The following guidelines are things to keep in mind when uploading your own file for production. Making sure that your file meets print standards will ensure high-quality output.
Make sure that your document size matches your desired output size. For example, if you're ordering an 18x24 poster and upload a business card size document, you will automatically have two problems:
1. Your business cards size document (3.5x2) will not proportionally enlarge to 24x18.
2. Because you would be enlarging your document significantly to reach the desired output size, you will have a major decrease in image quality and end up with a print that is pixelated.
To avoid these issues, you can either:
1. Make your document size the same as your desired output size (ex. If ordering an 18x24 poster, your document would also be 18x24).
2. Make your document size at 50% of your desired output size to ensure it is proportional (ex. If ordering an 18x24 poster, your document would be 9x12).
(or "DPI") is the term used to describe the number of dots, or pixels, per inch used to display an image or file. Higher resolution means that more pixels are used to create the image, resulting in a crisper, cleaner image. An image will print pixelated when its resolution is low, or the image is enlarged significantly resulting in loss of quality. As a general guideline, 300 dpi is a sufficient resolution for most printed materials.
Document Color Mode
Your document should be designed in CMYK color mode. Why CMYK? Here are some color mode definitions and why CMYK is suitable for print applications:
Stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black toner that is used in digital printers to create print on paper. Combinations of these four colors are printed in tiny dots that when visually mixed together create various colors. Digital files that are created for print should be in CMYK color mode.
Stands for three primary colors of light: Red, Green and Blue. RGB is a color mode specific to computer monitors which use combinations of these three colors to achieve an image on screen. If digital files are created in RGB color mode and printed on a digital printer color matching could be a significant issue. This especially occurs with extremely bright colors:
Color process developed by Pantone that creates colors with dots. Often referred to as spot or solid color, these swatches are created from a palette of 14 basic colors, each mixed according to its own unique ink mixing formula. The pantone color process is common to printing presses and is often not a successful method of color matching when using digital technology.
We recommend uploading a pdf version of your file. You can usually create a pdf from your design software by using the "Save As" or "Export" option. For more information about document setup and file formats, download our File Prep Instructions