size is legible and color stands out against background.

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.

CMYK is the industry standard and it is best that you create your file using CMYK colors. Your file will be converted to CMYK during the printing process which could change the colors slightly.

Color file set-up:
Print previews are not a sure measuring tool for print color accuracy. Colors used on your file might be affected by monitor calibration, screen resolution and lighting, just to name a few.

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:  └┌
Product will be trimmed along this area and indicates the final size. Please remember, due to cutting of printing, the cut may shift up to 1/16 of an inch in any direction.
Please make sure your files have the appropriate bleed to ensure your final printed piece is as you expect.


Bleed specifications:
If your intention is to have your printed image extend off the page, you must add bleeds to your artwork.  A bleed is typically an 1/8" border that extends beyond the trim area of your printed piece. It is also important to keep text or other important parts of your image at least a 1/4" away from the paper edge or the trim line to prevent accidental cropping.

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.




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.