If your business prefers to design its own print materials, here are a few time and money saving tips to ensure your PDF files are print-ready:
- Remember that the end product is only as good as its components. For high-quality printing, a PDF file must contain high resolution images, appropriate fonts, etc.
- Ensure that your fonts are properly embedded in the PDF. Some font creators don’t allow their fonts to be embedded. If that is the case, you should convert all fonts to outlines/curves/paths. Most design programs, such as InDesign, require you to convert fonts to outlines before creating the PDF. (Please note that fonts can be a tricky subject. Give us a call if you have any questions about font use or how to convert fonts to outlines, and we can walk you through the process.)
- Ensure that your color values are appropriate for the desired output. In most cases, CMYK is standard, however, it could also be RGB. If CMYK is the right choice, some programs may allow you to convert everything to CMYK during PDF creation. However, it is recommended that you convert before output to avoid potential color changes when RGB images are converted to CMYK. If you have questions about color output, remember our printing experts are here to help!
- Because transparency can have unpredictable results in printable PDFs, always make sure you flatten (rasterize) the elements affected by the transparency.
- Ensure your PDF exports have a designated bleed if graphics are designed to print to the edge of the page. Elements that bleed should extend .125” outside the finished trim size.
- Elements that do not bleed should be .1875″ inside the finished trim size.
- Remember the page size should match the finished trim size.
- Proof and preflight before creating a PDF file to identify missing fonts, unlinked images, or other issues that could result in problems down the road.
- Use the appropriate PDF file settings. When in doubt, contact our print shop and we can recommend a file setting for your project.
Let us know if you have questions or need help creating print-ready PDFs. Remember, our printing experts are only a phone call or email away!