File Preparation

Please follow our step-by-step tips on how to prepare your artwork (files). To view a guide, simply select the program you plan to use from the list below.

Ready To Print Check List

Step 1. Download/Create a Start File
Download our free templates to get our Ready-to-Design Start File. Save the file to your computer and double click it to launch the program.

Step 2. Create Your Design

A. Safe Zone
Ensure to keep all text and important image(s) inside the designated red safe zone to ensure your information will not be cut. See below the Business Card Artwork Measurement And Cutting Guidelines.

B. Common Mistakes
Check Common Mistake for incorrect submissions to ensure your design is ready for upload.

Step 3. File Submission
Once your design is checked and finalized, you are ready to submit your file to us. Please remember to send us an email and complete our order form after you have successfully upload you file.

"Not Full Bleed" - Background is not fully extended to the edge. This will cause white strips to be around your card after it is cut.

"Out of Zone" - The text is outside of the safe zone. This information will be cut off.

"Pixelated" - Text and / or images are not print ready hi-resolution. Your files must be in 300 pixels / inch resolution.

"Hard To Read" - Text created with conflicting color values, no shadows on complex backgrouds, or very thin, tiny font will be very difficult to read.

"Borders" - We do not recommend borders due to the nature of our cutting. You will need to either remove the border, or put them well inside the safe zone. Do not place a border on the trim of bleed zone, it will be cut off or removed.

"Blank Card" - Created or uploaded card with no text, images, or any other information.

"No Text" - Created or uploaded card with no text.

"Crop Marks" - Incorrectly placed or unnecessary crop marks will cause your image to upload incorrectly.Only Illustrator or PDF files require crop marks if created on larger than spec artboards.

"Mini" - File is in incorrect spec dimensions. To get a file of the correct resolution please use one of our start files available here. File is not correct printing resolution. Needs to be 300 pixels / inch.

Adobe Illustrator, InDesign & Photoshop
There are many different ways to prepare your file to print. We recommends you use Adobe Illustrator or InDesign. You can also use Adobe Photoshop if is not to print in PMS spot colour, though it is not a program that is built for preparing print-ready files, so your best option is to go with Illustrator or InDesign. If you do not have access to these programs and need help in creating your name card file, please contact us and we can discuss the particulars of your job.

Supported File Types
Preferred: .PDF . AI .EPS (font text need to create outline or path)
Accepted: .INDD .PSD (fonts need to provide), .TIFF, .JPG, .JPEG

Resolution also known as DPI (Dots Per Inch) or PPI (Pixels Per Inch) can be described as the number of dots that fit horizontally and vertically into a one-inch space. In general, the more dots per inch it have, resulting sharper image.

For an image to print properly, the image resolution must be at least 300 dots per inch (DPI) at the final output size.

Create Outline Font Image 2

Create Outline Font Image 2

Check Images with Photoshop
Check your file in Photoshop that has the proper resolution for printing, click on Image>Image Size. View the resolution section. Set the resolution to 300 dpi.

Check Images with Acrobat Reader
Check your file in Acrobat Reader that has the proper resolution for printing, set your view to 300%. Your artwork should not appear pixelated beyond this point.

If your artwork appears pixelated beyond the 300% view in Acrobat, then this indicated that your file is low resolution.

DO NOT ENLARGE a 72 dpi file in your 300 dpi document
A common misconception is that you can convert a file from 72 dpi to 300 dpi. If your image is small at 72 dpi, the image will actually be smaller when importing it to a 300 dpi document. This is not the same for a large file size at 72 dpi. Example, if your file is 25 inches by 35 inches at 72 dpi, then the file is large enough to import into a 300 dpi document.

Here is another misconception that you can adjust the resolution from 72 dpi to 300 dpi in Photoshop by changing the current 72 dpi to 300 dpi. This is incorrect. Doing it will eventually make your file pixelated.

Colour mode must be in CMYK to be a print ready file. If file(s) are submitted using any other colour mode, such as RGB or Pantone, the file(s) will be converted to CMYK during prepress. Conversion from one color standard to another may result in a colours shift or colours dropping out.

RGB - What you see on your monitor

Create Outline Font Image 2

CMYK - Your name card printed in CMYK format
Create Outline Font Image 2

Fonts, transparencies and other effects used in vector format softwares (Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop) layer must be flattened and the fonts outlined. Not flattening transparencies or outlining fonts may result in some text or graphics dropping out from your artwork. When digital art is supplied with missing fonts, we cannot process your job in production.

Convert all text to outlines. Both Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and CorelDraw can accomplish this task. See the following procedure to convert a font into outlines using Adobe Illustrator.

Make sure to check
• “Convert All text to Outlines”
• “Convert All Strokes to Outlines”
• “Preserve Alpha Transparency”
• “Preserve Overprints and Source Color”

Create Outline Font Image 1

To convert this text to outlines, simply pull down the contextual menu (Right mouse click on the PC, and Control click on the Mac), and select “Convert to Outlines”.

Create Outline Font Image 2

The text has now been converted to a series of outlines and fills. The reference to the font Gill Sans is no longer present, and it is unnecessary for anyone to have access to the original font.
Create Outline Font Image 3
Business Card Bleed
If you set your artwork up correctly, you will be happy with the finished name cards. We have set everything in millimeters because of their ease of explaining. Example the finished card size is 89mm x 54mm (3.50″ x 2.12 inches).

If you are new to printing then this page is very important for you to learn about ‘bleed’. If you have a photo or image covering the entire background of your card, then you must pay very particular attention to how your artwork is set up to ensure that you do not get white lines around the edges of your card.

If you want something to go to the edge of your card, like a photo, a line or a logo perhaps, then you must run it over the edge of the card by an EXTRA 3mm (0.13″). This is called bleed. This 3mm (0.13″) is trimmed off after printing ensuring that you get your image or colour all the way to the edge of your card.

If you want a name card size 89mm x 54mm, your artwork must be 92mm x 57mm in dimensions. This includes 3mm (0.13″) bleed all the way around which will be trimmed off after printing. Your name cards will be delivered to you 89mm x 54mm in size.

Once your artwork is uploaded to our website, it must be positioned as mentioned in order to bleed correctly. This is pre setup for you on most templates already.

The below diagram illustrates how you should make your artwork 3mm (0.13″) bigger all the way around to allow for bleed.
Product Final Size Bleed Size Resolution to Submit (300dpi)
Business Card
(89mm x 53mm)
3.5" x 2.083" 1/16" 3.622" x 2.2" 1087 x 660 px
4 x 6 Postcard
(101.6mm x 152.4mm)
6" x 4" 1/8" 6.25" x 4.25" 1875 x 1275 px
5½ x 8½ Postcard
(139.7mm x 215.9mm)
8.5" x 5.5" 1/16" 8.627" x 5.627" 2588 x 1688 px
8½ x 11 Letterhead
(215.9mm x 279mm)
8.5" x 11" 1/16" 8.627" x 11.127" 2588 x 3338 px
A4 Letterhead
(210mm x 297mm)
8.27" x 11.69" 1/16 8.397" x 11.817" 2519 x 3545 px
8½ x 11 Brochure
(215.9mm x 279mm)
11" x 8.5" 1/16" 11.127" x 8.627" 3338 x 2588 px
A4 Brochure
(210mm x 297mm)
8.27" x 11.69" 1/16 11.817" x 8.397" 3545 x 2519 px
DL Envelope
(220mm x 110mm)
8.58" x 4.38" 1/8" 8.83" x 4.63" 2649 x 1389 px
9.5 x 4.5 Envelope
(241.3mm x 114.3mm)
9.5" x 4.5" 1/8" 9.75" x 4.75 " 2925 x 1425 px
C5 Envelope
(162mm x 229mm)
6.38" x 9" 1/8" 6.63" x 9.25 " 1989 x 2775 px
4¼ x 5½ Greeting Card
(107.95mm x 139.7mm)
4.25" x 5.5" 1/16" 8.627" x 5.627" 2588 x 1688 px
5½ x 8½ Greeting Card
(139.7mm x 215.9mm)
5.5" x 8.5" 1/16" 11.127" x 8.627" 3338 x 2588 px
• Your Final Product will be this size
• 1/16" - 1/8" is trimmed from the uploaded file, depending on the product.
• The safe zone is 1/16" inside the file product size.
• Size of trim. • Your upload file should be this size
• Image should extend all the way to the edge.
• Make sure all text is inside the
safe zone.

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