There are a few ways to prepare a file for us to print. Some ways are to get a camera and send us the jpg. Another is give us a description on how you would like the print to look like and we design it. No matter the way you send it, there needs to be guidelines. These guidelines are ways to help with the preparation of files sent to us for a print job.

 

Following these guidelines will help you be happier with your results and we can finish your job for you more quickly if you’ll prepare your files as we suggest.

 

If you have any questions, give us a call: 801-796-8999.

 

Alright, lets get started.

 

Basic Basics

A common question that is asked, “Should I prepare the files on a Mac or a PC?” Though this is a very common question, the answer is very simple, you can use any computer you want. A few years ago, it would have cause conflicts moving from a Mac to a PC or from Mac to PC, but that is not an issue today. The real problems come from the programs. Using the wrong program can result in a non-desired outcome.

 

These are the programs we use to prepare files for prints:

 

Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop is used for preparing files such as photos. If you use this program to prepare your image, please make sure that the image is of decent quality. If you need an explanation for this, click here. If you used photoshop to prep your files, save them as either .psd, .tiff, or .jpg (.psd or .tiff is preferred).

 

Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator is used for preparing files such as logos, text, vinyl…well basically anything and everything. It can be used to layout trade show booths, car wraps, and posters. It is a very flexible tool in the design community, and our preference for preparing files. If you used Illustrator to prep your files, save them as .ai, .eps, or .pdf.

 

There are many other fine programs out there to help you prepare files for us to print and you are welcome to use them as long as you are able to save them as one of the file types mentioned above. Any other files not to the formats mentioned above will be returned.

 

Saving and Preparing Files

 

So you have your file ready to be saved, but you are stuck trying to figure out how to save it to our required format. Do not worry, you are not alone. Below is a simple way save a file into the recommended format with your desired program. This will also so you how to properly prepare the files as well. Note: this is not a “How the program works” article, we assume you will know the basics of each program.

 

We will start with Illustrator

 

Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator, like stated above, is the preferred program we ask for preparing files to send to us for printing.


  1. Have the file you want save open.
  2. Select all of the text
  3. Go to Type>create outline. This will make the font that you used for your text to transfer easier. This takes the writing ability away from the text so make sure that the text is what you want.
  4. Click on the Rectangle tool
  5. Create a box that is the size of the image you want to print (example, if your print is a 4′x4′ banner, create a box that is 4′x4′).
  6. Center the box around the image. Make sure that this new box is on top of everything.
  7. Select everything that is suppose to be in the image
  8. Go to Object>Create Clipping Mask>Make. The box will create a box containing everything for your print. This is what your print will look like, design wise.
  9. File>Save As
  10. At the format drop down menu, click on the arrow and select .PDF.
  11. Click save.
  12. In the pop up menu, under general, make sure that the Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities is checked (so we can edit it if we need to) and Optimize for Fast Web View is unchecked (this will decrease the quality of your image if it is checked).
  13. Click the “Save PDF” button

 

Your file is now saved. If you have any questions or get stuck, please call or email us. We usually like to receive PDF’s because they are more flexible, and we are able to use them both in Illustrator and Photoshop.

 

Adobe Photoshop


Photoshop is extremely powerful, in that it can do pretty much anything, but when it comes to preparing files for printing, it is limited.

 

  1. Have the file open you want to save
  2. Flatten the image
  3. Convert, if not already, into CMYK (Image>Mode>CMYK)
  4. Check the size of the image (Image>Image size). Make sure it is the size that was agreed upon and that the DPI is at least 250
  5. Go to File>Save As
  6. Turn Format to .TIFF
  7. Click Save

 

The file is now saved and ready for sending. This is the simple and easiest way to prepare a file, yet we lose the ability to change/modify anything after it is saved. So use caution when using Photoshop.

 

So now we have these files saved and ready to go, so now what? You need to send us the files, of course. Without giving us these files, what we just did would be pointless.

 

There are many options for you to use to send the files to us. Each option has its benefits as well as some problems.

 

CD/DVD

CD and DVD give the opportunity to transfer the files to us while keeping all your files all together. This is a good option to use.


Drawbacks

CD/DVD could get lost or scratched, making it very vulnerable to lost data. Limited size. Have to find a way to get it to us.

 

Flash Drive

Very similar to CD/DVD, except you can usually put more files on them, and they are a bit more durable, so damage causing errors are a bit lower


Drawbacks

They can get a bit expensive to send to us. Easier to lose. Have to find a way to get it to us.

 

Upload

This is the option we recommend. We offer the ability to upload your files directly to our servers. It saves time in that you don’t have to deliver the file to us via a device. Just click on the Upload link, load your file into the respected area, and hit the upload button. Files sent, and we are good to go.


Drawbacks

Servers could go down while you are uploading the files (doesn’t happen very often)

 

If you have any questions, comments, or feedback please let us know.