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Sending files to your printer



Sending files to your printer

From time to time we’ll receive files from clients that are no where near print ready. This creates more work, which most shops will charge you without advising you to sort out the files. This will take longer for you to get your prints. So we are writing this to give you a simple guide on how to set up a print ready file to either send to us, or your local printer. If you’ve made it here because you want to print files on your printer at home, this guide may help also

First things first; you want to print off an image you’ve taken from your camera or phone? That’s easy, all you need to do is send the file over to your print shop. You should also note that cameras don’t take square photos 1:1 ratio, instead they generally take 4:3 ratio photos which is slightly wider or taller depending which orientation the photo has been taken (landscape or portrait). Newer phones are sometimes set as 16:9 ratio which is wider than 4:3. So when asking for a size to be printed, make sure you ask for a size that corresponds to your camera or phones ratio (usually 4:3). Why is this important to know? Well it depends on what you want to do with your image. You may need to scale or crop if you want to put your works of art into photo frames which have been a standardised size for decades. Below is a chart of recommended sizes you can use with different the ratios

Now saving…sounds easy, but people can get this wrong. First, if your image is made up of layers, flatten it! If using a vector program like Illustrator, turn all text into outlines before saving or risk losing your fonts. Once you’ve done all that, Save as either a .TIFF or a .PDF (do not use .JPEG as you’ll lose quality once saved and you’ll never get it back). Saving to a .TIFF is straightforward, if saving as a PDF their are a few settings you will need to be aware of: Go to the top drop down and pick [PDF/X-4:2008] once you’ve done that, go to “compression” on the left side and go to the first drop down box and chose “do not down sample” Everything else will be fine. Press save. That’s it! Now you’re ready to send us your file!

With most cameras or phones, you shouldn’t be going larger than 800 x 600mm or you can risk your image being pixelated (low quality) But if you want to blow up the image much larger, you should contact us or your local print shop who will be doing the work for you for advice in sizes you can go. In other situations where you’re creating your own images in photoshop or other image editing software, setting up the file is just as important as saving it the correct way. For example if you’d like a poster 1500mm x 800mm, you need to set up your new file make sure you put your sizes in exactly. When choosing resolution, first consider what the print will be used for. If viewing from a distance, you can use 150 pixel/inch. For up close viewing 300 pixel/inch is fine. But if you need photographic quality you can go to 1200 pixels/inch – be sure to ask your printer what’s recommended as not every large format printer can print at such high resolutions. We recommend 150 pixel/inch for viewing at a distance and about 300 pixel/inch viewing 1000mm away. The bigger you go, the larger your file will be. But what about bleed? Well unless they ask for it, do NOT add bleed. Software used by printers can add their own bleed and crop marks to their liking. Bleeds and crop marks are not always used. So best ask before sending the file.

Call us: (03) 9369 8884 | 2/11 Everaise Crt Laverton North, Victoria, Australia 3026