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Preparing a photoshop file for commercial printing

We understand many people will be using Photoshop to create their documents for printing.

Our standard view on photoshop is that it is fantastic for editing photos, if you want to layout text then use a Desktop Publishing programme.

However, if Photoshop is the only programme you have then please follow these steps to help ensure the best quality you can.

Firstly - Remember to allow for Bleed if your document has images up to the edges. Make your document 3mm bigger on all 4 edges and place guides to indicate the page edge and try to keep all your images at 300dpi for printing.

Also, remember to allow 5mm margins (safe zone) from the edge of your document for anything you would like to keep.

Secondly - Convert all your text layers to shapes. Select the text layer, right click and select convert to shape.  This keeps the text as curves when exporting to pdf, helps prevent your text looking pixelated.

Lastly - Save as a Photoshop PDF.  Do not flatten the document or convert to JPEG, you want to keep your document as a vector, not a flat rasterized picture, alternatively export as an EPS


For example to create business cards of 85mm by 55mm, 
we initially create a document 91mm by 61mm which is 3mm bigger on each side than the finished required document size of 85mm by 55mm.
Photoshop Dialogue Box 


We then add guides to all four sides, 3mm from the edges to indicate the finished page edge.
(These would be: Top 3mm, Right 88mm, Bottom 58mm & Left 3mm)

(The white is our document area, the black frame is our desktop)


Then we then add guides to all four sides, 8mm from the finished page edges to indicate the safe zone/margin of 5mm.
(These would be: Top 8mm Right 83mm, Bottom 53mm & Left 8mm).  We recommend 5mm for business cards, 8mm for an A5 and 10mm for an A3.


We have added boxes on this sample to help visualise the areas for demonstration purposes.


With this example we will add a picture to the background as this image is wanted to go to the edges of the card
we have made the graphic go to the edge of the bleed area which is the edge of our document, whilst remembering 
that anything that passes over the page edge guide will be cut away.


Now we"ve added some simple text. We ensure that the text does not go over our margin guides.


Once we are happy with the design we would 'Save as a new document'. Ready to convert our text to paths,
as once this is done we will be unable to amend the text, Using the new document, we select a text layer, 
right click and select convert to shape, repeating for the rest of the text layers.


Once the text is converted we are ready to turn off/delete any layers we don"t want to be printed and the save the document as a "Photoshop PDF" ready for commercial printing or as a Photoshop file for printing.

This is now ready for uploading for commercially printing.


Here is the link for the Photoshop Template with Bleed and Crop Marks as well.

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