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What is a print-ready PDF?

When we say "print-ready", we mean it is a file that has all the specifications needed to produce a high-resolution print product, without requiring any additional alteration or intervention.

In other words, we the commercial printer can use the file "as submitted" to successfully create quality printed materials such as banners, rack cards and a lot more.

Here is a list of common factors that prevent a file from being Print-Ready:

  • 1) Document sized incorrectly.
  • 2) Colors set to RGB instead of CMYK.
  • 3) Spot colors not properly defined.
  • 4) Not allowing ample margins (putting information or borders closer than 1/4” from any trimmed edge).
  • 5) Image resolution not high enough (should be minimum 300 dpi at 100% size).
  • 6) Bleeds not set up correctly (artwork should extend at least 1/8” past crop marks).
  • 7) Crop marks missing or incorrectly placed.
  • 8) Missing fonts or images.
  • 9) Poor contrast between text and background.
  • 10) Spelling and grammar errors.

The file type is also important, it's required to be a PDF.

Files created with Microsoft programs – like Word, Publisher or PowerPoint – often require some level of intervention and conversion to make them Print-Ready. The file may output to your desktop printer just fine, but these types of software are rarely well-suited for output on a commercial printing press.

If you have additional questions about Print-Ready files, Reach out and give us a call. We know printing concepts can sometimes appear involved or confusing.

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Image Resolution

Image resolution is the reason your pictures look clean and crisp or fuzzy wuzzy. You want 300dpi images.

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Submitting your own designs? Want to avoid extra fees? Make sure your files are print-ready before you send them.

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