What is a Print-Ready File

Currently a Print-Ready file is a file that has all the specifications necessary to produce high-resolution printed output, without requiring any additional alteration or intervention. In other words, a commercial printer, like Keiger, can use the file “as submitted” to successfully create the desired print materials.

Common factors that prevent a layout file from being Print-Ready include:

Terrified Businessman Looking at Dynamite
  • Document sized improperly.
  • Colors set to RGB instead of CMYK.
  • Spot colors not properly defined.
  • Not allowing ample margins (putting information or borders closer than 1/4” from any trimmed edge).
  • Resolution not high enough (should be minimum 150 dpi, suggested 300 dpi at 100% size).
  • Bleeds not set up correctly (artwork should extend at least 1/8” past crop marks).
  • Crop marks missing or incorrectly placed.
  • Missing fonts or images.
  • Poor contrast between text and background.
  • Spelling and grammar errors.

The File Type is also Important:

Right or Wrong File Type

The type of file you submit is also an important factor in determining whether a commercial printer can successfully print your layout. For example, high-resolution Adobe PDF files are universally accepted (and preferred) by commercial printers. Layout files created with other Adobe products — such as InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop — also have widespread acceptance. Common accepted file extensions: .ai, .eps, .indd, .jpg, .jpeg, .pdf, .psd, and .tif.

Conversely, files created with Microsoft programs — such as Word, Publisher, or PowerPoint — often require some intervention and conversion to make them Print-Ready. The same holds true for many other popular software programs, especially “non-professional” versions of desktop publishing packages. The file may output to your desktop printer just fine, but these types of software are rarely well-suited for output on a commercial printing press.

Conclusion and Helpful Tips:

Perplexed if it's Print-Ready

Print-Ready files can be given to a commercial printer, like Keiger, and we can immediately print the file. If you are perplexed or in doubt whether it's Print-Ready or an acceptable file type, check with us beforehand. Just because a file type isn't Print-Ready doesn't mean it's unacceptable. It only means that additional work may need to be done to the file to make it work in a commercial printing environment.

Keiger Graphic Communications has been in the printing industry for 75 years. If you need a commercial printer to professionally print your job, Print-Ready or not, feel free to contact us or submit your files via our eCommerce Site. Either way, we hope you found this information helpful and if you have questions, let us know.

For more information contact:
Nick Crockett
CIO / Systems Administrator / DBA / Webmaster
Call Keiger at (336) 760-0099
Contact Nick Crockett
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