File Set-up Checklist
To ensure that your printing process progresses smoothly, please review our checklist before submitting your print-ready design files. If your files do not meet our specifications, your products may be printed incorrectly. To avoid this, we may ask you to resupply your artwork or charge you for the time it takes us to adjust it.
1. Artwork and Document Setup
Document size should be equal to the size of the trim plus 0.125" bleed on all sides, as shown above.
You can verify these settings in an existing InDesign or Illustrator document by selecting File --> Document Setup.
If your job includes perforations, folds, foils, or varnishes
Perforations, folds, foils, or varnishes should be added as vector lines/shapes.
All of these lines and shapes should be set to 100% magenta.
See templates for various preset files here.
If your job includes die cuts / custom shapes
Extend images past all trim lines by at least 0.125”.
All cut lines should be set to 100% magenta.
2. Image Set-up
Images should be at least 300 ppi for the best resolution. In Adobe programs, image resolution can be checked and adjusted in the Image Size menu, as shown above.
Images should be CMYK or grayscale only.
Once you have completed all of this checklist, you are ready to save and export your file for output at Greenerprinter!
3. Exporting your file
The preferred file format for GreenerPrinter orders is PDF. By sending us a PDF you are helping to ensure that your job proceeds quickly, smoothly, and with no unexpected "surprises."
We accept Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign files, but they may incur additional charges and increase the turnaround time.
Please delete the instructions layer if using templates before saving and uploading files.
To create a PDF from any of the Adobe applications (Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop) follow the instructions below.
- File -> Save As... (Illustrator/Photoshop) or Export...(InDesign).
- Select Adobe PDF (Print) as the format.
- Click save to move to the next menu.
In the “General” section:
Set "Adobe PDF Preset" to PDF/X-4:2008.
(InDesign only) In the “Compression” section:
Uncheck the “Compress Image Data to Frames” box
- (InDesign and Illustrator only) In the "Marks and Bleeds" section:
Set “Bleeds" to .125 inches on all sides. (See Bleed information above)
- In the "Output" section:
Set "Color Conversion" to No Conversion.
- Click Save or Export
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between CMYK and RGB?
CMYK and RGB are both color modes used for graphic design work.
RGB is best for designs that will be viewed on a screen, because it uses the light made by pixels to create a wider range of colors than CMYK.
CMYK is best for designs that will be printed, because most printers use cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink.
When designing for print, designing in the CMYK color mode is ideal because it allows your printer to accurately recreate the color. If you use RGB for a printed design, colors will often appear duller or darker than you intend.
Do I get to see a proof of what it will look like before you print?
Of course! We offer two types of proofs for you to choose from.
A “soft proof” is a digital PDF of your file that shows the appearance of the final product, including where it will be scored/cut. You can have 2 free soft proofs with each order.
A "hard proof" is a single, high-quality, physical copy that will get mailed to you. The price of a hard proof depends on the complexity of your job. If you choose this type of proof, please allow additional time in the proofing process for shipping.
For more information, please visit our Proofing Options page.
Do you have templates I can use to design my own project?
Yes! We offer a wide variety of free templates for you to use.
For more information, please visit our Free Product Templates page.
What file formats do you need?
The preferred file format for Greenerprinter orders is PDF.
We also accept Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign files, but they may incur additional fees and increase the turnaround time.
To learn how to properly export a PDF from Adobe products, please see the section titled “Exporting your file” above.
What is the best resolution for printing graphics and photos?
Photos should be at least 300 ppi to ensure high resolution when printing.
Anything less than 300 ppi can lead to blurry or pixelated images on your final prints.
In Adobe products, you can view and change the image resolution in the “Image Size” menu, as shown above.
For type & logos, it is recommended that they be in vector format (type/Illustrator), not raster (.jpeg/.png/Photoshop) for the sharpest printing.
What is bleed & why is it important?
At commercial print shops, most designs are printed on larger sheets and then trimmed down to their final size. This trimming process can leave unsightly white lines around the edges of the design. To avoid this, something called “bleed” can be added to your design. Bleed is an area where any colors or images that touch the edge of your design extend past the border. This area will be cut off during trimming, but ensures that any minor errors that occur during the trimming process will not show on your final project.
Greenerprinter requires a 0.125 inch bleed on all sides of your project.
What are PMS & Spot colors?
Spot colors are specific ink formulas that are used to ensure color consistency, even when using different printers. Instead of using the typical layers of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink to create a color, spot colors come pre-mixed.
PMS (Pantone Matching System) colors are numberically labeled spot colors from the Pantone Matching System. These numbers allow the colors to be easily identified and matched.
Spot colors are useful for printing very consistent color, but since they are pre-mixed, they are usually more expensive.
It is important not to use PMS or spot colors when designing for CMYK printing. Converting PMS colors to CMYK can lead to unexpected and unwanted results.