Next Wave Printing File Preparation & Submission Guidelines:

Here are some basic guidelines for submitting your files that will help you get the finished pieces you are expecting.

Of course, we can also prepare files for you – Hire one of our experienced designers today!

We require all files in PDF format- with crops and bleeds.

  • The document/page size of your document should match the finished trim size.
  • Elements that bleed, e.g., background, photos, rules, etc., should extend .125” (1/8”) outside the finished trim size. (This is the “bleed” area of a document.)
  • Elements that do not bleed should be .1875” (3/16”) inside the finished trim size. (This is considered the “live” area.) No type should be closer than .125″ to edge, to prevent being trimmed off.

What your PDF should look like with crops and bleeds:

Example of a file with crops and bleeds


Include a copy of all linked images and graphics with your files. All images and graphics should also meet the following requirements. Or, make sure you embed the images/files instead of placed links.

  • Color and Grayscale images should be 300 dpi at their intended print size.
  • Bitmap graphics and line art should be 1200 dpi at their intended print size.
  • Color images and graphics should be converted to the CMYK color space for the truest representation of what they will look like when they are printed.


Unless you have embedded the fonts in a PDF, flattened the layers of a Photoshop document, or converted the fonts to an outline form in an Illustrator file, include copies of all of the fonts used in your project to make sure that the type reproduces correctly. (With so many variations of fonts available today, it is the only way to assure that you get what you saw when you created your document.) We prefer that you convert fonts to outlines before making your print ready PDF.


Include an up to date jpg proof with your files. (This helps assure that everything you expected to be in your files is there as well as indicates things like fonts or photos that are missing.)

We will compare the PDF to the JPG- before we send the file to press.


The best applications to use for your printed projects are in the Adobe Creative Suite and include:

  • Adobe Illustrator (for logos and graphics)
  • Adobe InDesign (for page and document layout — using the “Package” feature in InDesign also helps insure that all of the photos, graphics and fonts you used are packaged in a single folder)
  • Adobe Photoshop (for photos and illustrations)
  • Adobe Acrobat (for all-inclusive PDFs with trim marks — our preferred file type)


For files like doorhangers, pull up banners or envelopes- we highly recommend you request one of our templates for building your files.


We accept files on CD or DVD discs, or via email. Please note that email transfers should be limited to 20mb in size, and it is recommended that you Stuff or Zip all files pertinent to your document into a single, compressed file before sending them for optimum results.

You can also use a file share service like DropBox. Contact us for a free invite.