Print Specifications

It is important to prepare your graphic design files so they are print-ready. This will save you time and money! Here are some specifications and tips for ensuring your files are ready to go when they reach the prepress department at Capital Colour.

Native Files Supported for Prepress Output

Ensure your project is designed in one of the following programs:

  • Adobe InDesign (CC 2017 or earlier)
  • Adobe Illustrator (CC 2017 or earlier)
  • Adobe Photoshop (CC 2017 or earlier)
  • Adobe Acrobat (CC 2017 or earlier)

We accept file formats including .ai, .eps, .indd, .psd and .pdf.

Projects created in Illustrator, or InDesign must include all fonts and linked files used to create the layout file. The collected working files should be compressed into .zip or .sit folders and sent along with the layout file.

Projects saved as PDF must be saved as a print-ready file in CMYK colour space (unless spot colors are required) with a minimum output of 300dpi.

Other Requirements for Optimizing your Print Files

  • Include crop marks.
  • For images that bleed, ensure there is a minimum of 1/8” beyond trimmed page size.
  • Include fold marks in the file (dotted line) if folding is required.
  • A minimum resolution of 300dpi for all photos and images.
  • Convert fonts to outlines or include font files when sending the layout file.
  • All color documents and/or imported color files should be CMYK or PMS spot color (not RGB). CMYK images should not be used in a spot color job.
  • All transparent objects (drop shadow effects, feather effects, and opacity) need to be flattened prior to file submission. 
  • Remove all unused text or graphics from the artboard outside the document image area.
  • Delete unused colors from the color palette in your application.



  • MS Word and other software programs not mentioned above are not accepted.
  • If you are sending as a print-ready PDF, always open it in Acrobat to make sure your file converted successfully.
  • Preflight the artwork before sending. You can do this manually, and by using the built-in preflight tools in Illustrator, or InDesign.
  • Provide a hard copy or low-resolution PDF viewing file along with your files.
  • Keep text and objects no closer than 3/16” from the trim line to ensure they are not cut off.
  • Proofread your project numerous times before sending the files. It will cost you money and time to make last minute changes or to stop the job while it’s printing to change any errors that were not caught.


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Have a project in mind? Contact us or request a quote today. A representative will be with you shortly.