A Press Ready file or Press Quality simple means that the file is setup properly for Press Printing. The files must have the correct color settings, trim marks and resolution.
EPS: the files must have the correct color settings with cut marks, but doesn’t matter the resolution if created within the program (no bitmaps included).
TIF: the files must have the correct color settings with cut marks, and does matter the resolution which should be 300 DPI (dots per inch) at 100% in size.
Below are details for EPS & TIF file requirements:
For optimal quality files must be 300 DPI to ensure a high-quality print. Anything higher in resolution than this is unnecessary. Images designed for the web have a low resolution of 72 DPI and will not work well in print materials and will look rasterized or blurry.
Color Settings (RGB vs CMYK)
Color modes are very important to ensure the accuracy of the final printing. RGB is incorrect and will not print well because it has a larger spectrum of colors that only monitors can display. When printing, the files must be set to CMYK mode because it has the smaller color spectrum that inks can print.
- CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) is the standard color model used in printing full-color documents. Anything printing in full color should be built in CMYK color mode.
- PMS (Pantone Matching System) is used by the printing industry to print spot colors. This allows you to specify colors by indicating the Pantone color and assures you get exact color when the file is printed. If printing with spot colors, the correct spot colors should be included in the file.
Crop Marks and Bleed
All should include Crop Marks and Bleed for accurate cutting that will provide the best desired results. Crop Marks indicate the edge of the file that is to be printed. Bleed provide imagery that is past the live area to ensure that when trimmed, there will be no white edge on the final print.
- A minimum of 1/4″ safe zone is recommended on most artwork.
- A minimum of 1/8” bleed is recommended on most artwork.
Include bleed and crop marks in all the final files.
We prefer to receive files as Press Ready EPS or TIF files, however, we can accept Press Ready PDF files as well. Once in a while PDF files do cause issues, so check your proofs closely.
Below are a few professional design programs that you can use to create Press Ready/Press Quality files :
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe InDesign
- Adobe Photoshop