Preparing Files

When placing your next print order with 48HourPrint.com, begin your design process with one of our application-specific templates that are available for all 48HourPrint.com products. These templates are files that include predefined guidelines indicating bleed, trim, and safety specifications, and are available for Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Publisher, QuarkXpress, CorelDraw, and Freehand. Using our templates helps eliminate prepress problems and keeps your print job on schedule.

But whether you use one of our guideline templates or you design your artwork without a template, we want your print buying experience with 48HourPrint.com to be as easy as possible. With that in mind, we have compiled a checklist containing the print ready requirements needed to submit graphic files. We strongly recommend that you review this checklist to ensure your graphic files meet our print ready requirements before placing your order and uploading your files. Customers who submit files that do not pass our print ready requirements will be notified so that the files can be adjusted and re-submitted in order for us to provide a print ready proof that you can review and approve.

***Please note that 48HourPrint.com's preferred accepted file type is .PDF. All design applications allow for a .PDF file to be generated from your design. (For a full list of accepted file types please see sidebar)


Color

We require that all graphic files be built using CMYK to ensure color accuracy prior to being uploaded. Files submitted in RGB or using PMS colors will be converted to CMYK, which could cause a slight color shift in the finished product. Files should also be built using the US Sheetfed Coated V2 color profile.


File Size

Your files must be built to the final trim size plus bleed. This means your files should be 0.25" larger than the product size that you are purchasing. (i.e. 2x3.5 business card = 2.25x3.75 graphic file).


Crop Marks

Please ensure your files are saved without any crop marks as these marks will be considered part of the artwork and will end up being printed on the finished product.


Fonts / Text

Please make sure that you are not using a font size smaller than 7pt. If working out of vector based software such as Illustrator, InDesign, or Freehand, all text must be converted to outlines before generating the final PDF file. If working out of Photoshop, simply flatten the image. When using MS Publisher for design and layout, it is important to ensure the photos, graphics, and fonts are embedded into the file.


Resolution

We recommend that all images used are at least 300dpi. Submitting files with a lower resolution than 300dpi can make the image look pixilated and blurry.


Safety Zone

Do not place any critical images or text beyond the safety zone, which is at least 1/8" from the final trim size, in order to avoid it getting cut off when the finished piece is trimmed.


Typographical / Grammatical Errors

Make sure you have proofread your artwork to ensure the spelling and grammar is correct.


Borders

If your graphic files contain a border the border must have a minimum 1/8" (0.125") from all surrounding edges. If you leave less than 1/8" (0.125"), your finished product may result in unequal borders from top to bottom and from side to side. This is due to the final cutting process in which some "draw" or "slippage" might occur. Ideally, you want to create the border with 1/4" (0.25") from all surrounding edges.


Orientation

The front and back sides of your graphic files should have the same orientation. If the front is in the portrait format and the back is in the landscape format, one page will need to be rotated 90°.

***When submitting files for folded products please ensure that the front cover panel is properly aligned with the inside cover panel. View Diagram


Multi-Page Documents (Booklet/Catalog Orders)

A multi-page document should only be used when submitting graphic files for a Booklet/Catalog order. When submitting a Booklet/Catalog graphic file, page 1 of your multi-page PDF should be the outside front cover, page 2 should be the inside front cover. The last page of your multi-page PDF should be the outside back cover. The multi-page PDF should also have a page count that is a multiple of four (4) and each page must be built to accommodate full bleeds.