Eazy Print lives up to its name by making the process as simple as possible, but there’s no harm in building up your knowledge. There are files of all shapes and sizes, with names to keep you on your toes. So are you ready to print? Let’s find out…
Which file will get you print-ready?
You don’t have to jump through hoops to use an Acrobat file. This is also a PDF print-ready file. The Portable Document Format was developed by Adobe in 1991. These are ‘self-contained’ documents that can hold all the necessary elements including text, fonts, graphics and images together with the printing options needed by a commercial printing service. Currently these are by far the most popular file type and, if prepared correctly, can be the simplest to work with.
Other acceptable print-ready files include: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Quark Xpress and EPS.
But it’s not only the type of file that makes it print-ready; preparation is everything.
Prepare your artwork to make it print-ready
If possible, produce your artwork at the actual size for printing. Occasionally if the size is beyond the limits of the application being used, then it is acceptable to scale it down to half or quarter size. This is usually only required when printing large items such as banners or display boards. It’s important to make a note of that on the file or your purchase order, to make sure all goes to plan.
Many problems can be caused by missing fonts. Sometimes they haven’t been embedded or not supplied at all.
If your design has images or graphics that go right to the edge, it’s important to add ‘bleed’. The standard is 3mm, but it can be more. ‘Bleed’ is required when graphics continue to the edge of a sheet of paper. A commercial printing press can’t print to the edge of a sheet. Multiple products are printed on much larger sheets of paper and then cut down to size. A little ‘over print’ is required, and this is known as ‘bleed’. Eazy Print will be more than happy to talk you through this.
You can also send hi-resolution Raster Image files of the complete design such as Tiffs or Jpegs.
Raster images are files which are made up of ‘pixels’, like digital photos. The most common image formats for printing are TIFF files which have a ‘.tif’ extension and JPEG files with ‘.jpg’ or ‘.jpeg’ as the extension. These should be in CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) colour format.
Resolution of images is another important factor. As a rule of thumb, images used for printing should have a minimum resolution of 300dpi or dots per inch. If you have dragged an image from a website it will probably be too low in resolution because web images are usually around 72dpi. Image resolution is more flexible when it comes to large format printing.
Contact Eazy Print with any questions – we will always have a resolution for you!