File Preparation • Redlands Print & Design
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File Preparation

Acceptable File Formats

Corel Draw x7 or earlier (*.cdr) (recommended)

Adobe Acrobat 9 Document (*.pdf) (recommended)

Adobe Illustrator Artwork (*.ai) (recommended) – convert text to outlines

Adobe Photoshop Image (*.psd) (recommended)

Bitmap Image (*.bmp)

GIF Image (*.gif)

JPEG Image (*.jpg,*.jpeg)

*Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 Document (*.ppt)

*Microsoft Publisher 2010 Document (*.pub)

*Microsoft Word 2010 Document (*.doc)

PCX Image (*.pcx)

PICT Image (*.pic,*.pict,*.pct)

PNG Image (*.png)

PostScript Document (*.ps)

TIFF Image (*.tif,*.tiff)

Windows Enhanced Metafile (*.emf)

Windows Metafile (*.wmf)

* It is recommended you convert Microsoft files to pdf’s whenever possible to avoid font Issues or text reflow problems.

Full Bleed Size

When to create your document at the full bleed size

If you are working in an illustration program (such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw) or a photo editing program (Such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel Photo-Paint), we recommend that you create your document at the full bleed size. To make your artwork full bleed size, add  (.137”) to the size of your document, this will prevent any white edges from showing at the borders after the final product is trimmed.

Safe Area / Safe Margins

The safe margins are borders that are definitely inside the place where the cut will take place. Please remember to keep all important information, like names, addresses, phone numbers or logos within the safe margin (at least .137” from the edge) to ensure that they aren’t cut off when your document is trimmed.

Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio of your image can be determined by dividing the image’s width by its height. If your image’s aspect ratio is not equal to the aspect ratio of our documents, your image may appear stretched or distorted when it is scaled to fit.

Resolution

What is resolution?

Resolution refers to the number of dots per inch (dpi), or the amount of detail the image has. Most documents prepared for upload should be 300 dpi at 100% of the final print size. Higher resolution means a more detailed image, and also larger file and longer upload time.

CMYK vs. RGB

CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) are the colors used in the printing process, whereas RGB (Red, Green and Blue) are the colors used by screen displays such as your monitor. Please note that JPEG files are almost always in RGB.

Your document should be created in CMYK mode so that the colors that you see on the screen most closely match the final printed product. If you create your document in RGB, the colors in your printed product may vary slightly. Many of the bright values produced by your monitor cannot be reproduced in print.

Converting Fonts to Outlines

Text can be converted to curves (paths) in some graphics programs. This will fix upload errors that result when fonts are not embedded in your file. Following these easy steps will help ensure that your text prints clearly.

How to convert fonts to outlines in Adobe Illustrator

  1. Select all text.
  2. Click Type Menu> Type> Create Outlines
  3. Text now has a blue outline.
  4. Save a copy and re-upload.

Vector vs. Raster

What are Vector Images?

Vector images use mathematical equations to define each component of an image. This allows vector images to retain their high-quality at any size. When possible, use vector graphics created in a desktop publishing program.

What are Raster Images?

A raster image is composed of a collection of tiny dots called pixels. When these pixels are small, and placed close together, they fool the eye into forming a single image. Raster images work well when subtle gradations of color are necessary. Because they contain a fixed number of pixels, a major disadvantage of raster images is that their quality suffers when they are enlarged or otherwise transformed. They are also large in file size.

Images

Images from a Digital Camera

If you wish to use images from a digital camera, before you snap pictures make sure the camera is set at a high enough resolution to result in 300 DPI at the intended photo print size. Most cameras have various settings for resolutions. The highest resolution for your camera depends on how many megapixels it has.

You cannot increase the resolution of a photo after it is taken, except by reducing its printed dimensions (after you upload the image). Be careful when cropping a photo after it is taken. Cropping will reduce the number of pixels in the final image.

Images from a Scanner

Like a digital camera, a scanner must be preset to the proper resolution before image capture. Many scanners default to 150-dpi (or spi). Set your scanner’s resolution so that it results in 300-dpi at the image’s final print size. If your resulting scanned image is smaller than the recommended size or has less dpi than you need, you should either rescan your original at a higher resolution, or use the image for a smaller printed area.

Images from the Web

Images found on the web are typically at a resolution of 72-dpi. This resolution is much too low for quality printing. In addition, most images on the web are protected by copyright laws. For these reasons, we do not recommend using images from the web.

Have some questions? Ready to send your file in?