What software should I use to build my document?
Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Indesign, or QuarkXPress. These are the industry standard programs used to build documents targeted for print that are capable of generating a proper “Print ready” PDF file that this site requires. If you have built your document in some other program, please contact us and we will be glad to assist you in submitting your files another way to get your project printed.
What type of file can I submit?
“Print ready” PDF files only please. In order to accommodate online print orders, there needs to be consistency with the files that we receive. Premier Print Direct is based on the premise that all incoming files will be properly generated “Print ready” PDF files.
What does “Print ready” mean?
“Print ready” is a term of art used in the printing industry to describe a PDF that has been correctly prepared so that it can be printed by a commercial printing company.
The exact requirements for a PDF to be “print ready” depend on the specific printing company that will be printing the PDF. Their printing equipment and technological setup determine what standards a PDF must meet in order for it to be deemed “print ready” by that company.
That being said, there are some “print ready” standards that are well nigh universal:
- Fonts are embedded into the PDF.
- Colors in the document use CMYK color space rather than RGB.
- The color black in the document is the correct kind of black (e.g., CMYK black/100K black, Photoshop black, rich cool black, rich warm black, registration black).
- Images are embedded into the PDF.
- Images are JPG, TIFF, or EPS format.
- Resolution of images is 300dpi or higher.
- Line weight of hairline rules is not less than 0.25pt.
- The page size (a.k.a. trim size) of the PDF pages is correct.
- Crop marks are present if they are required by the printing company.
- The filename of the PDF meets a specified convention (if required to).
How do I generate a proper “Print ready” PDF?
Fortunately, producing a proper “Print ready” PDF is easy and anyone can do it, provided you're using apporpriate industry standard software to create your files. (See first question) Simply download our PDF export settings file on our downloads page, unzip the file and import them into the application you built your document with. Once imported, you will be able create your own “Print ready” PDF optimized for our printing system by choosing the new PDF preset when you output your PDF.
How do I load the PDF Export Settings file into my application?
First download our PDF export settings file on our downloads page. Then locate where the PDF Export Settings downloaded to on your computer. More than likely it will be in your downloads folder. The file will be called “PPD_Print_Ready_PDF_Settings.zip ”. Double click the file to unzip it. You will then be left with a folder called “PPD_Print_Ready_PDF_Settings” that will contain both the Adobe settings and the QuarkXPress settings. Continue onto the software you will be using.
Launch InDesign, go to File > Adobe PDF Presets > Define..., click on the “Load...” button. Navigate to the folder you just downloaded and unzipped in the previous step and navigate through the “Adobe CS3 or later“ folder to the settings file. It will be called “PPD Print Ready.joboptions”. Click on the file and click “Open”. You should now see the new preset in your list of presets called “PPD Print Ready”. You can now click the “Done” button. This preset will now also be available in your other Adobe programs as these presets are shared amongst all Adobe programs.
Launch Illustrator, go to Edit > Adobe PDF Presets, click on the “Import...” button. Navigate to the folder you just downloaded and unzipped in the previous step and navigate through the “Adobe CS3 or later“ folder to the settings file. It will be called “PPD Print Ready.joboptions”. Click on the file and click “Open”. You should now see the new preset in your list of presets called “PPD Print Ready”. You can now click the “OK” button. This preset will now also be available in your other Adobe programs as these presets are shared amongst all Adobe programs.
Launch QuarkXPress, go to Edit > Output Styles, click on the “Import...” button. Navigate to the folder you just downloaded and unzipped in the previous step and navigate through the QuarkXPress folder to the setting file called “PPD Print Ready”. Click on the file and click “Open” to add this to your presets. The preset called “PPD Print Ready” should now be available in your preset list.
What if I can't use Premier Print Direct's export settings?
If you're unable to use Premier Print Direct's export settings files, please follow the guidelines below to create a PDF that is optimum for press and yet portable enough to upload via the web.
Standard: PDF/X-4 if possible; if not, set to none. If selecting PDF/X-4, all settings will be properly selected for you other than marks and bleeds. Please follow the specifications below for Marks and Bleeds.
Compatibility: PDF 1.4 or later
Image Downsampling: Colour 300, Gray 300, Monochrome 1200 ppi
Image Compression: Automatic JPEG, Quality: Maximum, or Compression: Low
Marks: Trim Marks only, offset: .125”
Bleeds: .125” for all 4 sides
Color Conversion: None
Fonts: include all (subset ok provided it includes the Base 14 fonts).
What if there is a problem with my file?
All submitted files are automatically pre-flighted for any possible problems. If there happens to be an issue with your file, we will notify you of this through email.
What if I have more questions?
Please contact your CSR or Sales rep or reach out to customer service on our Contact Us form.