Bleed and Safety
We require 1/8” (.125”) Bleed and 1/8” (.125”) Safety.
Bleed is when your design has a background color or any elements that should print all the way to the edge (instead of using a white border or white background). When you have elements that bleed, we need an extra 1/8” (.125”) of the image or color on all 4 sides. So, for example, if you have a 4x6" postcard, the size of your file with bleed should be 4.25x6.25”, and all elements that bleed should go to the edges of this larger size rather than stopping at the 4x6” edge.
Why? Printing equipment is unfortunately not 100% accurate. We print a stack of sheets and then cut the entire stack down at the same time. If the image didn't print in the exact same place on every sheet, then the cut will be a little different on each image. Luckily the accuracy is very high, but 1-2mm of variation does occur. If you do not add bleed, when the cut is 2mm to the left, you'll see a 2mm white strip to the left of where your image stops. The white would be a little different on each card depending on the printing variation. The variation can be in any direction and potentially on 2 sides.
Designs with a white background and nothing touching the edge of the design do not need bleed. This means you can size your file the exact trim size. So, for example, a business card with a white background can be sized 2x3.5”.
Safety is for the elements in your design that you don't want to get cut off, like text. For these things, you need to keep them a minimum distance away from the edges of your design. We recommend that you keep everything at least 1/8” from the edge.
Make sure to convert all colors to CMYK. Please, no Pantone or RGB colors, otherwise unexpected color shifts will occur when the file is printed.
When using transparency, keep the percentages above 20%. Below 20% and the images tend to disappear.
Blues tend to print more purple than they look on screen. If this is not your intention, make sure there is at least a 30% difference between the Magenta and Cyan values.
If you are using a solid color over a large area, your best choices are red, magenta, cyan, yellow, or dark blue. Your worst choices are neutral colors like taupe and gray, and pastels. They will often print differently than they look on screen and are more likely to show streaking or banding in print.
Our preferred file format is a PDF file with bleed, but without crop or printers marks.
You can provide each side as a separate file or one multi-page PDF.
We also accept TIFF, PSD, EPS, and Jpeg files.
Always save Jpegs at a high quality setting (12).
If you are working in Photoshop, we recommend a resolution of at least 300dpi. If you are using very thin or very small text, increase the resolution to at least 600dpi. The best way to save the large file that will result is as a high quality (12) jpeg.
STANDARD BOOKLET FILE PREP
Maximum of 52 pages per booklet
Stapled Edge needs to be a minimum of 5.75" high, and the maximum width is 8.5"
Total page count must be a multiple of four (eg 4, 8, 16, etc.), and includes the front and back covers.
File Formats: Please provide your booklet in Indesign, PDF, or as individual Photoshop files. If using other programs, you can save each page (not spreads) as a PDF with bleed. If you are unsure about your file setup, we highly recommend that you send us a few pages when you start to design your book so that we can make sure you're setting them up correctly.
Bleed and Safety are required (see details here).
For Indesign, imagery should be linked, not embedded, and be sure to provide us with the images. Turn all fonts to outline. Set up your document as individual pages, not as spreads. Please email or call if you have any questions about the setup.
For Photoshop, set up each page with a bleed, in CMYK, at a resolution of at least 300ppi. Don't flatten your file. Set up your document as individual pages, not as spreads. Name each page as page01, page 02, etc. The front cover should always be named page01. The back cover should always be the last page. We're happy to talk you through any of these requirements, just give us a call at 845-595-1615 before you start designing.
Spot Gloss allows just specified text or images to be glossier than the rest of the card. We need you to prepare a separate Spot Gloss template file along with the regular full color file. The Spot Gloss template file is used to show where the Spot Gloss will be placed. Here is an example of how to set up the template:
Use Black (100%k) to indicate where you would like the UV (gloss). White (0C 0M 0Y 0K) will indicate no UV (gloss).
We highly recommend using our templates to set up your files if you are printing on the flap of the envelope. Also, keep in mind that full bleed background colors on the flap are not recommended. There can be a 1-2mm over/under on the scoring, which means 1-2mm of the color could bleed onto the front of the envelope or there could be 1-2mm of white at the top of the back flap once folded. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the size template you need.
MAILING LIST FILES
File type: we accept CSV, Excel, and Numbers files
- You must have separate columns for: Company 1, Company 2 (optional), Last Name, First Name, Address 1, Address 2 (optional), city, state, and zip code.
- All cells must be one line only (no paragraph markers in the cell).
- Maximum of 50 characters per cell.
If you'll be exporting your addresses to CSV format, we recommend that you open the CSV file after exporting to double-check the addresses exported correctly.
For 8.5x11" tri-fold brochures, the front panel (once folded) should be sized a little larger than the panel that folds inside. When laying flat and looking at the Outside of the brochure, the Inside panel is the left-most panel, and the Front of the brochure is the right-most panel. These are the widths for each panel (these do not include bleed): Left (Inside panel) - 3.54" Middle - 3.67" Right (Front panel) - 3.79"