Print-Preparation Overview

If preparing your own artwork, avoid last minute layout corrections by using our free templates.

Large-Run vs. Short-Run

Printing processes between manufacturing and short-run orders differ for both media and insert printing. Please ensure you are aware of the process your files have been created for, and that the files ave been prepared accordingly.

Image Resolution

Image resolution determines the overall quality of the printed images and text. Sometimes what may look great on the screen looks “computerized” or blurry when printed. High-resolution files will print a high quality image, while low-resolution files result in a pixellated image. Number 9 strongly recommends files at a resolution of 300 “dots per inch” (dpi) for optimum print results. This must be set at the very beginning of creating your file – a a low-resolution image can’t be enhanced.

Colour Space

There will always be slight variations between colours as they appear on the screen and how they print. To minimize the discrepency, it is important to be aware of the colour space of your files. Graphic files should be set to CMYK for colour printing and greyscale for black and white printing. If using special inks, such as Pantone PMS, additional preparation will be necessary.

File Formats

PDF is the recommended format for all print elements, but Number 9 is able to accept file submissions in any standard professional image format – Photoshop (.psd), Illustrator (.ai), InDesign (.indd), PDF (.pdf), TIFF (.tif). Be sure to embed all images to avoid missing links. Fonts should be outlined, converted to shapes, or flattened/rasterized (at 300dpi) to ensure consistency of appearance; Number 9 will not accept font files for installation on our system.

Make sure you have a backup – Number 9 is not responsible for damaged or corrupted material. Please do not submit Word documents or files made with CD label-making software.


If your artwork needs a little tweaking, Number 9 offers complete design solutions to fit your need. Anything from page layout to complete creative design from scratch.

Design file submission checklist:

  • Resolution is 300 DPI
  • Colour space is set correctly
  • File is saved in a standard file format (PDF recommended)
  • Submitted CD is marked with your name and project title

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