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How to set up your files

Templates

You can download templates for various sizes and product types from our template page.

Bleed

There should be a 1/8 inch bleed on each side. This means that if you’re getting a 4×6 postcard, the size with bleed should be 4.25×6.25. Bleed is extra background image, not just extra white space. For example if you had a photograph as the background of your document, the actual photo would have to extend into the bleed area. If your file is not set up with bleed, our system will automatically create a bleed by mirroring the edges. This is usually effective, but we always recommend setting up the bleed yourself so that you have full control over the output.

Safety Area

We also need a 1/8 inch safety area inside the trim line. This means that any text or graphics that shouldn’t get cut into have to be at least 1/8 inch from the trim line. This also means that borders that go around the edge of the artwork should be at least 1/8 inch thick inside the trim line.

Bleed and Safety

So the bleed is outside of the trim line, and the safety is inside of the trim line. The bleed and the safety together make up 1/4 inch. So text and graphics that you don’t want cut off should be at least 1/4 inch in from the bleed edge, and borders should be at least 1/4 inch thick including the bleed (at least 1/8 inch thick after the cards are trimmed down).

Color

For best color results we recommend using a cmyk profile. If you’re concerned about the color of your prints, we offer hard proofs by request with any digital order. For more info, visit our proofing page.

Fonts

Text in vector files must be converted to outlines.

Resolution

Resolution should be at least 300 dpi.

File Format

Files should be saved as pdf or jpg.

Other Things

Files should be lined up “top to top”. In the printed piece, the top of one side will also be the top of the other side. If one side is horizontal and the other side is vertical, rotate one, so that they’re both either horizontal or vertical, and they line up top to top.

Booklets

Booklets should be laid out as single pages (NOT AS SPREADS)* in a multi-page pdf. There should be 1/8 inch bleed on each side of the page, including the fold side.
*With the exception of perfect bind covers. See more on our perfect binding page.

Types of binding

Saddle-stitch: The sheets of paper are nested and folded in half, then stapled on the fold, like a comic book. One sheet of paper equals 4 pages once it’s bound (the front and back are counted as separate pages). Because of this, the page count needs to be a multiple of 4.

Perfect Bind: Perfect bound books are glued at the spine, with a strong flexible glue. The other three sides are then face trimmed. The result is similar to a paperback book. For more info, visit our perfect binding page.

Wire-O Bind: Wire-O binding is done with 3:1 pitch (3 holes per inch) black metal wire, and diameters range from 3/16” to 9/16”. Wire bound documents will lay open completely flat, and pages can rotate 360 degrees.

Spiral Bind: The books are bound with a plastic spiral and crimped at the ends. A variety of diameters is available. Spiral bound documents will lay open completely flat, and pages can rotate 360 degrees.

Other types of binding that are available (ask us for a custom quote):

Sew Bind: The sheets of paper are nested and folded in half, and sewn with thread along the fold. One sheet of paper equals 4 pages once it’s bound (the front and back are counted as separate pages). Because of this, the page count needs to be a multiple of 4.

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