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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. Use the JPG version, as this file will work better in Publisher.
- Open Publisher and create a new file.
- Select Page Design at the top of the page, and hit the small expander box next to Page Setup to open the Page Setup dialog.
- Set both the height and the width 0.25 inches larger than the size of the finished printed piece. For example, if you're using an 8.5 x 11 brochure template, make the dimensions 8.75 x 11.25 inches instead. A standard 2 x 3.5 inch business card would need to be 2.25 x 3.75 inches.
- Choose File at the top of the page, then select Info > Commercial Print Settings > Choose Color Model.
- A Color Model dialog box will appear. Pick "Process colors (CMYK)." An alert will appear. Hit OK, then hit OK on the Color Model dialog to save your settings.
- With the new document now ready, select Insert > Picture, and choose the JPG file you downloaded from our website. The template will now appear on your page.
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.