File Prep & FAQ
Hall Printing File Checklist
We encourage you to prepare each document that you intend to send to us as a composite PDF file. PDF, as opposed to a JPEG or Word file, is considered a “lossless” file type and tends to not give us font or colour issues. Any working file (Pages, Word, Illustrator, InDesign, etc) has the potential to print differently than what you are seeing on your screen. If you are not making the file yourself, please forward this information to the person who is providing you with a file.
If you are using a browser-based design program like Canva, a screenshot of your work is generally not sufficient. It is best to purchase the completed artwork and the website will then give you a better file.
Here is the checklist:
· Export a composite PDF file
· Include bleeds and trim marks
· Fonts embedded or outlined
· Colour space CMYK as opposed to RGB
· 300 dpi images embedded
· Single page PDF’s – not reader spreads
· Multi-page PDF’s combined into one PDF
· 1up PDF’s – not imposed to fill the sheet
· In most instances convert all spot colours to CMYK
What is bleed?
Bleed is a term used to describe a document which has images, text or any other element that touches the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge and leaving no margin.
The bleed is the part on the side of a document that gives the printer a small amount of space to account for movement of the paper, and design inconsistencies. The bleed area will be trimmed off after printing and ensures that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed document. We use 1/8” require a 1/8” bleed on artwork files. If you do not have sufficient bleed, we may need to give your file white margins around the artwork instead.
How do I create a file with bleed?
IN PHOTOSHOP: Add an extra 1/4” to each dimension of your image size. When designing the file place guides at 1/8” from each edge this will show you where the file is to be cut off when trimmed to the final size. The area within the guides should be your documents final size. Make sure that any images or wording you do not want cut off is not past the guides.
IN ILLUSTRATOR & INDESIGN: Create your document at the final size you want your project to be.
There is an option to also include bleed in the file. Set it as 1/8”. When designing, anything that goes
over the black border that shows your document size will be part of your bleed. Make sure to not have any images or text across this border as it will be cut off with the final trim. When saving the file as a pdf check the boxes that say export with bleed.
Please include a 1/8″ bleed on all sides. For example, if your business card is 3.5″ x 2″ add 1/8″ extra on each side. 1/8″ will be cut off during trimming, leaving you with a 3.5″ x 2″ business card.
1/8″ around your business card artwork will be trimmed off during the cutting process. In the example business card below, you will be left with a standard 3.5″ x 2″ business card.
Type and important artwork should be 1/8″ inside the trim box on each side. This will ensure that text and art will not be trimmed away from your artwork.
For the best printing results, we recommend files have a resolution of 300 dpi (dpi = dots per inch) at 100% of the final output size. Submitting files with a resolution lower than 300 dpi may result in the print turning out pixelated or blurry. Images downloaded from a website often have a resolution of 72 dpi which is not suitable for printing.
If your file is not 300 dpi, you cannot simply change a low-resolution image to a higher one by increasing the dpi in your imaging program. The printed result will be a very blurry image.
As such, it’s important to start out with an image that has a resolution of at least 300 dpi at 100% of the final output size
What’s the difference between CMYK and RGB?
CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) and RGB (Red, Green, Blue) are two different colour spaces used in design. RGB color space is used to display images and colours on screen, where CMYK is used in the 4-colour printing process.
Both colour spaces have a different colour gamut. RGB has the largest resulting in more colours, whereas CMYK has a lower colour gamut resulting in less colours. This can often lead to CMYK looking more muted or toned down from RGB. To ensure you get the right colours for your project, we recommend converting all colours in your artwork file to CMYK. Most design software can easily accomplish this.
How do I send a file?
There are several ways to send your files to us. For files up to 10 megabytes email is best. For files 10 to 150 megabytes use our send us files. For files 150 megabytes or larger use a file transfer program. There are several free FTP programs available, like WeTransfer or DropBox. When all else fails you can always bring us your files on a USB flash drive.
How do I export your file for print?
Our preferred file format is a PDF. Most applications will allow you to save or export a PDF.
With Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator you create a pdf by saving as a pdf. With InDesign you export to pdf. With all the Adobe applications we recommend you use our Hall Printing or Press Quality for your pdf settings. Also if using the Press Quality settings, select use trim marks and document bleed.
Some windows applications don’t have the option to save or print your designs as pdfs. This is where a free PDF Printer from comes in handy. Simply download one, install and follow the prompts to start printing to PDF from almost any Windows program.
What are colour profiles?
ICC profiles are a way of standardizing colour value across devices. We use the ‘Coated GRACOL 2006’ colorspace for most digital printing. You can choose to embed a specific colour profile into your digital file, which our printer will then convert to CIELAB (a device-independent way of defining colour), and from there to the best mix of CMYK that the device is capable of producing in order to define the desired colour. Because everything is device-dependant, we recommend always viewing a printed proof before placing an order to ensure you are using the best profile and colour values for your project.
If you are unsure of which colour profile to use, sRGB is good for web graphics and scans, Adobe RGB for photographs, and either Coated GRACOL 2006 or US Web Coated (SWOP) for graphics.
What is Hall Printing’s proof process?
Responsibility for the overall content lies with the customer. Please pay close attention to size, colour, typestyles, grammar, spelling and positioning. All printing costs are the customer’s responsibility. Hall Printing is not responsible for proofreading. If an error is found after the job has been printed, customer will be responsible for cost. Proofs 1 and 2 are included in the printing cost, additional proofs are $6.00 each.
We try our best to catch mistakes before they go to print, but mistakes do happen. Please be diligent with your print-ready files in particular to make sure there are no errors with the artwork.