Prepress Academy

Make sure your design transfers accurately to the press. Read through the guide to learn how different aspects of your document can change the printing process, or review a specific topic by clicking on it. Instructional videos and reference pictures explain each subject. Download free file templates to get started, and use the Print Ready Checklist to ensure that your design is ready for the press.

*This guide assumes a basic understanding of Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. If you aren’t familiar with those programs, our design team is eager to help you create the product you want.

*This guide is meant for those that understand the basics of Adobe Illustrator, Indesign and Photoshop.

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    Document and Trim Size

    Begin by setting your document’s size to the final trimmed or folded size.
    Learn about setting up your document’s size.

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    Bleed Area

    Apply a bleed area of .125 inches to your Print Ready PDF.
    Find out how to correctly set up and apply Bleed.

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    Ensure that your document is equipped with proper margins.
    Make sense of margins.

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    CMYK Color

    Design and save your document in CMYK color mode.
    See when other color modes are necessary.

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    PANTONE and Spot Colors

    For PANTONE, leave spot colors active. Otherwise, use CMYK.
    Know when and how to use Spot Colors.

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    Rich Black vs. 100% Black

    Use 100% black for small type and Rich Black for large type or backgrounds.
    Get the most out of your black ink.

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    Each image needs a resolution of at least 200dpi.
    Make sure your images are crisp.

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    Folding Documents

    If your document folds, use one of our Folding Templates.
    Get to know your document folding options.

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    Booklet Design

    Design your booklet in signatures of four and save it in reader spreads.
    Learn the basics of Booklet Design.

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    PDF Exporting

    Always export your file as a Print Ready PDF.
    See the steps to saving your document as a Print Ready PDF file.

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    PDF Preset

    Automate saving your Print Ready PDFs.
    Download our PDF Preset.

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    Sending Your Files

    Use email or our Client Upload.
    Learn the easiest way to get your files to us.

Begin the Guide Here