How to set up documents for printing with correct crop marks and image quality

All files should be converted to CMYK, layers need to be flattened before it is sent to print. It is always good to keep a copy of the master file as layers, incase you need to modify it again.


Trim Marks

The artwork will be cut on the trim mark (blue line).


Full Bleed

Coloured backgrounds or images that continue to the edge of the product must be past the trim marks (blue line) to the full bleed margin (black line). If they do not continue to the full bleed margin you will most likely end up with white strips along the edges.


Safe Zone

The text or other elements (pictures) you want to guarantee NOT to be trimmed off must be placed within the safe zone (red line). If they are placed directly next to the trim mark (blue line) the text will be cut off.


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Common Print Setup Mistakes



File is in incorrect spec dimensions. File is not correct for printing resolution. Needs to be 300 pixels / inch.


The card will be cut on the trim mark (blue line) and red mark is the safe zone. Image file is in correct dimensions with the 3mm bleed. Image file is in proper printing resolution (300 pixels / inch).






The text is outside of the safe zone.

This information will be cut off.


All the text and important graphics are inside the safe zone.



“No Bleed” – Background is not fully extended to the edge. This will cause white strips to be around your card after it is cut.


Background extends all the way to the edge on all sides. Card will be trimmed properly.



“Pixelated” – Text & images are not in Hi-Resolution. Your files must be in 300 pixels resolution. We do not recommend using web images for print.


File and images used are in proper print resolution and will print correctly and be clear.