Bleeds, Cut Line, Safety
Bleeds: Artwork that reaches the cutline need to be extended to the red line. Add a total of 0.25" to your original size for proper bleed. (0.125" to each side of your artwork)
Bleeds: Artwork extends to the red dotted line for proper bleed.
Safety: Text is inside the blue dotted line to prevent information from getting cut off.
Bleeds are required in all artwork with an image extending to one of the borders. Add an eighth of an inch (0.125") to each side to allow for cutting. For example, for a 4” x 6” postcard with full bleed, the image size should be submitted at 4.25” x 6.25” (red box).
0.125" (1/8”) on each edge of the card will be trimmed off during the cutting process. This will leave you a 4” x 6” standard post card (black box).
Your type (text) should be 0.125" (1/8”) inside the cut box on each side. This will guarantee your text to not be cut off from your artwork (blue box).
In this article I will discuss how to use Vistaprint for wedding stationery, including a site walk-through from start to finish. This beginner’s guide will show you how to create an account with Vistaprint, upload PDF images, and make sure your Love & Lavender wedding invitation, RSVP, or other printable look great.
Consider using an online printing company if you don’t have the time to print your wedding stationery at home. You gain more free time for planning your wedding and making other great DIY projects – yay!
Let’s get started.
Create an Account with Vistaprint
I have used Vistaprint for a few projects, and I know it can be overwhelming the first time you create an account and finally click the buy button on your stationery product.
To get started creating a new account click the button labelled “Sign In/My Account” at the top of Vistaprint’s website.
Fill in the standard form fields like email, first and last name, and choose a secure password.
You will notice the option ‘Yes, I want discounts and marketing tips by e-mail.’ I suggest leaving it checked, or if you uncheck the box a new option will appear that says ‘receive emails once a week‘. Some companies can overwhelm your email inbox with offers, so once a week may be more appropriate. Either way, it is a good way to receive the latest discounts directly in your inbox.
Click the Sign Up button and you are on your way. You will immediately be taken to your account page – the hub for navigating around Vistaprint.
Upload a PDF File to Vistaprint
You should have already created a printable using one of our online forms or downloadable PDF files. Perhaps you have a PDF file that bought somewhere else online or were able to find for free. In any case, remember where you stored this design file on your computer because you will need to access it for this step.
In this example, we are going to upload the Love & Lavender silhouette wedding invitation sized at 5 x 7 inches.
(click through the slideshow below)
Steps Corresponding to Slides Above:
- Navigate to the Invitations & Stationery tab and click on Wedding Invitations.
- Scroll Down to wedding invitations and click Get Started.
- Click Use your complete design and click the radio button 5×7 Flat.
- This will bring up a layout option. In most cases you will choose vertical layout and click continue.
- To upload your image click the Browse button
- Navigate to the folder where you saved your PDF file and select the file. Click Open.
That’s it! You should see the words Upload Complete – Your image resolution is excellent.
Click on the button labelled NEXT in order to proceed to the customization screen.
Customize Your Printable
I sometimes forget that not everyone is as familiar with online editing tools. That’s why I want to try and make it as simple as possible for you to follow along step-by-step as I go through the editing process. Let’s see how we can make sure you get the right quality from your Vistaprint product.
At this point you should see the customization screen below, with your printable design in the middle of the screen and common editing functions (basic, text, insert, advanced) above the design.
We will explore the additional ‘request a proof’ option in the next section.
First, let’s look at what we need to do to ensure our printable is correct.
Notice the dotted line on the inside of the example silhouette image above – that is called the safety line. When Vistaprint goes to print and cut your final invitations, they want to make sure that nothing important is OUTSIDE this line. In our case, the letters M and E from the groom’s name falls outside the dotted line.
What should we do? We need to slightly crop the image so that it falls with the margin of error for cutting. Hover your mouse over the image and a new tool box will appear. Click on Crop/Rotate to bring up the Crop/Rotate dialog box as pictured below.
In this case we need to select Scale to Fit so that the image is shrunk down to fit inside the cut marks. Click the OK button.
Now when you return to your printable invitation you will notice that the text falls inside the safety line. Problem solved!
There are other options you can play around with including adding an image, additional text, or adding a back side design to make your PDF printable double sided. I won’t get into these functions now and will save that for another article. Click NEXT and move on to the customize back side screen.
I simply select Blank Back side (above), as I don’t want to have anything on the back for this example wedding invitation. Again, feel free to add a back side if you prefer.
Request A PDF Proof
Before we click next and move on to the review function in Vistaprint I want to take a second to highlight the Request a PDF Proof option. You will notice just below the Blank Back side radio button is a link to Request a PDF proof. Click that link.
A dialog box pops up in the middle of your screen that reads, “You’ll receive a PDF proof of your design to review. We will alert you by email when your proof is ready. PDF proofs are available at no additional charge.” Simply click OK and wait for the PDF proof to be created.
Eventually you will get to the screen below where you can click to open a copy of your PDF document with the watermark ‘PROOF’.
We are finished with our online proof so let’s click OK and then NEXT to move on to the review function.
Review Your Design
The final step before payment is to review your design and make sure it looks the way you want. Vistaprint reminds you to check your design and make sure:
- Information is accurate and spelled correctly
- Text is legible and contrasts against background
- Images are clear and not blurry
- Nothing is too close to the margins
We have already done the online proof, so we can check the box that says, “Online Proof Approval I have checked for the above issues and approve my design.”
I complete my final review and everything looks good in my example silhouette invitation. Time for the checkout process.
Step One: Complete Your Order
Quantity – As you can see from the three slides below, I’m going with a quantity of 100 for my invitations and received a nice discount.
Paper Stock – I chose the included matte finish for this invitation. Upgrade prices are reasonable if you prefer a thicker and heavier weight paper or glossy paper type. Click the link Which stock is right for me? for a good comparison chart outlining each paper type.
Envelopes – Lastly, I picked the free white envelopes. They are a standard thin envelopes, not the best option if you envision an elegant stationery set mailed to your guests. For invitations in particular I would suggest ordering envelopes from somewhere else.
Step Two: Recommended For You
Some of the recommended products are actually a bit funny. I couldn’t imagine getting a large car door magnet and having my wedding invitation plastered on the side of my car for all to see! Nonetheless, you may want to browse and add a little something extra to your cart. I love my morning coffee, maybe a coffee mug might not be a bad idea after all.
Click NEXT and you are at the last screen. I promise!
Step Three: Checkout
The My Cart page provides a final overview of all the options and extras you selected in the guide above. In this case you can see I have my example 100 matte finish silhouette invitations with free white envelopes. Your final checkout overview page will likely look different than mine.
Don’t forget to add a promotional code if one is not already applied. There is always some sort of sale or deal from Vistaprint, like this one where you can get 40% off Invitations and Announcements. If you signed up for their newsletter in the inital account registration, then you likely have a promo code waiting in your email inbox.
Phew! We made it to checkout, good job! It seems like a lot of screens to get to the end, but some are not applicable and you can easily move forward to finish ordering your wedding stationery.
I think you can take it from here. Most people I know have experience completing an online transaction, and Vistaprint’s checkout process is no different: choose your shipping option, enter your contact details, payment details, and then finalize your order.
I hope this tutorial has shown you how to you can use Vistaprint to upload a printable file and create your wedding stationery.
Satisfaction Absolutely Guaranteed. The minimum order has a list price of $15 for 100 cards, though the service runs frequent discounts.Vistaprint's premium cardstocks—linen and recycled matte—list at $24 for a pack of 100. Other providers like GotPrint and MOO offer more size and shape options. The first comprise Standard 14pt, Premium 16pt, and Ultra-Thick 32pt, while specialty paper stocks include pearl, soft touch, linen, natural textured, recycled matte, Kraft (light-brown, 90% recycled), colored, uncoated, matte, and, glossy. Custom metal signs & personalized aluminum signs: display your name & logo for your business indoor / outdoor. Reddit is a network of communities based on people's interests. For example, I found a template that I otherwise liked, but I couldn't edit out clipart of a camera aperture that I didn't want. Vistaprint is the best online business card printing service we've tested, thanks to its combination of excellent print quality, good design tools, and reasonable prices. You then approve the design, choose the amount to print, add it to your cart, and enter payment info. This varies by template: With some I had no problem editing or replacing the design elements.MOO's templates are more cutting-edge, and I wish that Vistaprint's color selection were more versatile—the red of my template didn't match that of the logo, so a dropper tool would have been welcome.
Vistaprint is the best online business card printing service we've tested, thanks to its combination of excellent print quality, good design tools, and reasonable prices. MOO only offers four stock choices—Original, Cotton (100% recycled), Super, and Luxe—but it also adds a gold foil option, Letterpress (but only for preset designs, not for your text), as well as the unique NFC option, which opens your website on a smartphone when tapped.If you start by browsing the templates, you can filter them by a variety of industries (Art & Entertainment, Beauty & Spa, Manufacturing, and so on), personal (Events, Baby, Moving, and so on), by style, or by the designs' photo placement. When I added an image, though, a dialog informed me that its colors were detected and would be available for later editing. Excellent print quality. Find communities you're interested in, and become part of an online community! When going the upload route, you can use images from your Instagram and Facebook accounts, as well as directly upload pictures from your PC or phone. Of course, pricing shoots up when you choose such options, with folded cards starting at $43.75 for 500.
United Kingdom Australia België NL FR Brazil You are being redirected to our partner site, Printi. Other providers like GotPrint and MOO offer more size and shape options. A few upsells show up here, including thicker cardstock, wallets, and even a website builder option, but you can skip to the shopping cart.A spiffy new 360-degree preview appears on this penultimate ordering page, along with (again) choices for rounded corners and fancy paper grades and effects like pearl, metallic, or spot UV—that raised ink effect. Of course, pricing shoots up when you choose such options, with folded cards starting at $43.75 for 500. When I added an image, though, a dialog informed me that its colors were detected and would be available for later editing. A native New Yorker, he has at various times headed up PC Magazine's coverage of Web development, enterprise software, and display technologies. Bleeds are required in all artwork with an image extending to one of the borders. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology.PCMag, PCMag.com and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. I chose Standard shipping, and NY tax was $2.04, so my whole order came to $25.03. A few upsells show up here, including thicker cardstock, wallets, and even a website builder option, but you can skip to the shopping cart.A spiffy new 360-degree preview appears on this penultimate ordering page, along with (again) choices for rounded corners and fancy paper grades and effects like pearl, metallic, or spot UV—that raised ink effect.
Vistaprint’s online printing services empower small business across the UK to market themselves effectively.
8 common print file mistakes and how to avoid them
When a design client comes back to you complaining that their printer says that the files you gave them are unusable, it’s pretty embarrassing. As the professional, it’s supposed to be your job to take care of the technical side of things, not the client’s.
To help you avoid these types of situations, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common print file mistakes and how to fix them. For the purposes of this post we are going to open up PDF files (a common file used for printing) in Adobe Illustrator to demonstrate common print file mistakes.
For the examples, we’ve used a full-bleed business card design – this means that all graphics and images are supposed to extend all the way to the edge of the paper. No matter which program you use to create your print file in, it’s always good to provide an editable PDF file for your client and the printer.
PDF files are an awesome universal file format that can store high-res images, vector files, font information and more! All clients need to view PDF files is Adobe Reader – and most printers accept PDF files for print jobs.
The image above is a basic 3.5″ x 2″ business card template file. The document itself is 3.75″ x 2.25″ to accommodate a full bleed design. Here’s a breakdown of its components:
- The safety line (orange box) is the area inside which you should keep all text and graphics that you don’t want to be cut off by the printing machine.
- The trim line (dotted blue line) is the line along which the card is going to be cut by the machine.
- The bleed area (edge of paper) is the area that is going to be cut off by the machine, but make sure that this area is filled with image and color so that there is no white space left on your card when it is trimmed.
We’re going to include the trim line and the safety line in the examples below to demonstrate many of the of the most common print file mistakes. In final PDF print files, the guidelines should always be removed. Let’s get started on some of the most common print file mistakes:
1. No bleed areas included
The examples above show what a file looks like when no bleed area is included. This is probably the most common print file mistake out there. To fix files like this, start with document dimensions that are at full bleed size, make sure that all graphics extend fully to the edge and keep text within the safety line.
2. Text and graphics are not within the safety line
3. Incorrectly positioned borders
To solve this problem, making sure that all borders are either thick enough or placed well inside the blue safety line. Many printers actually recommend against adding borders because their cutters don’t always cut straight. To avoid this, consider not adding borders to your design.
4. Artboard size doesn’t match the size of the design
When creating your print file the art board, or canvas must match up with the edges of your print design. This makes it easier for the printer to add printer marks. If the printer has to adjust the dimensions of your file they may charge your client extra for that. To avoid this, start with a template file or set up your document so that it matches the dimensions of your design.
To set exact dimensions for your artboard, start by create a new document in the Adobe program of your choosing by clicking File > New. A window will appear prompting you to type in the exact number values of the dimension of your document. This way, you can be sure that your document dimensions are exact.
5. Leaving print guide layers in the file
6. Colors are in RGB, not CMYK
To avoid dramatic color differences between your on-screen and print designs, build out your designs in CMYK color mode first. Make sure that any images that are placed into the file are in CMYK as well. When you open a new file, make sure that your color mode is set to CMYK.
The image above shows to to check that your document is set to CMYK color mode in Adobe Illustrator. It’s also always a good idea to print at least 1 proof of the design, so that your client can check if they’re happy with the colors in the print before they print multiple copies of the design.
7. Resolution is too low
The images in the file above are set to about 72 PPI – not suitable for printing. Files needs to be at least 300 PPI for print jobs. To fix this, set your document resolution to 300 PPI before you start creating your design. Also make sure that any raster images or photos that you use are already set to 300 PPI before you place them in the print file.
Avoid sourcing your images from random websites, because the resolution will probably be too low – and because of copyright issues. Make sure that you use high resolution, print-quality image files from professional image sources.
8. Fonts aren’t embedded or outlined
When creating your PDF files, make sure that you embed the fonts or outline them. To outline your fonts in Illustrator simply select your text and click Type > Create Outlines. Creating a PDF may embed a font by default setting but it never hurts to outline your fonts, just to be safe.
If you do outline your fonts, be sure that your client legally owns the font in the design and that you give your client a version where the text is not outlined so that the content can be edited later. It’s important to checking that you’re not making these basic print file mistakes – some printers will charge your clients extra for fixing incorrect print files.
You want your clients to come to you with more print design jobs, and recommend your services, not the other way around. Now that we’ve gone through a bunch of basic print file mistakes, we’d like to provide a few examples of correct, print-ready files.
The download links below contain correct, print-ready, full-bleed PDF files of business card, letterhead and envelope designs. Feel free to download the files below and learn from them or check out our Templates Help Page for even more great information!
What other common print file mistakes have you seen? Share in the comments!
Vistaprint safety line
(Closed) Problems trying to print with Vistaprint
I’m getting ready to get my Save the Dates printed and wanted to go with Vistaprimy, because they have superior pricing. Especially since they’re doing 50% off right now. I purchased my design from a seller on Etsy, and I love it. The seller said the design was 5 x 7, so I chose that option on Vistaprint, and my design is too big.
Sorry about the size of the photo. As you can see, the edges of the design goes past the safety line which really disappoints me, because the edges are going to be cut off and it won’t look as nice. I tried editing it so it would fit within the safety line, but the only way I could get the entire design to fit within the lines, it had white edges. If I have to, I will leave the white edges and just trim them off when I get them, but I’d rather not do that if I can help it.
This is my first time doing anything like this, which is why I’m turning to you guys for help. Is there any way I can fix this? Or is there any other site like Vistaprint that has similar pricing? I tried CatPrint, but for what I needed the price turned out too high for me.
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