Understanding Print Ready Files

The characteristics of print ready copy in Yuma, AZ are relatively simple—it is a file that a commercial printer can turn into a finished printed product. Where it starts to become daunting is when it is time to consider what is required for a file to be print ready and you deliver them to us with defects. Here are the four elements of a print ready file and why they are important to creating the best end products:

  • High resolution: Printing technology has improved substantially. This creates better printed products, but also comes with one drawback: any resolution errors will be readily apparent when we finish printing. Low-resolution images do not look good coming off the printer and waste production time. Many amateur or new graphic designers forget to create with high resolution in mind, and end up with a design that looks better on the screen than on paper.
  • File types: When you use your normally reliable Microsoft products, it is often a shock to learn that those file types are not print ready. For black and white text on desktop printers, this is not an issue, but if you are looking at newsletters, flyers and business cards, you will find a Microsoft file is sorely lacking. But if you create PDF files from your copy, those documents will offer great print readiness because Adobe is designed for high resolution. Also, just because a file type prints well on your desktop printer does not mean it will do the same with commercial printers. The latter offer capabilities that make your colors pop, but also show the errors.
  • Crop lines: The crop lines are where the printer cuts the paper. Commercial printers do not use standard paper sizes. In fact, they may use roll paper or large sheets. Once printed, the printer then cuts the products to size according to the crop lines. It is important that these are set correctly. If you are printing a 9’ x 12’ magazine, the lines need to be set exactly at 9’ x 12’ for every page and the cover. Otherwise, your publication may come out a bit lopsided.
  • Bleeds: A bleed is a color or image that exceeds the crop lines by ⅛ of an inch. This is necessary when your materials are a solid color and you wish to avoid any white space around the edges. This has an advantage in that trimmers may still cut slightly beyond the crop line and risk that white space. If you plan your bleeds and crop lines correctly, you will not have to worry about this aesthetic error, and the recipients of your material will be none the wiser.

Sun Graphics Printing offers graphic design and printing services. If your file is already print ready copy in Yuma, AZ, then send it to us to create your mailer campaign, business cards or other commercial printing products. However, if you require a little help, contact us today to take advantage of our full range of services.

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