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what is a print ready file?

PrintReady USBDrive

When you have your work professionally printed you will be often asked to provide a print ready file. While you may be able to click and print from your word, excel or publisher file at home or work, it works a little differently on a commercial press. These types of files typically require some intervention to make them print ready, so understand that sometimes artwork charges may typically apply from your printer.

Most printers use layout programs such as Adobe InDesign and have certain specifications that need to be met in order to make the printing process run smoothly.

The Print Group Australia's expectations of a print ready file are:

  • Press quality PDF files preferred, with all fonts embedded and transparencies flattened.
  • Images should be at least 300ppi for best results.
  • Use CMYK or SPOT colour as specified in your quotation (no RGB)
  • Please include crop marks and at least 2mm bleed if required.

Here are some common issues that prevent a file from being print ready:

  1. The document has not be sized correctly.
  2. Colours are not set to specifications; eg. RGB instead of CMYK or SPOT, or SPOT where there should be CMYK.
  3. Text and images are too close to the edge of the page. Rule of thumb is to keep all information at least 5mm from the trimmed edge.
  4. Images and designs are not high resolution. These should be a minimum of 300ppi at 100% size.
  5. Bleed is incorrect. Artwork should extend at least 2mm past the crop marks.
  6. Crop marks are missing or not correctly placed.
  7. Spelling and grammar errors.
  8. Document is supplied as a word, excel or publisher file.

Printing concepts can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing. The Print Group Australia offer a graphic design service to help you achieve the desired look of your next printed piece. When it doubt, it is usually best to leave it to the professionals.

For further information please download our supplied artwork guide on our web site or give us a call to discuss your project.