HOW TO: Design Print-Ready Files



Follow these easy steps and you’ll have a print-ready file to send us!


1) Size as – Create your file dimensions using the finished print size (ie, 3.5” width x 2” height for a business card)

2) Bleed – Include 0.125” on all edges (top, bottom, left and right) for digital and offset printing
Include 0.25” on all edges (top, bottom, left and right) for wide format printing over 4 feet

3) Margins – Make sure your important information has a large enough margin between it and the edge of the paper so it won’t be trimmed off. We recommend no less than a 0.25” margin on all edges for digital and offset printing.

4) Guidelines – If there is folding, perforation or numbering, create guidelines on your file so that you can visualize the folds and ensure your content aligns properly when finished. Make sure these guidelines don’t show on the final print-ready file (ie if you’re using InDesign you can use rulers).

5) Pages – Make sure you have the correct number of pages in your file. (ie, if you’re creating a saddle-stitched book, your page number should be divisible by 4.)




1) Colour format – Make sure all swatches, images and graphics are in the proper colour mode for the project (CMYK, GREYSCALE OR SPOT COLOURS)

– CMYK for full colour jobs (Can be ran digitally, on press or our Large format machines)
– Greyscale for B&W jobs (Can be ran digitally or on either of our Presses)
– Spot/PMS colours for 1, 2 or 3 ink Colour jobs (Can be ran on our small 1-3 Colour press or in some cases our large press).

2) Fonts – Outline the fonts so they don’t change and print differently than expected

3) Links – Make sure none are missing and that all are high enough resolution for the size they are being printed (300dpi)


1) Name your file with a logical description (ie, if it’s a business card for Joanne and Tim’s Donuts, name it: “BusinessCard_TimsDonuts_JoanneB”, not “lalalalalala_unicornsaregreat_bcard_JB”

2) File type – Save as an Adobe PDF – High quality print
* If there are transparencies (any effects, including drop shadows, opacity changes, outer glows, multiply filters etc.) use the PDF export preset option “PDF/X-1a:2001” and then change “transparency flattener” settings in “advanced” menu to “high resolution”

3) Pages – Export the correct pages (if it’s a book, make sure you export as single “pages”, and not as “spreads”. If exported as spreads, when folded the pages won’t appear in the correct order.

4) Crops and Bleed – Include document bleed settings and crop marks


Last but not least, make sure you wait until your file is completely finished before you send us a print ready file. All changes should be made before sending the file in for printing. Sending the final, approved file will avoid confusion and eliminate the possibility of printing an incorrect or old version of your file.


Do you have a print ready file you’d like printed? Click this link to send us your files!

Do you have questions? Feel free to ask us by giving us a call at 613-394-3245!


Tamara, Estimator/Art Director  –   613-394-3245 x.226
Emily, Graphic Designer –   613-394-3245 x.223
Lindsay, Graphic Designer –   613-394-3245 x.223

Categories: JB Times.