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File Guidelines

File Guidelines

DESIGN

You can create your own art and layout using any software you are comfortable with. Popular programs include Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, InDesign (CS3 and CS4), Quark, and Microsoft Publisher. But as long as you can convert your design into a .pdf, .tiff, .jpg, or .eps file, our experts will be able to handle them.

Your program should be able to create at least one of these types of file formats. It is recommended to stay away from software such as Fireworks or Powerpoint because these don’t always allow for the use of high-definition files (i.e. photos at 300 DPI or higher.) Once you have created it, you can upload it at Simpleprint.com for free.

 

TERMINOLOGY

Art Suspect: After you have uploaded your file, our design team will review it to ensure it will create an ideal result. If there is any discrepancies, your order will be put on hold until you have addressed the issue, uploaded a new file, made any changes or waived the art suspect in question.

 

Bleed: The nature of extra artwork and/or background colors that stretch all the way to the edge of the page to ensure accuracy and consistency. Generally this content is made larger than the finished work. It is printed like this, and then trimmed down to the size you originally requested.

 

Blue Caution Line: A template line indicative of “the end of the road.” Text should be about 1/8 (.125) inch inside this line to prevent it from being lopped off. This will help in case the stock shifts while we trim your project.

 

Press Ready: Your completed design file that is ready to be uploaded. Make sure it is the correct size, meets resolution requirements and is saved as a .jpg, .pdf, .tiff, or .eps file before submitting.

 

Proof: A print-ready copy of your project. Once your approval is made, the order will be printed. Typically we send electronic proofs free of charge for your convenience; however a hard copy proof can be mailed to you upon request.

 

Resolution: Often referred to as DPI or dots-per-inch, this is a measure of image clarity. The higher this number goes, the more quality the picture becomes. Simpleprint requires images at no less than 300 DPI in order to produce the best results.

 

Trim Line: The line where cuts are made. Because your project can shift while trimming occurs, bleed lines and blue caution lines become even more important.

(tip: view your proof at 300% to gain a good understanding of how clear your content will appear on the final product.)

 

ARRANGING YOUR ARTWORK WITHOUT TEMPLATES FOR AN UNFOLDED PRODUCT

It’s best to use one of our handy templates when it comes to any of our products, but especially when the product naturally comes with multiple folds or die-cuts of any kind (i.e. brochures, file folders, door hangers, etc.) For flat pieces such as flyers, business cards or postcards, a template is not necessary.

 

1. Open a new document

Depending on the software program, this could be called document, canvas, page or artboard.

 

2. Make it 1/4 (.25) inch bigger than the finished size to accommodate bleeds

Examples: 3.5×2 business cards = 3.75×2.25 document size

6×4 postcards = 6.25×4.25 document size

8.5×11 flyers = 8.75×11.25 document size

 

3. Instill a guide line 1/4 (.25) inch inside the document size on each side to serve as blue caution line

Depending on software, it will be called guideline, guide, or margin. Search your program under “Rulers” or “Guidelines” for the proper selection.

 

4. Design it

Background colors and images that are destined for the edge of the finished product should be extended out to accommodate the cuts. All text should be within the guidelines, or blue caution line.

 

5. Create and save it as one of the appropriate file types (.pdf, .jpg, .tiff, .eps)

This will vary across the different software programs. Look to save, export or print these types of files by searching the help menu for “high resolution,” “press ready” or “press quality.”

 

6. Review the .pdf proof we send you

Fonts, pictures and color schemes can disappear or change during this process, which makes it absolutely imperative you double-check every element before approving the proof for press. We will print based upon the proof, not your original document.

 

ARRANGING YOUR ARTWORK WITH TEMPLATES FOR AN UNFOLDED PRODUCT

It’s best to use one of our handy templates when it comes to any of our products, but especially when the product naturally comes with multiple folds or die-cuts of any kind (i.e. brochures, file folders, door hangers, etc. Depending on which software program you have, open the appropriate template. Our templates run one inch bigger than the finished size due to the instructions.

 

PUBLISHER

  1. Open the new template document at one inch larger than the finished size. Avoid Publisher’s templates because you won’t be able to save it with bleed lines.
  2. Place your .jpg files as you wish and size them for the appropriate fit.
  3. Set your guidelines at the blue caution lines and bleed lines. Extend all artwork and background colors to the bleed lines while keeping text inside the blue caution lines. We will cut on the black center line
  4. Delete the template image box
  5. Print to a .pdf file

 

PHOTOSHOP

  1. Open the .jpg template file
  2. Set your guidelines at the blue caution lines and bleed lines. Extend all artwork and background colors to the bleed lines while keeping text inside the blue caution lines. We will cut on the black center line
  3. Delete template layer
  4. Save the file as a .pdf

 

ILLUSTRATOR

  1. Open the .ai template file
  2. Set your guidelines at the blue caution lines and bleed lines. Extend all artwork and background colors to the bleed lines while keeping text inside the blue caution lines. We will cut on the black center line
  3. Delete the template layer
  4. Save the file as a .pdf or .eps

 

INDESIGN

  1. Open the .pdf file. The image box should be one inch bigger than the finished size
  2. Set your guidelines at the blue caution lines and bleed lines. Extend all artwork and background colors to the bleed lines while keeping text inside the blue caution lines. We will cut on the black center line
  3. Delete template image box
  4. Export the file as a .pdf

 

PREPARATION CHECKLIST

Make sure you have met all of the criteria listed below to ensure that your process goes smoothly. This will help you avoid any delay as we craft professional results no matter what product you have ordered. Never hesitate to speak directly with our representatives at 800.377.5154, via email or free online chat.

 

  • Bleed

The file is 1/4 (.25) inch bigger than the finished size I requested.

 

  • Blue Caution Lines

All text is at least 1/8 (.125) inch inside of the trim line or 1/4 (.25) inch from the edge of the document.

 

  • Resolution

Every image I have included is at least 300 DPI when viewed at 100%.

 

  • Color

I have used CMYK colors in my project, or I have used RGB or PMS and will allow it to be converted into CMYK during the proofing process. I know that colors might be altered after this conversion.

 

  • Borders

Any borders I have used are at least 1/4 (.25) inside the bleed lines.

 

  • Fonts

All of my fonts were embedded when I first created the .pdf. When saving it, I used PDF/X-1a:2001, high quality print or a press quality option to make sure of this.

 

  • Orientation

Both front and back sides of my project are of the same orientation (vertical or landscape.)

 

  • Catalogs and Booklets

The pages are in single page, reader spreads as part of a multi-paged .pdf file. The file has the same number of pages as my desired final order.

 

  • Error-Check

I have proofread and looked over all content including text, photos, backgrounds, borders, colors, fonts, and sizes for any errors on both my document and the subsequent proof. I know that my project will not be reviewed for issues in grammar, spelling or missing characters.