A print ready file is a digital file containing your artwork. The widely acceptable print ready file types vary, from PDF (Portable Document Format), EPS (Encapsulated Post Script), PSD (Adobe Photoshop Document), JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) to TIFF (Tagged Image File Format); however a high resolution PDF is the print industry standard Minuteman Press Bristol prefer to use.
Your raw file in which you create your artwork, such as a Word Document file, Publisher or even Adobe InDesign may not be print ready when supplied, as it may contain text or image layers not supported on the computer which is handling it. A set-up of the created document can vary from computer to computer due to different types of fonts, images which are not embedded in the design and even page margins. It is important to ‘fix’ this by converting your artwork into stable and static format, which looks exactly as you intend it to look.
Here are a few suggestions for helping you create a print ready file. Please contact us for further information:
Bleed is required on any print job that requires printing all the way to the edge of the sheet. Standard bleed is 5mm. See our video Bleed in graphic design and print.
Crop marks (also known as trim marks) are required to indicate where the edge of the document is cut.
Registration marks assist in production with lining up printing plates and thus ensuring crisp and flawless registration. Please see colours and separations.
Fonts need to be converted to curves. Any fonts not converted to curves may flow differently from the original due to different versions of the same font on different computers. The difference could mean, for instance, more character spacing thus pushing text out and taking up more space.
Colours and Separations When creating your design, consider the production and always use spot colours, i.e. the Pantone system, or CMYK palette; in this way your design will be true to the actual final printed item.
CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) is the colour palette in which all colours are described as a mixture of these four process colours. CMYK is the standard colour model used in lithographic (offset) printing for full colour documents. In contrast, display devices generally use a different colour palette called RGB (red, green and blue). One of the most difficult aspects of graphic design in colour is colour matching, properly converting RGB colours into CMYK colours so that the printed item looks the same as what appears on the monitor.
Minuteman Press Bristol regards the following file extensions as print ready files:
- PDF (high resolution of at least 300dpi at full size)
- EPS (containing all images and with all fonts outlined)
- PSD (flattened and at least 300dpi at full size)
- JPEG (at least 300dpi at full size)
- TIFF (at least 300dpi at full size)