What is a Print-Ready File?
Simply put, a print-ready file has the following 4 characteristics:
- High Resolution File – High Resolution files will ensure a clear, sharp production. A few examples of high resolution files are those ending in .ai, .eps, .indd, or .psd. Your graphic designer should know what to provide you for commercial printing purposes but if you are still unsure, simply ask your printer.
- Crop Marks – Crop Marks tell the printer where to trim production sheets in order to reach the finished size. For example, if you have a flyer with 8.5 X 11 dimensions, make sure your graphic designer includes
- Bleeds – This does not apply to all files as not all files have imagery that extends to the end of the page. However, if your file does have instances of this, make sure your graphic designer extends those images 1/8 of an inch beyond the Crop Marks. These “Bleeds” will ensure your image reaches the end of the page as intended.
- Correct Copy and imagery – Doesn’t need to be 100% accurate but you want it to be close. Too many errors will result in longer pre-press times and/or added design costs.
If your file checks off these 4 things, congrats, you are ready to head to production. If your file doesn’t pass this test, you may be headed for an extended production time frame and added costs. So do yourself a favor and work with your graphic designer to get as close to a print-ready file as possible. Believe me, it will make for a much better and swifter experience.