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File Specifications


Here's a quick overview of what you'll need to know to get going on an order. For a more detailed guide or for a video walkthrough, head on over to our Learning Center blog. Feel free to also get in touch with us for setting up particularly custom jobs such as saddle-stitch catalogs, die-cut jobs, or softcover books.


File Specs: Quick Glance

Dimensions and Resolution

  • Bleed Margin: 0.125" on all sides
  • Safe Margin: 0.125" on all sides
  • Resolution: 300-600 dpi

Types of files accepted

  • PDF (strongly preferred)
  • EPS
  • TIFF/JPG
  • AI/INDD/PSD (please include font files/outline all type)

Downloadable Templates



The Production Process: A Breakdown



1. Saving/Exporting Your File As A PDF

Select your relevant program from the menu below. All instructions assume that .125" bleed and safe margins have been correctly set up.

Some particular projects will require a little extra set-up, such as die-cut shapes, letterpress printing, and catalogs/softcover books. For these, feel free to get in touch with us for custom instructions.

How To Save A PDF From Photoshop

1. Go to File > Save As.

photoshop save

2. In the Format dropdown menu, select Photoshop PDF.

3. In the Save checkboxes, make sure "As a Copy" is checked and "Layers" is NOT checked.

4. Name your file and hit save.

photoshop pdf

5. At the top of the window, make sure that in the Adobe PDF Preset dropdown menu you select [PDF/X-1a:2001].

photoshop pdf options

6. You can also adjust other settings from the menu on the left side of the window - for instance, this screenshot shows the Compression tab (print resolution is 300-600ppi, but the max resolution possible also just depends on the resolution at which you created your file).

7. Hit the Save PDF button, and you're all set!

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How To Export A PDF From InDesign

1. Go to File > Export...

indesign save

2. Select Adobe PDF (Print) from the drop-down menu.

indesign pdf

3. In the Adobe PDF Preset dropdown, select [PDF/X-1a:2001].

indesign bleed

4. In the left side menu of the dialog box, click on the Marks and Bleeds tab.

5. In the Bleed and Slug section, make sure that the bleed is set to at least 0.125 inches on all four sides. It isn't necessary to add crop marks, but if you do choose to include them, please ensure they are offset by 0.125 in or greater.

6. Hit the Export button, and you're all set!

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How To Save A PDF From Illustrator

1. Go to File > Save As.

illustrator save

2. In the Format dropdown menu, select PDF.

3. Name your file and hit save.

illustrator pdf

4. At the top of the window, make sure that in the Adobe PDF Preset dropdown menu you select [PDF/X-1a:2001].

illustrator bleed

5. Make sure you have at least .125" bleed. It's not necessary to add trim marks, but if you do choose to enclude them, please ensure that they are offset by 0.125 in or greater.

6. Hit the Save PDF button, and you're all set!

back to top (Illustrator)

How To Create A High Quality Book Using InDesign

InDesign is a great program for laying out almost any print project. We love InDesign so much that we've created tutorials around it so you can create great looking and professional pieces. There are 2 steps typically. Step 1 is creating the actual artwork and using InDesign to pull it all together. Step 2 is to export your files correctly out of InDesign to have a "Print-ready" PDF.

Step 1 : Laying out a booklet in InDesign

You can just use our book layout template if you already have strong experience in Indesign. You can also use this template as a training reference. Click here to download our book layout template.

Check out this video on how to set up a booklet from scratch in InDesign here.

The video will go over the following tips:

  1. document setup
  2. facing pages
  3. master pages
  4. automatic page numbering
  5. margins and bleeds
  6. bleeds
  7. matching blacks
  8. layers

Step 2 : Use our InDesign PDF export presets to export your files correctly

Indesign PDF export presets help you export PDFs properly so that we can get your project moving faster. A couple of advantages are:

  1. - Includes bleed and crop mark parameters so it will capture all the bleed needed
  2. - Includes crop marks that are a safe distance away from the artwork
  3. - Includes page info and a timestamp so that we can keep a better track of artwork and for books, we can easily keep track of the order of your pages (even if you don't have page numbers

Download the InDesign PDF expor presets here.

Check out the video on how to install the presets here.

2. Uploading Your File

You or your graphic designer can upload your files to our website directly using our file upload link, and request a quote if you haven't already done so.

You can also upload files directly to your order page if the order has already been set up.

File too large to upload to us? Our customers have also had success sending us links through Dropbox, WeTransfer, and Hightail (formerly Yousendit).

3. That's it!

It's perfect! We'll take a look at the file to ensure that it's print-ready, and will get back to you usually within the same day to set up proofs.

You are also welcome to call over if the order is needed any sooner.

We highly recommend using indesign for laying out your project. We will have the most resources around InDesign.

Resources

To download our InDesign PDF export settings for print-ready files Click here.

For a video on how to install and use the InDesign PDF Presets click here.

Want more options? Build your quote here

323-464-1640   |   info@nonstopprinting.com   |   6226 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038