HELPful information

Printing at any shop can be intimidating. That's why we've created guidelines for printing, as well as a collection of regularly updating resources, like tutorials, time saving tricks, and shortcuts. 

Guidelines for printing at Bug Press:

Please make sure your file meets the following specifications:

  • We recommend uploading files in 'Press Quality' PDF format. For simple instructions on exporting a PDF from InDesign, CLICK HERE. If you can't send a PDF, we also accept JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and more. 


  • Use a minimum of 300 DPI (image resolution) at output size. Try not to reduce resolution at all while making your project, including when you are exporting your final file. For a more detailed explanation of image resolution, CLICK HERE.


  • CMYK colorspace is recommended (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, blacK). These are industry standard colors for printed materials. CMYK is different than RGB (Red, Green, Blue) used for digital display. RGB is accepted here at Bug, and sometimes produces great effects, but color will shift. 


  • Include a 0.125 inch bleed on all sides of trim line if you want color to the edge.


  • Ensure all important elements are 0.125 inches within trim line. This prevents losing information during cutting. 


Here is a simple explanation of bleed, safe areas, and trim:

Example of bleed, trim line, and safe area in a business card project.

Example of bleed, trim line, and safe area in a business card project.


A bleed is the portion of your design that extends past the trim size. The bleed is cut off when the document is trimmed to its final size. The purpose of a bleed is to ensure that the design or background color extends to the very edge and that no white edges are visible. A 0.125 inch bleed on all sides is required for all projects with a background color or photograph that extends to the edge. For a standard business card, the full size with bleed would be 3.75 x 2.25 inches.

To create a bleed: In Adobe InDesign or Illustrator, go to File > Document Setup and enter 0.125 inches for Bleed, then click 'Ok'. It will add bleed guides around your artboard. Simply extend any background color or image to this guide. 


The trim line is the final dimension of your project. Artwork and photographs must extend past the trim size (see "Bleed") to avoid white edges or loss of information after cutting. For a standard business card, the trim size would be 3.5 x 2 inches. 


This area is located within the trim line. It is smaller than the final size of your project. Any critical information, such as logos, text, or imagery, should be located within the safe area to avoid being cut off during processing. A 0.125 inch safe area within the trim line is strongly suggested for all projects. For a standard business card, the safe area would be 3.25 x 1.75 inches.

When ordering online, all project descriptions list the trim size and full bleed size to make file creation easier. 





We've put together some tutorials and shortcuts that would be helpful if you are creating your own file for upload. Please follow the Print Guidelines above to ensure the best quality results.


Exporting files to PDF

PDFs are the preferred file type to work with for print. They preserve layout and color, allow fonts to remain intact, and can prevent rasterizing of company logos or important elements. Here are instructions to export PDFs from a variety of common design programs. 


Tips & Tricks: Adobe Shortcuts

When creating files yourself, it's important to have a good understanding of the controls available to you. Adobe shortcuts allow you to quickly access commands and settings without using the mouse. 



For business cards, flyers, and posters, here are some tutorials for building your own projects. Also includes how to export a properly formatted 'Press Quality' PDF.