31 Jan

What file format should I use when sending artwork to a printer?

A print ready PDF is our preferred format.  This format combines all of your fonts, images, and other elements into a single file that is simple to send and allows for consistent output on multiple systems.  Below are a few guidelines to follow for best results when creating your PDF.

  • Create your PDF as single pages, not as printer or reader spreads.
  • Any picture or element that touches the trim must bleed 1/8” off the page
  • Keep all important elements on a page at least 3/16” away from the trim unless the item is intended to bleed off the page
  • Download and use our Adobe PDF presets when saving or exporting your PDF for print.
  • Check that the resolution of all images are 300 dpi at the final printed size. (Using our Adobe PDF Preset will help with this.)
  • Verify that your PDF contains the colours that will be printed.  Most notably Pantone spot colours if you are using any.
  • Make sure all fonts are fully (0% in export settings) embedded or at least subset in document. (Using our Adobe PDF Preset automatically does this.)
  • Make sure that page or panel widths are set up correctly on multi panel project to compensate for short folds.


There are a few circumstances when we prefer working with the original live or native files opposed to PDF’s.

  • When extensive text edits, colour correction or layout changes are expected.
  • When complicated die lines need to be created.
  • When you are not comfortable setting up layouts such as pocket folders or multi-panel piece.

If you have any other questions, please to not hesitate to contact us.