Center for Print Production

Helpful Tips for Designing Your Document

In order to provide a print ready file, use some of these helpful tips to avoid file time costs.

  1. Provide us any fonts and images you have used. If you are using Adobe Indesign, utilize the program’s function to collect all linked files. When giving us files, please only include the fonts and images you have used and not extra items. Do not change the names of your images after linking them.
  2. Bleed is the term for printing that goes right to the edge of the paper. The way to do this is to make your document .25" bigger in both dimensions. For instance, if the final size is 8.5" x 11" then make your document 8.75" x 11.25". Draw guides on the layout that are .125" from the edge all the way around. Now create your design with the idea that the layout will be cut off where those guides are....because that is precisely what is going to happen. Make sure that any photographs or backgrounds that you want to bleed go clear out to the perimeter of the document, past the guidelines. Then after we have printed your piece we will trim off that extra.
  3. Your text should be at least 1/4 away from cut edge.
  4. Please save imagery as CMYK colors, or if they are just gray images save them as grayscale, especially if you have multiple images in your document.  Check that you have used proper colors throughout the document, not a mixture of CMYK and RGB.
  5. Use applications that are good for printing (InDesign, Publisher, Illustrator, etc.)
  6. Microsoft Applications (Word and Excel) can be problematic for design print as they use RGB colors and the presses use CMYK colors.  It is not possible to convert the colors in these applications.  We also see formatting and font variations in these programs. For example moving from one Windows computer to another or to a Mac may change the format of your document. Basic fonts may also be named differently on other computers. For best results, save your file as a pdf.
  7. Make sure your images are at least 300 dpi. If you download images from the web, they may look fine on your screen because your screen is the same resolution as the image (72dpi). Zoom in on the image and you will be able to determine if it is a good image or not. If you are not sure give us a call and we will help you. If you have already saved your image at a lower resolution you can not change it. Programs like Photoshop will let you type in a higher resolution but it will not change the look of it. Please be sure to follow all copyright laws regarding the use of web images.
  8. If you use Photoshop to create your document, make sure your image size is set to 300dpi prior to adding the text.
  9. If you are producing a document using the Ithaca College logo, be sure to adhere to the Ithaca College identity standards.

If You Are Not Sure Your File Will Work... 
Call Cindy at 607-274-1114, Glen at 607-274-5702 or send the file to prepress@ithaca.edu and we can examine it to see if there are any major flaws that would prevent us from printing your job.