How to have PRINT-READY files
|Step 1: CMYK not RGB|
|All artwork should be sent in CMYK and not in RGB. Please ensure that all embedded images are CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) files. RGB images may look good on your screen but final output to print is always in CMYK. One should be aware that files converted from RGB to CMYK may alter the colour composition significantly!|
|Step 2: Bleed, Crop Area and Type Safety:|
|Bleed: Whenever your artwork extends to the edge of a document, you must set up a bleed area so that when your work is being printed it doesn’t get cut-off irregularly at the edges and leave ugly white lines. Therefore, your artwork should extend 1/8″ (.125 inches) beyond the live area of your document whenever necessary. This means that if your business card is 2 x 3.5″ when it’s finished, then your document should be 2.25 x 3.75″ when you are designing the piece.Crop Area: The trim line is simply the line that shows where your document is going to be cut, and is usually 1/8″ after the bleed. So if your page is going to be 8.5 x 11″ when it’s done, the trim line would make an 8.5 x 11″ box inside your document.
Type Safety: The safety line is an additional 1/8″ inside the trim line. All of your artwork and text should be inside this box to ensure that it is not cut-off when the page is cut.
Visit out Resources section by clicking here to ensure your files are setup correctly.
|Correct: Image extends to bleed box and type is within type safety area|
|Incorrect: Image does not extend to bleed box and type is too close to the cutting line.|
|Step 3: Border Thickness|
|It is strongly suggested that you do not use a thin border around your artwork. This may cause an uneven frame around your card when cutting. If you desire to have a border, it should be at least 1/4″ (.25 inches) thick.|
|Step 4: Image Quality|
|If you design something for the web, your images are usually 72 dpi (Dots Per Inch), which is standard for screen resolution. For most print projects, you’re going to need more than 4 times that resolution: 300 dpi. If you try and print your files at 72 dpi you will end up with blurry, fuzzy pictures. So always make sure all images in your artwork are at least 300dpi.|
|Correct: Image will print clear and crisp|
|incorrect: Image will print blurry and fuzzy.|
|Step 5: Rich Black|
|To create Rich Black, you can use a mixture of 30% Cyan, 30% Magenta, 60% Yellow and 100% Black. Rich Black is best used for larger areas of black, and not on thin lines or text. If you use it on small body text or thin lines, the inks could saturate and blur the artwork.100K Black is created using, a mixture of 0% Cyan, Magenta and Yellow, with 100% Black. For large areas, 100K Black would just look gray. For small text, it helps keep the text sharp as there is no combination of CMYK to register.|
|Step 6: Check Overprint|
|When overprint is applied, instead of knocking out elements behind the foreground elements, one ink is printed over another. Which really isn’t that bad if that is what you want—it almost looks like a transparency type effect. Here are three squares — magenta, cyan and yellow. The first image overprint fill is turned off. The second image overprint fill is turned on:|
|A classic mistake is when a white foreground element is layed on top of a black background element and overprint fill is applied to the white foreground element. It will look just fine in the pdf file (unless you have the overprint preview selected) but when it is separated in your printer’s rip, the white will disappear.
The simple thing to remember is to never apply overprint fill to a foreground element that is lighter than the background. There may be some exception to this rule, but this is a general rule of thumb.
|Step 7: Orientation|
|When submitting your artwork for a double sided design the top of your artwork (Head) should match the top of the back of the artwork. The first example below is correct where the text is facing the same way for the front and the back. The second and third example are incorrect as the text is upside down on one side|
|Here are some other examples of acceptable layouts:|