Digital images have to be prepared before they can be physically printed. After all, a physical document is very different from a digital screen. Though we will work with you to ensure that your files print correctly, there are some things you can do to prepare your document for accurate printing beforehand.
Setup Your Print Layout
Begin with the appropriately sized document. You want your digital file to be sized to its physical printing dimensions. Don't forget the margins—there is often a border around a document that can't be printed on. You want to avoid placing anything outside of these lines.
Make Sure Your Colors Are Correct
Printing uses CMYK color, whereas digital documents often use RGB color. Switch your document to CMYK color and change the colors to CMYK swatches or Pantone colors. These colors are standardized, so they will print the same regardless of where you have them printed. While you don't need to use standardized color swatches, it helps produce a more consistent final product.
Create the Right File Type
For printing, you generally want to send in PostScript or PDF files. These are portable, standardized digital printing file formats that are going to be easily read by any printer. They appear the same on any system and can often be blown up to many different sizes. Your printer will tell you if they need a different file format. PNGs and other similar documents can be printed, but they usually have to be very high resolution.
Send Files in the Right Resolution
Some files are vector files; these can be blown up to virtually any resolution. Other files are raster files; they are made out of pixels and need to be anywhere from 800 to 1200 DPI in order to print in high enough resolution. Make sure your files have been exported to the correct DPI if you're going to print them, as otherwise their details may appear to be blurry and indistinct when they're printed.
Always Test It First
Create a sample for your printed project before you clear a large volume run. Your printer will be able to run a small sample fo you to ensure that the colors look correct and the resolution is appropriate for printing.
Preparing digital documents for physical printing services does require some knowledge of digital design and digital media. Nevertheless, it should be fairly straightforwardand will give you the best printing results later on. For more information about preparing your files, contact B&B Image Group.