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Layout Guide

Creating Print-Ready Files

General specifications are similar for all print projects. Contact us for exact specs for your project.

  • Keep readable text at least 3/16″” from trim edge. This prevents your layout from looking off-center.
  • Raster formats (tiff, png, jpg) should be at least 350 dpi for best print results.
  • Vector files should have text converted to curves/outlines. This will prevent unwanted font substitution upon file transfer.
  • Use CMYK mode when submitting full color files. (RGB is for screen viewing only.)

Print Layout Basic Guide


Preparing Files for Print

Iconix can work with just about any computer graphics format, but certain formats are better for certain types of printing.

Bleeds: when color prints to the edge of a piece, we require a 0.1″ bleed area. Extend the color 0.1″ beyond the trim edge of your layout.

Fonts: For most projects, you’ll want to convert text to curves (or outlines, depending on your software). This will prevent unwanted font substitution when we open your files on our end. The exceptions are books and other multi-page layouts. For these, you should embed fonts when saving.

Full Color Process Printing

Save your file as PDF for Press; CMYK; bitmaps at 350 dpi or greater; fonts as curves, outlines, or properly embedded (especially for books).

Spot Color Printing

Includes most custom colors and processes: raised ink, foil stamping, embossing, and engraving.
Use vector formats for best results. Vector programs like CorelDRAW and Illustrator export to PDF for best transfer. Text should be converted to curves or outlines.

Book Printing

PDF for Press is required. Word files may incur additional charges to make press ready. We’ll always inform you of any additional charges before work commences. Covers should be separate files, laid out to include spine width, and 1/8″ bleeds.


Export as PDF. Be sure to convert fonts to outlines.


Send PDF with fonts properly embedded.


Publish to PDF for Press. Be sure to convert text to curves or embed fonts.


Send Photoshop PDF. Preserve vector information, and convert fonts to outlines.


Export as PDF for Press.

If you have any formatting questions, feel free to contact Iconix.

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