Print Design file preparation

1. What should be your file RESOLUTION for printing?


Resolution of an image refers to number of pixels in an image. Resolution helps in quantifying how close lines can be visibly seen without being blurred. DPI or PPI are most commonly used unites to measure resolutions. DPI i.e. Dots per Inch refers to number of dots being printed in one square inch. To capture more detailed and sharper image, higher resolutions should be used.

DPI known as Dots per inch is actually number of dots being printed in one square inch. More the dot density in space, more details are captured and resulting image looks sharper.

How to check resolution in your file?

 1.      Photoshop


To check if your file has suitable resolutions for printing in Photoshop, click on Image > Image Size

how to check image resolution in photoshop

“Image size” opens following pop-up


checking resolution inkprint

Your image resolution should be set to 300 DPI


2. Acrobat

To check if your file has suitable resolution in Acrobat, first set your view to 300%.


check resolution in acrobat

If your image appears pixelated, your artwork or image is low resolutions. On the other hand if your image looks crisp at 300%, image has high resolution and good for print.

check resolution


Precautions and suggestions

Do not enlarge a lower dpi file in higher dpi document if file size is smaller.


Conversion of a 72 dpi file into a 300 dpi file depends on file size. For example if an image is 5X6 inches at 72 dpi, image will be much smaller after importing to a 300 dpi file. However, if files have larger size, conversion or importing can be done. For example, if your file is 30X40 inches at 72 dpi, file can be imported into 300 dpi file. 

changing 72 dpi image to 300 dpi

DO NOT simply change THE RESOLUTION in Photoshop.

This is another common misconception. In photoshop, you should not increase resolution from 72 dpi to 300 dpi by simply changing current dpi to 300 dpi. It will surely make your image pixelated.


72 dpi image printed in 300 dpi


2. What should be COLOR MODE of you file resolution for printing?

CMYK is standard color mode used by Inkprint or any other print service providers to produce print materials. We always recommend to submit your file in CMYK color mode to maximize your color quality. Any file submitted in any other format such as RGB or Pantone, needs to be converted in CMYK before print production and there are high probabilities that conversion may cause difference in colors.

See in below illustrations how RGB and CMYK color modes have different appearance.

convert RGB to CMYK



3. How to set a file for BLEEDS, CUTLINE and SAFETY?


Another important precaution that should be taken care is your artwork must have scope for trimming process after printing.

Bleeds are necessary in all artworks. An artwork must have additional 0.125” inch to each side to provide scope for cutting. For example for 5” X 7” postcards with full bleed, your artwork must be in 5.25” X 7.25” size (shown in red box below).

During trimming process, 0.125” on each side of postcard will be cut that will provide your desired size i.e. 5” X 7” (shown in black box)

Your text should be 0.125” inside the final size on each side. In above example, your text should be inside the box of 4.75” X 6.75” (shown in blue box). This will ensure that your text would not be cut off in your artwork.

bleed, safe area, cutline


4. How to set a file if artwork contains BORDERS?


Trimming process for printing has mechanical acceptance of about 0.0625 inch. If you require border in your artwork, it is necessary to design your artwork at least 0.25” of white space from border for cut line to ensure a symmetric appearance. 

borders in artwork



5. How to manage FONTS and TRANSPARENCY problems?


In vector formats software such as Illustrators and InDesign, Fonts and transparencies should be flattened and fonts should be outlined. Else, text would be dropping out from your artwork.

How to flatten transparency and outline font in different software?

Adobe Illustrators

a)    Select All (Ctrl A) > Object > Flatten Transparency

b)    Check: “Convert All text to Outlines” and “Convert All Strokes to Outlines”

c)    And uncheck:  "Preserve Alpha Transparency" and "Preserve Overprints and Source Color"

d)    Save file as PDF 1.3

Flatten transparency, all text and strokes to outline


Adobe InDesign

a)    Go to each page and select all

b)    Type > Create Outlines

c)    File > Exports

d)    Save file as Acrobat 1.3


Indesign creating outline



6. At what dimension a banner file should be submitted for print?

You should maintain a scale of 1 foot equals 1 inch for Banner files. For example, if you want a banner of 4’ X 4’ size, your file should be of 4” X 4” with an additional 0.125” on each edge for bleed. Hence, your submitted file should be of 4.25” X 4.25”.


What should be resolution for banner file?

Inkprint recommends 1200 dpi resolution for banner files to get best print quality. Though, usually banners are viewed from a distance, and can have lower resolutions. A low resolution banner will be appeared clear if viewed from a distance.

Banners that are to be viewed from a distance, you can have following resolutions for banners:

  • Banner file at 1200 dpi if will be watched from 5 feet or less
  • Banner file at 900 dpi if will be watched from 5 feet or more
  • Banner file at 600 dpi if will be watched from 10 feet or more
  • Banner file at 300 dpi if will be watched from 50 feet or more


What should be file type for best printing results for banners?

Generally, any vector file such as PDF or EPS exported from Adobe Illustrator will provide best quality print. In addition to file type, please ensure our guidelines for FONTS and TRANSPARENCY.


Should we follow same BLEEDS, CUTLINE and SAFETY guidelines for banner file as mentioned for normal printing?

Yes, banner files must have a 0.125” bleed on each side to ensure background color and texture to expend fully to the edges of banner. Your text should be 0.125” inside the final size on each side to ensure that your text would not be cut off in your banner. If your banner is to be installed by pole pockets or metal ring, please put all text and design at least 1/3” inside the cutline.