Using Our Templates
We created our design templates with you in mind. Whether a novice or design professional, you can use these templates to ensure the files you send us will print the way you want them to. That said, here are instructions to help you get started.
- Download your template from our template library. You can use either the JPG or PDF file. We suggest using the PDF version, but both will work fine in InDesign.
- Open InDesign and create a new file (File > New).
- Set the page size to match the dimensions of the finished print piece. For example, if you're using an 8.5 x 11 (portrait) template, make the dimensions 8.5 x 11 (portrait).
- Set all four Bleeds and Margins to 0.125 inches.
- With the document now ready, select File > Place, and choose the template file you just downloaded and saved.
- Place your cursor in the upper left-hand corner of the document, click your mouse, and the template will appear on the page. Make sure its corners line up with the outer edge of the inDesign document.
Why the Extra Space?
The 1/4 inch of extra space is intended for bleeds. Bleeds are text or images that extend all the way to the edge of the finished page. Since printing equipment can't always accommodate printing all the way to the edge of the page, extra space must be added to allow for it. This excess space (1/8 inch on all sides) is then trimmed off as part of the production process.
Our templates include guidelines to help you in laying out your project. We recommend adding guides to your document that correspond with each of these lines, as well. One of the lines we include marks off the safety margin. It runs the perimeter of the entire document (1/8 inch inside the cut line), and all text should remain inside this margin. Any text that extends beyond the safety margin will fall outside the mechanical tolerances of our paper-cutting equipment and may get cut off inadvertently. Add your own guides as needed. Those guides can't go past our guidelines, however. For templates that include a fold (such as a tri-fold brochure), we recommend adding guides at the fold lines and 1/8 inch on either side of the fold as safety margins for each panel as well.
When designing for print it's important to use high-resolution images with CMYK color. While 72 dpi and RGB are acceptable (and preferable) for web-based viewing, print-based images need to be 300 dpi and must use CMYK. Otherwise, they will not reproduce properly on printing equipment. For more about image resolution, visit this help center article.
Making Sure Black is Black
We all know about shades of gray, but in printing, there are also varying shades of black. For richer, darker black, we recommend a CMYK setting of C=30%, M=30%, Y=30%, and K=100%. This is known as Rich Black.
One Final Step (IMPORTANT)
Once you have your design in place and ready to go, remove the template from your file. Otherwise, all our guidelines will be included on the final print piece.