File Prep

File Preparation Guideline

A successful print project requires properly constructed document layouts. The following list highlights the specs and techniques for creation of a trouble-free layout.

  • Tools

    Use professional page layout software such as InDesign, Illustrator or QuarkXpress. Alternatives include Photoshop, Publisher and even Word, though they will require extra steps and attention to produce a useable layout for high quality print production.

  • Bleed and Page Size

    Set up your layout size to the finished trim size of your project. Add an extra 1/8th inch (.125") extension to any object that touches the edge of the page. An object needs to be extended on each side of the page it touches, up to four sides (known as full-bleed).

  • Fonts

    Postscript Type 1 and OpenType formats are preferred. TrueType is acceptable, but it is best to avoid use of the Mac's system fonts (look for a ".dfont" extension on the file name) in your page layout. Choose styles like bold, italic etc. from the font menu list instead of using a button-based stylization option.

  • Resolution

    Ensure that all pixel images are at least 300 pixels per inch at the final print size. Scaling up in the layout will effectively reduce an image’s pixels per inch value.

  • Colors

    Use the Pantone Color Bridge or GOE color libraries when possible for specifying colors in your layout. Ensure that colors use consistent names and values in the color palettes of both “placed graphics” and the “page layout.” If your project will print in process color (cmyk), be sure to create colors as “process” mixes in your software.
    Likewise, for a project that will use spot color ink(s), be sure to create colors as “spot” in your programs.

  • Delivery

    Always provide a set of printed pages or preview PDF created from the final layout file! These should include bleeds and crop marks. Comments, markup and color callouts can also be incorporated.

    Working art can be delivered as a layout file with all placed graphics and complete font sets or as a PDF file. If you choose to provide us a PDF file, please visit our PDF Settings page for further guidelines and to download an optimized PDF settings file (a link can be found in the upper left area of this page).

    Now that you have a perfect print file, you can quickly upload it to Queen Beach Printers via the FTP link at the top of this page. Just fill in your job details then select the file.