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File Set Up GuideUpdated 9 months ago

Proper file setup is essential to creating quality design work, so we've prepared this guide to help you make the best designs possible. 

Our Process

When placing your order, our Graphics Team will review your items to ensure all artwork requirements are fulfilled. We will correct any technical errors and send you an online proof for your approval before we make your items. 

There may be some errors that we can't fix for technical reasons or fixing them would change the creative direction of your art. For these issues, we will send an email detailing what needs to be done, and you will be able to make the required changes to your artwork. 

Set-Up Checklist

  • Artwork size is appropriate for the product & size ordered
  • Artwork Properly uses the bleed area
  • Important elements are within the safety area
  • Images are the correct resolution
  • Specialty inks and wax seal artworks are in vector format
  • All fonts are outlined & images are embedded

The Steps

1. Set up Document with Bleeds & CMYK Color Mode 

We recommend Downloading Our Templates, allowing you to skip this step. Our templates also include guidelines so you can easily place your artwork within the safety and bleed areas.

  1. Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new file by either clicking the “New file” button or navigating to File > New (Ctrl + N) 
  2. Set the width and height to match the size of the item you are designing. You can submit art in either portrait or landscape orientation. 
  3. Set the bleed to 0.125” for all dimensions. (top, bottom, left, and right) 
  4. Set "Color Mode" to "CMYK"  

2. Compare Artwork To Guidelines

  1. Make sure essential elements are within the safety area (1/8" from the edge for print and 1/16" for wax seals)
  2. Fill the bleed area with elements that go off the edge, such as backgrounds or floods
  3. Ensure raster images are at least 300 dpi
  4. For text, use a font size above 8pt
  5. Use a line weight above 0.5pt for fine lines

3. Create and assign Spot Colors for Specialty Products 

This step is only required for Specialty products like our White Ink Cards or Wax Seals.

  1.  Ensure all Specialty artwork is in vector format to assign spot colors
  2. Open the Swatches panel by navigating to Window > Swatches 
  3. Create a new swatch by clicking on the “+” button on the lower right of the panel 
  4. Change the Swatch Color Type to Spot Color, and fill in the Swatch Name and CMYK values using the chart below 

Swatch NameCMYK ValuesDescription
White InkC:0 M:100 Y:0 K:0Used to specify which portions of your design should be printed with White Ink.
Full DepthC:0 M:100 Y:0 K:100Used to determine which portions of your wax seals will be the most raised. Ideal for outlines, line art, and logos
Half DepthC:0 M:100 Y:0 K:50Used to specify which portions of your wax seals you want to be half raised. Perfect for backgrounds, fills, or minor details.

4. Embed Images & Outline Fonts

This step is crucial as if you send files without embedded images or outlined fonts, we will not be able to view them in our software.

  1. Embed images by selecting the image and clicking “Embed” on the top bar. 
  2. Outline fonts by selecting text and navigating Type > Create Outlines (Shift + Ctrl + O)

5. Save File For Print 

  1. Please provide a separate file for each item. For double-sided print, provide a PDF with two pages.
  2. Navigate to File > Save As, and change "Save As Type:" to "Adobe PDF," then click "Save."
  3. In the "Save Adobe PDF" dialog box, change "Adobe PDF Preset:" to "PDF/X-4:2008."

Pro Tip: Designing multiple items in one Illustrator file? Use File > Export > Export For Screens, then choose PDF format with "Export PDFs As: Single File" selected. Be sure to change the PDF export format to PDF/X.

Congratulations! Your file is now fully production-ready, and you can upload your artwork online to place your order. For assistance on your files, place your order as usual, and our Graphics Team will assist you in making any required changes or provide feedback to help make those changes.

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