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6 Prepress Tips For Print Ready Files

1) Double-check spelling and grammar

Reduce typos by proofreading your copy in reverse. Start by reading the last word on the page and then move left and up. By doing this you are forcing your brain to look at the words without automatically filling the words and letters in.

2) Convert text to paths

Depending on the printer outlining fonts is a good practice to get into before sending your art. By outlining your font you are ensuring that the pre-press specialist will not need to have a copy of your fonts to setup the file for production. Unless the printer needs to edit your copy before production, most prefer all the fonts to be outlined in your print-ready file. Turning Fonts to outlines effectively means that the text is no longer text – it has become a graphic, and the text cannot be altered. The Mac shortcut is CMD+A (to select all copy on page), SHIFT+CMD+O (outline fonts). Once you have outlined your fonts save the file with a new name so your original file is still editable. If you are unsure if you should outline your text give your printer a call and they will be able to tell you the best way to save your print ready file.

3) Include linked images

If you are sending your native art files (Illustrator, InDesign, etc.) to your printer it’s a good practice to make sure all linked graphics and fonts are included. Packaging a file puts the native file, fonts and any linked images into one folder that you can zip and send. Illustrator also has the option of embedding links and makes any placed graphics a native part of your AI file.

4) Different apps for different uses

Many of us can tend to have tunnel vision when it comes to designing in our favorite applications. However, what’s good in Photoshop isn’t always good in Illustrator and vice versa. This chart helps provide an overview of which Adobe Creative Cloud application is best for different types of work. Following these general guidelines can make your work easier and make for a smoother process when it’s time to print your graphics.

5.) Define Bleed

Taking your design from the digital to print involves making sure your file’s bleed, crop and cuts are lined up properly. These marks indicate the edges of your design and where cuts should be made once things are printed.

Crop marks indicate where your design will be cut, and the bleed is where parts of text or objects extend past the page boundary to compensate for trimming. By not adding the bleed you the risk of having a white border along the sides of you piece, where the paper extends beyond your digital design. Also your printer will most likely send back your artwork to add the bleeds.

6) CMYK vs. RGB

Print ready files should have all images converted to CMYK as RGB is the color standard for monitors. The RGB color gamut isn’t ideal for print as most of the colors can not be replicated with inks. If images aren’t set to CMYK you may see a color shift occur during the production process which can lead to unsatisfactory results.

For more information on how Premier can help you with your next printed piece. Contact us at

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