Preparing Photoshop Files For Printing

Step 1: Creating a New File

When creating artwork in Photoshop, be sure that the resolution is set to 300 ppi (pixels per inch) and mode is set to CMYK Color.

  • Open a new document (File>New)
  • Specify width and height and set at the desired final output size plus 1/4" to accommodate bleeds (e.g. a final product measuring 6 x 4" should be set at 6.25 x 4.25")
  • Set resolution to 300 PPI
  • Set mode to CMYK Color

Does your artwork have 1/4" bleeds?

We recommend a 1/4" bleed be included. If your image has a white border on all four sides, bleeds are recommended but not required. If your image is not white on all four sides, you MUST include bleeds in your files.

Does your artwork have borders?

The cutting process for printed materials has a mechanical tolerance of about 1/16 or .0625 of an inch. When using a border in your artwork, it is essential that your design use at least 1/4 or .25 of an inch of white space from your border to the cut line to maintain a symmetrical appearance. All copy and elements that do not bleed should have a minimum of 1/4 inch between them and the cut line.

Step 2: Guidelines

Creating guidelines will help you place copy and elements properly. You have a visual reference for the bleed, trim (or cut) line and the safety border.

  • Show rulers (View>Rulers)
  • Click on the rulers and drag a guideline to the desired mark
  • Set resolution to 300 DPI

Step 3: Adding Images

Open the image and check its resolution prior to pasting.

  • Open the file (File>Open)
  • Check its resolution and make sure it is 300 PPI (Image>Image Size)
  • Copy the image and place it in the new document you created in Step 1

For an image to print properly, it must be at least 300 dots per inch (DPI) at the final output size. DO NOT try to change from a low resolution to a higher one by increasing the DPI (resampling).

Add EPS Images That Render Properly.

When opening the EPS file in Photoshop, make sure to follow these steps:

  • Resolution is set to 300 DPI
  • Mode is set to CMYK Color
  • Anti-aliasing is turned ON

Step 4: Color

All files must be CMYK. If your file was not created in or converted to CMYK, do so now.

  • Image>Mode>CMYK Color

What is CMYK Color Mode?

The color mode of submitted files must be CMYK. If your files are submitted using any other color standard, such as RGB or Pantone, they will be converted to CMYK. Conversion from one color standard to another may cause colors to shift.

Does your artwork contain gradients?

Gradients are commonly used in printing and in most instances produce good results. Gradients can be represented in a file as a mathematical equation (Vector) or rendered by the application into a series of pixels (Raster). Whether created as rasters or vectors, gradients below 5% may not reproduce accurately.

Does your artwork contain solid black?

When you want an area of solid black within a document, 100% black (K) will not result in a solid, saturated black. Instead, use Rich Black, as represented by C:40% / M:20% / Y:35% / K:100%.

Step 5: Saving Your File

While we can print from any file format, it is best to submit a .PSD file.



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