Adobe Photoshop? Templates

Adobe Photoshop? Templates

The instructions below will help guide you in preparing the best possible files for production and print using Photoshop (versions 5 and higher).


Mac Format Windows Format

Control-Click ( Mac ) or Right-Click ( Win ) to save these files.

Adobe Photoshop? Help

Trim and Bleed

Before you start work on any design and layout, make certain that your Photoshop document is set at the appropriate BLEED size for your project (or download pre-made templates here). The ?trim size? is the final dimension that your printing job will be cut to (before any folding, if needed). However, an additional 1/8? ?bleed? is required wherever design elements touch the edge of your trim dimension (for example, if your trim size is 4? x 6?, create your Photoshop document to 4.25? x 6.25? and set guides 1/8? back from all four edges to indicate your trim area). This means that any element that touches the trim edge must be allowed to extend past the trim edge by at least 1/8?. This assures a safety margin during the post production trimming of your project to assure that your bleed elements remain touching the trim edge without any white, unprinted gaps between the bleed element and the trim edge. If you have any design elements (including borders) that come too close to the trim edge, and you do not intend for them to touch the trim edge, then you must ?back it away? from the trim edge by at least 1/8?.

Maintaining Legible Type and Hairlines

One typical mistake is design is the use of type or hairlines that do not print well and thus wind up being illegible. To avoid this mistake, shy away from type sizes smaller than 6 pts and lines (rules) thinner than .25pt.

  • Type smaller than 6 pts becomes difficult to read anyway, and finer details may be difficult to hold on press anyway. Typical body copy should run between 9 and 12 pts in size for maximum readability.
  • Be careful when using ?reversed out? copy (ie: text that is a light color running across a darker area). Because the darker area tends to bleed into the lighter text area on press, it is recommended that you use at least 6 pt type, and sans serif fonts, in these instances.

Hairlines thinner than .25 points may not show up when printed.

Image Quality and Color

When using images within your design, it is very important that you use the best quality images and color spaces possible.

  • Resolution: Be certain to use image resolutions 300 dpi (or ppi) or better for color and grayscale images (otherwise known as ?halftone? images), and 1,200 dpi (or ppi) for bitmap images (otherwise known as ?line art?). Click here for more information on image resolution.
  • Image quality: Use non-compressed file formats such as TIFF, EPS or native Photoshop files when possible (without compression settings). If you need to use a compressed file format like JPEG in your design, make sure the image is saved with ?Maximum Quality? settings. This will prevent loss of image quality during the compression process.
  • 4/4 and 4/1: The use of 4-color process (CMYK) on both sides of your print job is referred to as ?4/4? (pronounced ?four over four?). The use of 4-color process on the front side of your job, but grayscale or black and white on the back side is called ?4/1? (pronounced ?four over one?).
  • 4-color Process (CMYK): When using color or color images in your design and layout, be certain to use CMYK values instead of RGB. CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black ?K?) is the color space that printers use to run your job. If you have an image that is RGB, like images that come from your digital camera or scanner, you must convert them to CMYK first before placing into your design.

Using ?Rich? Blacks

When using black elements in your 4-color design, it is best to you use a ?rich black,? which is a black composed of all four process colors. This gives your black a deeper, darker shade of black on press. It is best to use rich blacks in larger areas of black, such as thick black borders, headline type and shapes. It is still preferable to use 100% black for body copy (text).

To achieve rick blacks, create a color swatch or assign a process color with the following CMYK combinations: Cyan = 60%, M = 40%, Y = 20%, K = 100%.

Even though a ?normal? black may appear as dark as you wish on screen, it may not come out as dark and rich on press. Use the ?rich? black to be certain. Here is an example of setting the CMYK sliders in Photoshop?s color palette.

Make a Copy of Your File and Flatten Layers

Before you start flattening layers in preparation for sending your file, we recommend that you take your final, approved Photoshop file and make a backup copy to preserve the layers and editable text. Once a backup copy is safely saved, proceed with flattening your Photoshop layers by using the fly-out menu in the Layers palette and choosing "Flatten Image." (Or go to Layer > Flatten Image.)

Please Note: Failure to flatten your image prior to saving to PDF may result in text layers losing their fonts or vector layers dropping out on press!

NOTE: Once you have flattened, saved and closed the file, you will no longer have layers or editable text. However, flattening the layers assures that your design will preserve its appearance on our press. Also, once text layers have been flattened, the text is rasterized into bitmap information at the current resolution settings for your Photoshop file at the time of flattening. Higher resolutions will create smoother and finer quality type.

Save File as PDF or TIFF

We prefer that you save your Photoshop file as a PDF (Photoshop 7 or CS only) or TIFF. To make it easier to track your job, name your file to include your PO# and a brief project description (eg: 1084_MyPostcard.tif). Keep the filename less than 23 characters long and avoid spaces if possible and avoid any characters other than letters, numbers, hyphens, underscores and slashes.

Go to File / Save. Select Photoshop PDF from the list. Be sure to save with ZIP image compression and no other options:

You may also save as a TIFF. Go to File > Save. Select TIFF from the list. Be sure to save with no LZW compression and in Macintosh Byte Order. Please note that Photoshop 7.x and CS have additional TIFF Options. Be sure NOT to use any of these new options.

Compress And Send Your File

Compression: After you have successfully saved your file, we prefer that you compress your file using Stuffit or ZIP (Aladdin DropStuff or Stuffit Deluxe (Mac) or WinZip (PC). This will not only optimize the file size for faster upload through FTP, but will ensure that your file is protected during transit. NOTE: When creating your SIT or ZIP file, please include the PO# and Project name in the filename.

File Transfer:After you have successfully compressed your file, and placed your order, you will have the option to upload your file through our Web site. Follow the instructions accordingly.

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