File Setup for Print Guide
How to Setup your File for Uploading:
The following guide is to assist with your electronic file preparation and submission.
Each Cornerstone product includes an InDesign and Illustrator file already setup to ensure the best print job possible. These files are located under the Templates tab on each product’s page. Print Templates can also be viewed as a PDF.
STEP 1 – CHOOSE YOUR SOFTWARE
Adobe Software: is the industry standard for professional graphic design. Packed together as the Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop & InDesign).
Quark, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Word and Corel Draw: are also used, but not as well supported.
Choosing any other layout program than these listed may cause issues when attempting to use for professional commercial printing.
STEP 2 – SETTING UP YOUR DOCUMENT
PAGE / DOCUMENT SIZE: Create a document the exact same size of the finished product (do not include bleed measurement).
If you would like your final piece to be 5x7 inches in size, the document size in your artwork program should be set to 5 inches by 7 inches before you begin designing.
MARGINS (SAFE LINE): Margin is the space inside of the document edges creating a “safety zone”. Keep text and important imagery within this zone to ensure it doesn’t cut off or cut into during trimming. In addition, text and copy too close to the edges of a document do not look aesthetically pleasing from a graphic design standpoint also.
We recommended a margin of at least 0.25" (¼ inch) margin. Many designers prefer 0.25" (¼ inch) margins for a more pleasing layout.
BLEED AREA: Your artwork will be printed on a larger sheet and then trimmed down to size. To ensure there are no unimaged paper edges showing around the edge of your piece after it has been trimmed, any background image or background color should extend past the page edge to fill the bleed area. Also, if there is any object element that you want to print to the very edges of the finished product: a line, photo, illustration, background, etc. that will “run off the edge” of the paper, these items should be positioned so the element flows past the page edge into the bleed area as well.
We recommend a Bleed Area of 0.125" (⅛ inch) past the document edge on all 4 sides.
STEP 3 – USE OF HIGH-RESOLUTION IMAGES OR VECTOR ART
Image Resolution: All photos and other raster art should be at least 300 DPI to ensure they print clearly. Low quality images may appear blurry and pixelated. Images from a website are often low quality and not designed for print.
Raster Art: Art composed of pixels – typical raster types are .psd, .tif, .jpg or .gif graphics file formats.
Vector Art: Preferred art format, especially for typography and large products such as signs and banners. Created using vector illustration software programs, such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. So, no matter how much you Zoom In or Zoom Out the image resolution remains unchanged. Typical vector types are .svg, .eps, .pdf or .ai graphic file formats.
STEP 4 – OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
If all the above steps were followed carefully your artwork should be ready. Prior to uploading your art files to be printed there are just a few things to consider making sure that your design prints as intended.
Spell Check: professional design programs have a built-in spell check capability, but they are not infallible. In addition to spelling consider grammar and punctuation, and certainly your phone numbers, address and other information that the spell check program is unable to help with. It is always a good idea to have one or more additional people examine your document for errors you may have overlooked.
Double Check Images: make sure all images and special effects are high resolution.
Bleed and Margins: Confirm that bleed and margin areas are ample.
Bindery? Note the position of any bindery functions (such as folding or hole-punching) and how they will interact with the placement of your designs.
STEP 5 – EXPORT TO PDF
Since there are many different software packages and file formats that can be used to create artwork, it is very important that you export your file as a PDF. This will embed all the document fonts and images we need to print your document. A PDF file helps us see exactly what you have intended for the final printed piece.
You final PDF should include Crop Marks and Bleed Area. When exporting your PDF, be sure these items are configured properly so they show in the final file.
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