You will need crop marks if you are sending the files to us for printing. This will aid us in setting up your files into its final layout. While we will have the info on the final size of your printed piece, your crop marks in your file will help us determine that we are including all the elements you intended and in their proper place. This is especially important when your design will bleed off the page. How to place crop marks on your file, in Illustrator will depend on your CS version.

In CS3 or older – Filter > Create > Crop marks


In CS4 and newer – Effect > Crop marks

If you created your design in Illustrator and set up your artboard to measure the finished size of your printed piece, the crop marks will be outside the artboard. You will need to save your file with an eps extension so the crop marks will be included. You can then save the file as a PDF and send us both EPS and PDF. If you save as an AI extension, the crop marks were left off outside your artboard and not included in your file.

If you created your design on a larger artboard, use the rectangle tool to draw a box the desired size around your design. It will temporarily block your design until you go to your Color window and click on the white square with the red diagonal stripe. Using the selection arrow, move your box around until it’s the correct size and in the preferred place of your design. Add crop marks and save as a PDF.

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Posted in: Commercial Printing, File Preparation, File Preparation