Printing Design Tips

Design experts reveal the secrets to better print production

Better input means better output. At Just Press Print, we want your print job to look great.  That’s why we’ve assembled this group of print production hints and tips from design professionals. The best looking print production jobs come from the best prepared files. You have the power to control the quality of the finished product, just by following a few simple steps in proper file preparation. Take a look at what the experts have to say, and also look over the tutorials on our web site.

Why is resolution so important?

Resolution equals the number of dots that fit horizontally and vertically into a one-inch space in your printing job. With more dots per inch, more detail is captured and the printed image is sharper and looks much better.

For an image to look good when printed, the image must be at least 300 dots per inch (DPI) for the final output size. If your file is not 300 dpi, you cannot increase the dots per inch from low resolution to higher resolution simply by increasing the DPI in your imaging program. The original image must be created or scanned at full size at 300 DPI (or higher) or photographed at an equivalent resolution for that image to work properly in printed materials.

Do I need to use CMYK color mode?

CMYK is the color printing standard. If your files are submitted using any other color standard (including RGB or Pantone), they will be converted to CMYK during pre-flighting. Conversion from one color standard to another may cause colors to shift.  So, to be safe, before submitting your digital artwork files, please review our file preparation guidelines.

Little things make a big difference: quick tips from design professionals

  • Document size and trim size: Make certain that your document size matches the trim size of your project.
  • Plan ahead for any folds in your design: See our templates (found on every product page) for help with planning the fold measurements for your project.
  • Prepare to bleed: Allow 1/8” (.125”) bleed for any pictures, graphics, text, or any other objects which either touch or “bleed” (run off of) the edge of the page.
  • CMYK is the color standard: Work only in CMYK not RGB color.
  • Pay attention to imaging software settings: For best results use only CMYK TIFF (LZW Compression = Off), EPS (Set DCS = Off), or Photoshop PSD image files.
  • Resolve to use higher resolution images: For best results all images should be at 300 DPI (dots per inch).
  • Snap to it: Enable “Snap to Guides” in your applications and be careful that all images are accurately placed.  Remember to pay special attention to the centers between any facing pages.
  • With PDFs, go Press Ready: If you are submitting a PDF file, make sure to save your PDF as “press ready”.  This setting limits the amount of image compression and maximizes image quality.

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