Helpful information

Printing at any shop can be intimidating. That's why we've created guidelines for file preparation, as well as a collection of resources and tutorials.

File Preparation Guidelines

Please ensure that your file meets the following specifications:

  • We recommend preparing files in 'Press Quality' PDF format. For simple instructions on exporting a PDF from InDesign, click here. If you are unable to send a PDF, we also accept high-resolution JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and more. 

  • Please set up your file as "one-up". We use special in-house settings to impose files for our press. Example: for a business card file with color to the edge, you would set up your document size at 3.75"x2.25" and create one page for the front of the card and another for the back. 

  • Use a minimum of 300 DPI (image resolution) at output size. Try not to reduce resolution of any photos or logos while making your project, including when you are exporting your final file. 

  • 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.


Save time by using Bug Press PDF presets.
Download our custom joboption file for Adobe programs.
For more information and installation instructions,
click here

Bleed, Safe Area, 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. Example: for a standard business card, the full size of your document 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'. This will add red bleed guides around your artboard. Simply extend any background color or image to this guide.

Trim Line

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. 

Safe Area

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.

Common Project Sizes:


4.25"x5.5" size

with bleed: 4.5"x5.75"

3.375"x4.25" size

with bleed: 3.625"x4.5"

2.875"x4.25" size

with bleed: 3.125"x4.5"

3.5"x5.375" size

with bleed: 3.75"x5.625"


Business Cards

without bleed: 3.5"x2"
with bleed: 3.75"x2.25"


without bleed: 8.5"x11"
with bleed: 8.75"x11.25"


without bleed: 11"x17"
with bleed: 11.25"x17.25"

Note Cards (5x7 folded)

without bleed: 10"x7"
with bleed: 10.25"x7.25"


without bleed: 4"x6" or 5"x7"
with bleed: 4.25"x6.25" 5.25"x7.25"