Preparing Files

For those looking for a little help or a lot of help getting your files started, here are some guidelines to help you begin the process. Please read through these helpful tips concerning supported file formats and programs, and layout and photograph considerations as you prepare your files for print. Some of these will save you time, some will save us time, but all of these guidelines will assist in getting closer to the perfect results we aim to achieve. Should you have any questions or concerns not addressed here, please call us for support on preparing your files for optimal results. 

Tips on Collecting Files:

  1. All fonts will need to be supplied when submitting native files. For PostScript fonts, this includes both the screen fonts and printer fonts. For OpenType or TrueType fonts, there is only one file per font style.
  2. All photographs, images, and other links need to be collected in a separate folder linked to the layout when submitting native files. Do not embed images.
  3. It is always beneficial to provide composite laser proofs of your project when submitting files. This simply gives Instaprint something to reference. When providing laser proofs, indicate the size, bleed, and any designated spot colors. 
  4. You can upload to our FTP server via this website, you can mail in your files on a CD, or you can drop them off. Whatever works best for you.

Tips for Working with Color:

  1. Keep all images in one colorspace—either RGB or CMYK—rather than mixing.
  2. When printing 4-color process, all colors should be converted to CMYK.
  3. When printing with less than 4-colors, or when specifying a specific color in conjunction with 4-color process, all colors should be designated as Spot Colors.
  4. Never trust your monitor. If color is critical, ask you Instaprint representative for your color-correct proofing options before printing.

Layout Considerations:

  1. Build logo and diagrams in Illustrator for best replication. Vector files retain smooth lines when scaled to any dimension, which you will achieve by using Illustrator rather than a pixel-based program like Photoshop.
  2. Build multiple-page layouts in a page-layout program, such as InDesign.
  3. Keep multiple page layouts in the order you wish them to be produced.
  4. Keep multiple page layouts in Reader’s Pairs (as they will appear, not as they will print). Instaprint has software that will smoothly convert the spreads to Printer’s Pairs for you. See the glossary for definitions.
  5. Any image or graphical element that is intended to bleed off the edge of the page should extend at least 1/16” beyond the trim line in your layout—books and magazines require at least 1/8” of bleed.
  6. Type attributes such as bold or italic may produce unwanted results. It is more dependable to use the actual bold and italic font itself.

Photograph Considerations:

  1. Adjust resolution so that images are placed at or near 100% size in your layouts.
  2. Effective resolution should be between 250-300 DPI.
  3. Save images as TIF, EPS, or JPG.