Tools and resources

It's in the details

The details are what make any project successful. We want to make sure you have all of the details to succeed whether you are a seasoned graphic design, project manager, or this is your first time ever touching a computer. Below is where you can find details to give you a leg up on specific project types.

If you have any questions along the way please contact us so we can help you further.

File prep tips


For any custom print projects that fall outside the scope of the standardized brand items listed above, there are a few considerations that should be taken into account before submitting to a print vendor:

  • Bleed: Check with your printer to verify the amount of bleed, if any, they will need for their projects. ⅛” or 1/16” bleed is a typical requirement for most printers. Ensure that all graphics and background colors extend into the bleed box, and that bleeds are enabled when exporting a print-ready PDF. For more detailed instructions, follow this tutorial.
  • PDF format: The most common PDF format for printing is PDF/X-1a.
  • Transparencies: Ensure that all transparencies are flattened before submitting a print-ready PDF, as transparencies can interact differently with different processing software and produce unintended results if left unflattened. Learn more 
  • Colors: Double-check your document for consistent use of colors. Learn how to evaluate if the colors in your print-ready PDF is the Print Production tool in Adobe Acrobat. 
  • Fonts: Ensure that all fonts are either embedded into your document or converted to outlines. All fonts should follow brand standards.
  • Packaged files: It is helpful to submit a packaged native file if working in Adobe InDesign along with a print-ready PDF in case the printer needs to make any changes. Learn more about packaging InDesign files. 
  1. Both spiral binding and the wire-o binding generally share the same design tips.
  2. Margins: You must be mindful of the hole drilling on the binding edge of the book during the design process. An easy way to prepare for this is to set your binding-side margins to 3/8".
  3. Spine Printing: You cannot print on the spine of a spiral or a wire-o book.
  4. Crossovers, or images that span two inside spread pages, are not recommended for spiral or wire-o binding. The gap between page spreads and the spiral or wire will create an obtrusive break in a full crossover spread. Full bleeding images are entirely acceptable.

Saddle stitch books consist of folded signatures so you need to make sure your final page count is in multiples of 4 pages. This method of binding usually does well with graphics going across spreads to show off your full photos across pages or large charts.

When you export your design to send to us for printing make sure you export as single pages and not spreads. Your design should follow the same bleed settings as defined in the basics.

Perfect binding deals with binding cut sheets into a cover with glue so you need to make sure your final page count of your interior pages is in multiples of 2. Your cover can be saved as a separate file and can have printing on the inside or be blank on the inside. If you have enough pages to create a thick enough spine you can incorporate a spine design as well.

When you export your design to send to us for printing make sure you export as single pages and not spreads. Your design should follow the same bleed settings as defined in the basics.

Books


Clear cover and vinyl back: In the Print Lab, we offer the option of having a clear plastic cover front and a black vinyl back cover for spiral and wire-o binding or your custom cover. These options are there to provide extra durability to your printed project. This works exceptionally for projects such as cookbooks or employee handbooks.

Pages: Spiral and wire-o orders must be in two-page increments. Save your print-ready PDF with each single-facing page for your project, including the front and back cover. Upload pages in this order:

Size: Our standard sizes for spiral and wire-o are as follows:

Portrait:  8.5 x 11 | 5.5 x 8.5 | 6 x 9 | 4.25 x 11

Landscape: 11 x 8.5 | 8.5 x 5.5 | 9 x 6

Square: 6 x 6 | 8 x 8 | 10 x 10

Paper: For Spiral and Wire-o Binding, for the pages we recommend 100# Matte cover or 100# Matte text. However, if the project is a workbook or journal meant to be written in, we recommend 60# uncoated text.

Whether you choose spiral coil binding or wire binding, the Print and Imaging Lab provides exceptional spiral binding services and wire o binding services. If neither of these bookbinding types fit you for your project, consider our two most popular bookbinding types: Saddle Stitch or Perfect Bound books.

File fixes


Select "Design", located near the top left of the PowerPoint window.

design

Select the "Slide Size" dropdown, located near the top right of PowerPoint.

slidesize

Select "Custom Slide Size...".

customsize

  • Change the "Width" and "Height" text boxes to your specified size.

NOTE: SIZES MUST BE 23in X 35in OR 35in X 23in.

  • Save your PowerPoint slide as a PDF.

changesize

Using this method may take up to 10 minutes depending on your file size.

1. Go to smallpdf.com

2. Select "Compress PDF"

compress

3. Select your file

  • Drag and drop your file into the orange box.

OR

  • Select "Choose File".
  • Navigate to your file.
  • Select your file.
  • Select "Open

choosefile

4. File compression will automatically start.

File compression may take up to 10 minutes depending on your file size.

uploading

5. Download your compressed file.

Your file will be located in your "downloads" folder.

download