Print Specifications

How to Print my file

5 simple steps to 'Print My File'

Step 1
From the home page, click on the 'VIEW OUR PRODUCTS' button

Print my file Step 1

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Step 2
Then scroll till you find the product you require, click on the 'INSTANT QUOTE' button

Print my file Step 2

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Step 3
Now choose your printing options from the dropdown lists. Once all the options have been selected, a price will appear underneath for your print job.

At this stage you can choose to 'EMAIL ME THIS QUOTE' where you will be sent an email with the quote and a link to return to this page autofilled ready to order when you are ready.

If you are ready to proceed, upload you print ready file by dragging it onto the area to upload files or by clicking on the area and then choosing your file from your computer.
Once the file has uploaded (keep in mind that large files may take some time to upload depending on your internet connection) you can click 'Add to cart'.

Print my file Step 3

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Step 4
This will bring you to the checkout section where you can complete the checkout or return to shopping.

If you are ready to complete the transaction, please fill in your details and delivery information then click 'PAY BY CREDIT CARD'

Print my file Step 4

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Step 5
Simply fill out your credit card details and click 'PAY NOW'.

Your order is now with us and we will verify the files and get your job into production. If we find any issues with your files, we will contact you before we go to print.

Print my file Step 5

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File specifications for 'print ready files'

All files should be sent as PDF files with the following specifications

Bleed - 3mm (see bleed section below for more information)

Trim/crop marks (see trim marks section below for more information)

High resolution images - 300dpi (see high resolution images section below for more information)

Outlined Text - Text/fonts converted to outlines or curves (see fonts section below for more information)

Colours - set to CMYK (unless otherwise specified) (see colours section below for more information)

Spot UV/Scodix/Foiling setups included (if applicable) (see Spot UV/Scodix section below for more information)

For step-by-step instructions on how to export a print ready PDF file, please see instructions in 'Export to PDF' below on how to export your PDF correctly for print.
Download The Print Company PDF Preset settings

Export to PDF (Print Ready PDF)

Step by step instructions on how to set up acrobat job settings and exporting.
Please follow these instructions on how to export your PDF correctly for print.
Download The Print Company PDF Preset settings

Download PDF job options in the link above (these are the recommended settings for use with The Print Company) to import into Indesign or Illustrator, or use the values and options shown further below (from step 5). You can import these by going to File > Adobe PDF presets > Define. Then clicking on load > select the downloaded PDF preset file > Done. These are shown in steps 1-4 below.

To import into Indesign or illustrator, please follow the instructions below.

Step 1:

Download The Print Company PDF print preset above.

 File -> Adobe PDF presets -> Define...

Export PDF for print step 1

Step 2:   

Click on Load...

Export PDF for print step 2

Step 3:

Select the PDF job options downloaded from the link above

Export PDF for print step 3

Step 4:

Once the job options loads, click done

Export PDF for print step 4

Step 5:

File -> Export...

Export PDF for print step 5

Step 6:

Name your file -> Save

Export PDF for print step 6

Step 7:

Select 'The Print Co_PDF Export' in Adobe PDF Preset dropdown

**if you did not download 'The Print Co_PDF export' job options, please skip this step and go to Step 8

Export PDF for print step 7

Step 8:

•If you are using 'The Print Co_PDF Export' then you can click export to create your print ready PDF. You are done!

•If you did not import 'The Print Co_PDF Export' job options, continue by following these steps. Select the same values in each tab before exporting

General Tab:

Export PDF for print step 8

Step 9:

Compression Tab:

Export PDF for print step 9

Step 10:

Marks and Bleeds Tab:

Export PDF for print step 10

Step 11:

Output Tab:

Export PDF for print step 11

Step 12:

Advanced Tab:

Export PDF for print step 12

Once you have set all of these settings, you can click on Export to create your Print Ready File! You are done!

Trim Marks / Crop Marks

What are they and how do they work?

Trim marks or crop marks must be included on your print ready file.
These marks indicate where the file will be trimmed. Trim marks are usually automatically setup during exporting your file to PDF.

Trim marks, crop marks


What is bleed and why do I need it?

Bleed is a printing term that is used to describe images or elements that touch the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge and leaving no white margin.  A commercial printer cannot print right to the edge of a sheet of paper. In other words, there's really no such thing as "borderless" printing on a commercial press. In order to combat this, you print a little over the edge of the design. It must be printed on a larger sheet of paper and then trimmed down.

The example below shows how a document should be set up with bleed. This is the way you must set up your document if you intend to have graphics that extend all the way to the edges of the cut item. 

How to add bleed 1

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How to add bleed 2

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How to add bleed 3

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High Resolution Images

What's the difference between high and low res images?

We require all images to be 300dpi and of good quality. If these requirements are not met then we cannot guarantee the quality of the printed image.\
For images to print looking sharp and clear, they need to be high resolution. The standard is 300dpi (dots/pixels per inch). In general, images downloaded from the internet are low resolution and, even though they look great on screen, they will look pixelated (blurry or fuzzy) when printed. 
You can check the resolution of a file in photoshop or other photo editing programs or you can simply do the following:

On a PC: right click on the file > select ‘Properties’ > select the ‘Details’ tab, scroll down to where is says image resolution horizontal/vertical.

On a Mac: Open the image in preview > press Apple/command + I  OR  go to ‘Tools’ > ‘show inspector’, here you will see ‘image DPI’.

If an image that is 72dpi at final size, the image is only good to be viewed on screen or for the web. Large format posters can be around 200dpi (depending on the image and text used on the image) but in general all print files should be 300dpi.
If you are unsure if your images are high resolution or will be fine to print, we are more than happy to check your files. Simply send us your image/file and we can verify this for you before you send for print.

high resolution and low resolution


Can my file be RGB or must it be CMYK? What if I need a pantone colour?

All colours must be set to CMYK.
RGB colours will be converted and may vary from desired colour.
PMS or PANTONE colours should be converted to CMYK unless you require a specific colour for your print. In this case, please contact us for a custom quote.

What is CMYK?

CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black). These 4 colours are used in combination for print to overlay onto white paper to produce almost any colour required. No colours produce nothing (white), all the colours combined create black, and every combination in-between create all the colours we see.

What is CMYK
What is RGB?

RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue. These 3 colours are used for all TV, screen and light based colour on a black screen. No colours produces nothing (black) and all colours at full intensity produce white, with every combination in-between creating all the colours we see.

Because of these fundamentally different ways to create the colours we see, when RBG images are converted to CMYK during the printing process, some colour changes and undesirable outcomes can occur. (see example below)

It is always recommended to convert all colours to CMYK for most printing products for the best results.

There are some exceptions to this. In large format inkjet printing for posters etc. can be best left as RBG for the most vibrant colours.

If you are unsure on what colour space your files or images are or what colour space to use for your project, please ask us and we will be happy to check your files and/or advise the best colour space to use for your project.

What is RGB?
RGB Image on Screen
CMYK to RBG conversion
RGB image print result not converted to CMYK before print
CMYK to RBG conversion
What are PMS or PANTONE colours?

PMS colours are colours form the Pantone Colour Matching System©™. They are an internationally recognised standard for colours in the print industry.

PMS colours are used to insure consistent colour matching for specific colours, most commonly used for corporations to retain constant colour of their brand and image.
Depending on the process used to print, choosing a PMS colour from the PANTONE swap book can insure your colours print how you envisioned. 

On most printing jobs, CMYK colours (see CMYK above) are used to produce all colours. This means that PMS colours may not be exactly as seen in the pantone swap book but will be matched as closely as possible. If you require a definite PMS colour in your file, you must specify this and ‘contact us’ for a custom quote.




How to prepare my file so that the fonts print as I would like?

All fonts must be converted to outlines (recommended) or embedded to ensure the correct font prints on your job. Failure to do this may result in a default font being used to replace a missing font.

To convert your font to outlines (also known as creating outlines):
In Illustrator or Indesign -  simply select all the text in the document, then click Type -> create outlines.

Please note:  After converting your text to outlines, you will no longer be able to edit this text. Please ensure you keep a saved copy of your files before converting to outlines so that you can edit the text later if you ever need to. Converting to outlines should only be done when the file is final and you are saving the print document for the printer.

Font Create outline

Rich Black

What is “rich black” and why do I need it?

Rich black is a combination of 40% cyan, 30% magenta, 30% yellow and 100% Key (black).

Rich black is used for large black images or object to ensure a nice deep solid black. 100% black on its own isn’t always enough to produce this so we add 40c, 30m and 30y to boost the richness of the black. Rich black should NEVER be used on black text or thin lines or objects, these should always be 100% black only.

Also, 100% of all 4 colours should never be used.
A rich black can be created by creating a new spot colour in indesign/Illustrator and setting the values to 40c, 30m, 30y, 100k
See instructions below.

Example of 100% black Vs Rich Black

What is Rich black

Step 1:

Window -> Swatches

What is rich black?

Step 2:

Click drop down on top right corner of Swatch window -> New Swatch...

What is rich black?

Step 3:

Name Swatch with 'Rich Black'

Set values to 40c, 30m, 30y, 100k

What is rich black?

Step 4:

Fill object with the new swatch 'Rich Black'

What is rich black?

Spot UV

What is Spot UV, how I can use it and how do I set it up?

A Spot UV coating or "varnish" is applied to chosen spots (areas), of a printed card. This has the affect of highlighting and drawing attention to that part of the design, but it also provides the additional visual stimulus of having varied textures on a single printed surface

How to Setup Your Files

Click here to download step by step instructions on how to set it up

Spot UV
Spot UV


What is Scodix, how I can use it and how do I set it up?

Scodix is a print finish that adds a luxury look and feel to ordinary print runs by producing a raised ink experience. This could be clear, gold or silver. It is a digital enhancement printed on top of an image after the printing and laminating process.

SCODIX looks best when you follow some basic design fundamentals where often LESS can be MORE when adding SCODIX to your design.

How to Setup Your Files

Click here to download step by step instructions on how to set it up


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