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Design & File Preparation FAQ

  • Which file formats give the best printed results?
    Print Services recommends PDF for the best results. This format combines the best color management and font management and leaves less room for error. Files submitted as Word and PowerPoint will often change from computer to computer, so they should not be submitted to Print Services without first seeing a printed or Acrobat proof.
  • What is bleed?
    If any element on your document layout makes contact with the document border, you will have to use bleed. The term bleed is used for all objects extending past the border of your document.
    • If you want to print to the edge but fail to design properly for bleed, we will have to print your document with a white border or trim inside your designed area. This is sometimes risky, as we may cut off important text or other elements of your design near the paper edge.
    • Use one of our templates to design properly for bleeds.
  • What is a trim size?
    The size of the printed material in its finished stage; e.g., the trim size of the finished bookmark template is 2" x 7".
  • What are crop marks or trim marks?
    Crop or trim marks are small vertical and horizontal lines placed at the corners of an image or page to indicate where the printer will cut the printed sheet to its final size.
  • How do I set up my file if I want my design to bleed (run to the edge of the page)?
    When designing for bleed, you place the bleed element so that it goes 1/8" (.125") over the border where the document will be cropped after printing.
    • Use one of our templates to design properly for bleeds in InDesign, Publisher, or Photoshop. Word and PowerPoint are not appropriate for designs that bleed.
    • When your design is complete, export to PDF with crop marks. Download our Sample Bleed With Crop Marks file to see what a well designed file looks like when exported to Acrobat PDF, and then review the document setup and PDF export/print instructions we have created for InDesign, Publisher, and Photoshop.   [Link to Quick Guides]