Help us help you.

Setting files up for printing can be a daunting task but a crucial one in order for your project to come out properly. To ensure a smooth printing experience, please keep these guidelines in mind as you build your file. We require all print-ready files to adhere to these standards. If you have questions about any of the things on this list or anything else, please send us an e-mail and we will do our best to walk you through it.

Offset File Guidelines

Single-Page Documents

  • Our preferred file type is either a Photoshop (PSD) file with each color on its own layer or an InDesign (INDD) or Illustrator (AI) file with each element assigned the appropriate spot color. We can accept high resolution PDFs for single-color jobs, black or otherwise.
  • Colors must be set to the appropriate Pantone Solid Uncoated spot color. If you do not have access to a Pantone swatchbook, we can make an appointment with you to look at ours. Please do not pick spot colors on the screen. For more information on why, please see our Placing an Order FAQ.
  • All print-ready images should be 300dpi. Less than that may severely affect image quality.
  • If your document has a bleed, it must extend the finished size by o.125″ on all sides. If you do not know what a bleed is, please see our Placing an Order FAQ.
  • All text must be within 0.25″ from the edge of the sheet. Please note, this is measured from the edge of the finished size, not the bleed margin.
  • Please note that not all typefaces will print well at less than 8pt size. If your document contains very small type (such as for business cards), we highly advise paying for a printed proof.
  • Send all pieces at their proper finished size plus the bleed, if applicable. For example, a standard full-bleed business card file should have dimensions of 2.25″ x 3.75″. Do not place the card in the middle of an 8.5″ x 11″ file.
  • Send all files as single consecutive pages with no printers’ marks whatsoever, and no imposition. Please include your bleed margin.
  • If sending Adobe Illustrator files, please outline all fonts and embed all images before sending.
  • If sending Adobe InDesign files, use the File -> Package function to collect all of the fonts and images. If you do not do this, your project will not open properly on our computer. Make sure your package includes an .IDML file.

Saddle-Stitched Booklets (fold and staple)

  • Our preferred file type is an InDesign (INDD) file with each element assigned the appropriate spot color. We can accept high resolution PDFs for single-color jobs, black or otherwise.
  • Your document page size should be set to the size of a single page. This is crucial for proper page imposition. For example, for a half-size booklet, your page size should be set to 8.5″ x 5.5″. You do not want a small page in the middle of an 8.5″ x 11″ file.
  • All print-ready images should be 300dpi. Less than that may severely affect image quality.
  • Colors must be set to the appropriate Pantone Solid Uncoated spot color. If you do not have access to a Pantone swatchbook, we can make an appointment with you to look at ours. Please do not pick spot colors on the screen. For more information on why, please see our Placing an Order FAQ.
  • If your document has a bleed, it must extend the finished size by .125 on the Top, Bottom, and Outside edges only. The Inside bleed margin should be set to 0. This is where the document will be folded. If you do not know what a bleed is, please see our Placing an Order FAQ.
  • Your page count must be divisible by 4. Some common page counts are 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, and 48. We recommend making a physical mock-up of your booklet, starting with the front cover, so you can easily see where pages will fall. If your page count is not divisible by 4, we will have to add blank pages to make the page count work out.
  • All text must be within 0.25″ from the edge of the sheet, minimum. For easy reading, we recommend text margins of 0.5″, but this is personal preference. Please note, this is measured from the edge of the finished size, not the bleed margin.
  • Send all files as single consecutive pages with no printers’ marks whatsoever, and no imposition. Please include your bleed margin.
  • If sending Adobe InDesign files, use the File -> Package function to collect all of the fonts and images. If you do not do this, your project will not open properly on our computer. Make sure your package includes an .IDML file.

Perfect Bound Books (glue binding)

  • Our preferred file type is an InDesign (INDD) file with each element assigned the appropriate spot color. We can accept high resolution PDFs for single-color jobs, black or otherwise.
  • Your document page size should be set to the size of a single page. This is crucial for proper page imposition. For example, for a half-size book, your page size should be set to 8.5″ x 5.5″. You do not want a small page in the middle of an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet.
  • All print-ready images should be 300dpi. Less than that may severely affect image quality.
  • If your document has a bleed, it must extend the finished size by 0.125 on all four sides. If you do not know what a bleed is, please see our Placing an Order FAQ.
  • Your page count must be divisible by 2. Some common page counts are 80, 100, 124, and 150. If your page count is not divisible by 2, we will need to add blank pages to make the page count work out.
  • All text must be within 0.25″ from the edge of the sheet, minimum. For easy reading, we recommend text margins of 0.5″, but this is personal preference. Please note, this is measured from the edge of the finished size, not the bleed margin. It is also helpful to set your inner margins larger than your outer margins for perfect-bound books to accommodate the binding.
  • Send your interior pages and cover as separate files. The interior should be sent as single consecutive pages with no printers’ marks whatsoever, and no imposition. Please include your bleed margin. For the cover, we will need to calculate the proper spine width according to the specifications of the job. Please ask us for this measurement before creating the cover.
  • If sending Adobe InDesign files, use the File -> Package function to collect all of the fonts and images. If you do not do this, your project will not open properly on our computer. Make sure your package includes an IDML file.
  • We are unable to print on a spine that is less than 0.25″ wide.

Letterpress File Guidelines

For Handset Type

Letterpress jobs that will be typeset have very few file guidelines since we will not be printing directly from a file. You may either come to us with a design mock-up as a starting-off point or we can design something with you from scratch!

If you want to provide a mock-up of the design, please contact us first to discuss which typefaces are available from our type library and in what sizes. We are happy to add new typefaces to our collection upon request, though please keep in mind that this may extend your job’s turnaround time.

We prefer mock-ups to be sent as PDFs with file dimensions that match the size of your finished product. There should be no bleed margins or crop marks. We highly recommend using 0.25″ inch text margins in your design but can accept as low as 0.125 inch text margins for typeset jobs. If there are bleed elements in your design, it may be better suited for polymer plates.

For Polymer Plates

Letterpress printing is best suited to and widely used for line art. For this reason, we prefer working from vector-based images rather than raster. For more information on vector vs. raster images, please see our Placing an Order FAQ.

We prefer PDFs for print with all fonts embedded or an EPS file with the type outlined. We also accept packaged AI files. We will never accept a JPEG, PNG, or PSD file for letterpress work. If your design does include imagery, please make sure that it is in bitmap mode, it is as high resolution as possible (600-1200 dpi), and saved as a TIFF file with LZW compression.

We require 0.125″ inch bleed margins where necessary and 0.25″ inch text margins for jobs using polymer plates. Please send us your files sized with your intended finished dimensions, with bleed margins added when applicable. Please do not include crop marks or gang up your design(s).

Please note that there is a minimum thickness for lines and dots when using polymer plates. Hair lines will absolutely not work, and we recommend using at least a 0.25″ point thickness or larger. Pay careful attention to calligraphic typefaces or swirly designs with varied line widths. Some serif fonts may include crossbars that are too thin even though the font size makes the cut. For dots, we recommend at least a 1 pt diameter. Look out for the dots on “i”s, “j”s, and periods!

General Guidelines

It is not necessary to reverse your artwork yourself. Please send all your files so that your text and imagery is “right-reading” (as opposed to backwards) The artwork will be reversed as is necessary during the plate-making process or in the composition phase. Both you as the client and we as your printers need to have a clear understanding of the order – this is why we ask that artwork is sent right-reading and all files are sized at their intended finished dimensions.

For one-color jobs, please use only 100% Black (K) in CMYK mode. CM and Y will have 0% values and K will have 100%. For multi-color jobs, use Pantone Uncoated Solid spot colors only. We cannot accept files in RGB, CMYK, LAB, or Indexed color modes for multi-color jobs.

If you are unfamiliar with this nitty-gritty file jargon, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are more than happy to explain our terms or even give a quick InDesign or Illustrator How-To lesson over the phone or via email!

Digital File Guidelines

Single-Page Documents

  • Our preferred file type is a high resolution PDF.
  • All print-ready images should be 300dpi. Less than that may severely affect image quality.
  • All color images should be set to CMYK. If you send us RGB images, they will be automatically converted to CMYK, and there may be a color shift. For more information on RGB vs. CMYK, please see our Placing an Order FAQ.
  • If your document has a bleed, it must extend the finished size by 0.125″ on all sides. If you do not know what a bleed is, please see our Placing an Order FAQ.
  • All text must be within 0.25″ from the edge of the sheet. Please note, this is measured from the edge of the finished size, not the bleed margin.
  • Please note that not all typefaces will print well at less than 8pt size. If your document contains very small type (such as for business cards), we highly advise paying for a printed proof.
  • Send all pieces at their proper finished sizes, plus the bleed, if applicable. For example, a standard full-bleed business card file should have dimensions of 2.25″ x 3.75″. Do not place the card in the middle of an 8.5″ x 11″ file.
  • Send all files as single consecutive pages with no printers’ marks whatsoever, and no imposition. Please include your bleed margin.
  • If sending Adobe Illustrator files, please outline all fonts and embed all images before sending.
  • If sending Adobe InDesign files, use the File -> Package function to collect all of the fonts and images. If you do not do this, your project will not open properly on our computer. Make sure your file includes an .IDML file.

Saddle-Stitched Booklets (fold and staple)

  • Our preferred file type is a high resolution PDF.
  • Your document page size should be set to the size of a single page. This is crucial for proper page imposition. For example, for a half-size booklet, your page size should be set to 8.5″ x 5.5″. You do not want a small page in the middle of an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet.
  • All print-ready images should be 300dpi. Less than that may severely affect image quality.
  • All color images should be set to CMYK. If you send us RGB images, they will be automatically converted to CMYK, and there may be a color shift. For more information on RGB vs. CMYK, please see our Placing an Order FAQ.
  • If your document has a bleed, it must extend the finished size by 0.125″ on the Top, Bottom, and Outside edges only. The Inside bleed margin should be set to 0. This is where the document will be folded. If you do not know what a bleed is, please see our Placing an Order FAQ.
  • Your page count must be divisible by 4. Some common page counts are 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, and 48. We recommend making a physical mock-up of your booklet, starting with the front cover, so you can easily see where pages will fall. If your page count is not divisible by 4, we will have to add blank pages to make the page count work out.
  • All text must be within .25 from the edge of the sheet, minimum. For easy reading, we recommend text margins of 0.5″, but this is personal preference. Please note, this is measured from the edge of the finished size, not the bleed margin.
  • Send all files as single consecutive pages with no printers’ marks whatsoever, and no imposition. Please include your bleed margin.
  • If sending Adobe InDesign files, use the File -> Package function to collect all of the fonts and images. If you do not do this, your project will not open properly on our computer. Make sure your package includes an .IDML file.

Perfect Bound Books (glue binding)

  • Our preferred file type is a high resolution PDF.
  • Your document page size should be set to the size of a single page. This is crucial for proper page imposition. For example, for a half-size book, your page size should be set to 8.5″ x 5.5″. You do not want a small page in the middle of an 8.5″ x 11″ file.
  • All print-ready images should be 300dpi. Less than that may severely affect image quality.
  • All color images should be set to CMYK. If you send us RGB images, they will be automatically converted to CMYK, and there may be a color shift. For more information on RGB vs. CMYK, please see our Placing an Order FAQ.
  • If your document has a bleed, it must extend the finished size by .125 on all four sides. If you do not know what a bleed is, please see our Placing an Order FAQ.
  • Your page count must be divisible by 2. Some common page counts are 80, 100, 124, and 150. If your page count is not divisible by 2, we will need to add blank pages to make the page count work out.
  • All text must be within 0.25″ from the edge of the sheet, minimum. For easy reading, we recommend text margins of 0.5″, but this is personal preference. Please note, this is measured from the edge of the finished size, not the bleed margin. It is also helpful to set your inner margins larger than your outer margins for perfect-bound books to accommodate the binding.
  • Send your interior pages and cover as separate files. The interior should be sent as single consecutive pages with no printers’ marks whatsoever, and no imposition. Please include your bleed margin. For the cover, we will need to calculate the proper spine width according to the specifications of the job. Please ask us for this measurement before creating the cover.
  • If sending Adobe InDesign files, use the File -> Package function to collect all of the fonts and images. If you do not do this, your project will not open properly on our computer. Make sure your package includes an .IDML file.
  • We are unable to print on a spine that is less than 0.25″ wide.