Exporting, Packaging or Saving Your File for Print

Our preferred design file format is a print-ready pdf. We will accept Illustrator, InDesign, or Photoshop files as well, but the best way to send us your artwork is by uploading a print-ready pdf through our website or by emailing the final pdf to your sales rep.

To send us print-ready files, you will need to save, export, or package your design for us. Here’s the way you do this in each of the most popular design programs from Adobe, including:

Illustrator - Save As

Step 1: In Illustrator, you will save your document as a print-ready pdf by selecting File and then Save As.

Saving Your Illustrator File
Step 2: Next, select Adobe PDF format from the format option drop down menu. Click on the Save button and a new screen will open which will allow you to select different options for creating a print-ready pdf.

Choose PDF Format in Illustrator
Step 3: Select your pdf options. We recommend using the Adobe PDF Preset Press Quality. You may choose whether or not to preserve editing capabilities of your document. It is not necessary to do so if your document has the proper set-up and your file size may be smaller (and easier to send by email) if you do not elect to preserve editing capabilities.

Select Press Quality PDF for Print
Select from the left column menu the Marks and Bleeds option panel. Make sure you check the box to include Trim Marks and the box to Use Document Bleed Settings. This way your document will use the bleeds that you defined when you created your document. If you forgot to add bleeds in the beginning, you may add them here, but it is strongly suggested that you include them in your document at the start rather than creating them at the end. This way you can create your design with the bleeds in mind.

Select Marks and Bleeds for PDF Print
Step 4: After you click on Save PDF, open and view your final print-ready document. You should see some white space around your final graphic with trim marks in each corner showing where the image will be cut to size. Verify that everything looks correct and then send your print-ready files to us.

Final PDF Settings for Print Files in Illustrator

InDesign – Export

Saving your InDesign document as a print-ready pdf is very similar to the process in Illustrator. However, you must first make sure that your fonts are turned to outlines and your images are directly embedded into the document.

You can make sure that all images are embedded into your document by clicking on your Links panel and right-clicking on an image and selecting Embed Link.

Embed Links in InDesign
If your images are embedded in InDesign CC, you will see a little icon to the right of the image name that indicates that the image is embedded into the file.

Embed Images in InDesign
Step 1: Instead of clicking Save As the way you do in Illustrator, you will simply Export your document as a pdf using the Press Quality PDF Preset.

Export InDesign File with Press Preset
Step 2: Select the boxes to include trim marks and use the document bleed settings.

Adding Bleed and Crop Marks in InDesign

Step 3: Click on Export and your document should be ready for upload on our site.

InDesign – Package

If you prefer to send your complete InDesign file to us rather than saving as a pdf, you may do this by “packaging” your design.

Step 1: Before you begin this process, be sure that your fonts are all converted to outlines  and all linked images are either included in the same folder as the design file or that they are all embedded into the document.

Step 2: Next you simply click on File and then select Package.

Package InDesign Files
Step 3: A dialog box will pop up with any warnings, such as font conflicts, images in RGB rather than CMYK or missing linked images. Resolve any problems and then click Package.

InDesign Package Settings
Step 4: A dialog box will open asking you for any contact information or printing instructions that you’d like to include with your files. Fill out anything you’d like to include and then click on Continue.

InDesign Printing Instructions
Step 5: Name your folder and make sure Press Quality is selected as your Adobe PDF Preset. Click the Package button.

Save InDesign Package
Step 6: It may take a few moments for your design to be packaged depending on the speed of your computer and the size of the artwork. Once it’s completed, you can send us your packaged InDesign folder.

Photoshop

Photoshop is a little more tricky to use for creating printable artwork. Visit our informational page about Designing for Print with Photoshop for step-by-step instructions on creating print-ready documents in Photoshop.