InDesign CS2 — How to set up a postcard file for a commercial printing company

Digital printing services,postcard,business cards,poster,flyers,letterhead,fridge magnet,docket book > Product information > Postcards > InDesign CS2 — How to set up a postcard file

 

Below is some help on how to set up your press-ready postcard file when you are using Adobe InDesign. Whilst the images are from an Apple-Mac, the process is all but identical when you use a PC.

 

How to set up a postcard file in Adobe InDesign

Open your new file by choosing File > New > Document (see below image)

 

You will be presented with the Adobe InDesign New Document dialogiue box shown below. Please fill in the details correctly:

  1. A postcard can be either single- or double-sided. If it is single-sided, then place the number "1" in the Number of Pages box. If it is to be double-sided, then place the number "2" in the Number of Pages box.
  2. You must now enter the correct Width and Height in the boxes.
    • A7 postcards are 105mm wide x 74mm high — 1/8th the size of an A4 sheet.
    • A6 postcards — 148mm wide x 105mm high — ¼qtr the size of an A4 sheet.
    • A5 postcards — 210mm wide x 148mm high — ½ the size of an A4 sheet.
    • DL postcards — 210mm wide x 99mm high — 1/3rd the size of an A4 sheet.
  3. If you know what the Columns box is about, then you are already skilled. If you do not know what the Columns box is about, then enter the number "1", as most postcards are one colums (almost certainly the front will be one column).
  4. Enter the number "5" in all the Margin boxes (Safety Margins will be explained later).
  5. Enter the number "5" in all the Bleed boxes (Bleeds will be explained later).
  6. Make sure you click the correct Orientation. Almost all postcards are landscape, and the right button is the landscape layout.
  7. If you have no colums, then make the Gutter "0".

You should now click the "OK" button.

 

You will be presented with a screen that contains the below screen shot.

  • The black line is the finished size of your postcard. this is where the postcard will be trimmed down to size.
  • The inner cyan line (a purple line for the blokes) is the Safety Margin line. Any image or text that is vitally important MUST be inside this line. If your postcard is going to have a background colour or image, and you are going to have a white border, then the background colour or image MUST be inside this line.
  • The our red line is the Bleed line. If you have any text or image or background colour that is going to print right to the very edge of your postcard, then you MUST continue the text or image or background colour pst the trim line and onto the bleed line.

 

Below is a finished Adobe InDesign DL postcard file. As you can see, there is a white border on the card, so the images are within the cyan Safety Margin lines.

 

If you are happy with your postcard file, then you can save it. Please make sure that you give the file a name that describes the card and whatv type of card it is. In the below example, the card has been named Roslyn House DL postcard (it is easily identified and we can easily see what type of product is being printed.

If you are happy, click the Save button.

You can now send your Adobe InDesign postcard file to your commercial printing company.

However, TheOnliinePrinter suggests you might be better off if you send a PDF, with the text outlined, and here's why:

  • PDFs are stable documents thatv travel well over the Internet. This is normally the case with Adobe InDesign files, but not always. So, make your file more stable by converting it to a PDF.
  • PDF documents are normally smaller than Adobe InDesign files, so PDFs are easier to E-mail or upload to your commercial printer.
  • Your commercial printer might not be licensed to use the fonts that you use. Even if you take the trouble to send the fonts that use used to your commercial printer, your printer might not be able to use them (some fonts are embeded with a license number that your printer might not have, or your printer might be able to use those fonts but will choose not to use them (TheOnlinePrinter does NOT use fonts that TheOnlinePrinter is not licensed to use). Outlining fonts solves this issue entirely.

 

How to convert text to outlines on an Adobe InDesign postcard file

 Below is a screen shot of an Adobe InDesign DL postcard file with some text. Let's see how to outline the text — it is easy.

 

Simply choose Edit > Select All (see below).

 

All the text boxes should now be highlighted, with drag boxes in the corners an at the sides of each highlight (see below).

 

Now choose Type > Create Outlines (see below).

 

Your text should now be traced with a mottled light blue line (see below). if it is, then your text has been converted to outlines.

You can now save your Adobe InDesign file, and the text will be outlined.

 

How to convert an Adobe InDesign postcard file to a PDF

Converting your Adobe InDesign postcard file to a PDF is simple. 

Choose File > Export (see below).

 

Name your file and make sure the Format drop-down menu is set at Adobe PDF (see below).

 

You will now be presented with the Export Adobe PDF dialogue box, and the General tab in the left-hand column should be highlighted (see below). Make sure the Adobe PDF Preset drop-down menu at the top of the dialogue box is set at Press Quality.

 

Now click the Compression tab in the left-hand column. The Export Adobe PDF dialogue box should change to the below screen shot. Make sure the Color Images and Greyscale Images boxes are both set at 300 ppi and 450 ppi, and ensute that the Monochrome Images box is set at 1200 ppi and 1800 ppi.

 

Now click Marks and Bleeds tab in the left-hand column. The Export Adobe PDF dialogue box should change to the below screen shot The only marks that TheOnlinePrinter wants on your PDF are the crop marks, so tick the Crop Marks box.

Lastly, make sure the Bleed boxes all have the number "3" in them.

Once all this is done, you can click the Save button, and then send your press-ready PDF to your printing company.