print-ready files

Guide to Print Ready Files

Marnie Kunz

December 22nd, 2023

5 min read time

In today’s world of customizing and printing, using a print ready file can greatly improve your ecommerce business’ efficiency and overall workflow. If you’re doing custom digital printing or thinking about it, this article will highlight the importance of print ready files and offer insights and examples of how they are used in business. We’ll explore the concept of a print ready file, its importance in custom product manufacturing, and offer some valuable tips on leveraging this tool to its fullest potential. Print ready files offer blueprints to create the best custom products, making them essential to high-quality production and customer satisfaction.

What Is a Print Ready File?

A print ready file is a digital file generated for printing purposes. Print ready files contain all of the information and specifications that a printer needs to bring your custom designs to life accurately. These generated files meet all the requirements and specifications for high-quality printing. They help translate your customers’ wishes into reality with a finely-tuned printing process.

A print ready file includes necessary elements like bleeds, crop marks, and color profiles to ensure accurate reproduction of your design during the production process. Print ready files are formatted correctly with high-resolution graphics and CMYK color formatting for printing. The files also include bleed, which is extra space around your design that gets trimmed off during printing. A print ready format also includes margins, which are the safe zones within the bleed where no content should be placed.

The Importance of Print Ready Files in Custom Product Manufacturing

Using a print ready file feature gives your custom products business many advantages, from customer satisfaction to faster production and delivery times. Print ready files set the stage for creating high-quality, precise products that your customers love. Here are some of the benefits of using a print ready format for your custom product manufacturing process:

Ensures precision and quality. Print ready files are designed to uphold the highest precision standards, ensuring every detail of your custom product designs is captured exactly as the customers intend. In addition, a print ready file gives your customer the best quality products since you can uphold high-resolution, accurate color representation and details during manufacturing. 

Reduces errors and reprints. The chances of encountering mistakes during printing are significantly reduced when you use print-ready files, eliminating costly reprints. You’ll have fewer errors and manufacturing costs.

Streamlines the production process. The manufacturing process is simplified with a print ready file since all the necessary elements are in a single and ready-to-use format. 

Saves time. Print-ready files eliminate the need for time-consuming adjustments and corrections, allowing for faster production times. You can meet tight deadlines more easily and offer faster delivery times for your customers. 

Gives more flexibility. Having your design in a print-ready format gives your business greater flexibility and more potential customization in the future. You can easily share the file with different manufacturers or platforms or use it for future orders without recreating everything from scratch. 

Demonstrates professionalism. Submitting print-ready formats demonstrates professionalism and respect for a manufacturer’s time and expertise. It shows your custom products business has taken the necessary steps to ensure a smooth process, fostering trust and opening doors to better deals and relationships with manufacturers.

Examples of Print Ready Files in Custom Products Businesses

For custom product businesses, print-ready files are the crucial bridge between your customer’s vision and the final product. These digital blueprints ensure a smooth and efficient printing process, minimizing errors and increasing customer satisfaction. Here are some examples of print ready formats for different custom product categories:

  • Custom t-shirt businesses use high-resolution image files (PNG, PDF, EPS) that should be at least 300 DPI (dots per inch) for optimal printing quality. Custom shirt businesses can find vector files on sites like Vecteezy. Vectors are ideal for logos or designs with intricate details. Vector files can be scaled infinitely without losing quality. Popular formats for vectors include AI, EPS, and SVG.

  • Custom mugs are another niche business that often includes a print ready format for each design. Custom mug printing companies may provide downloadable templates with designated printing areas to ensure designs fit well on products. This ensures accurate, streamlined production and reduces printing errors and production costs. 

  • Custom posters and print businesses often use print ready files. Posterjack offers custom photo printing and emphasizes submitting print-ready files for smooth and accurate printing. The custom photo printing company provides detailed guidelines and resources, including recommended file formats, resolutions, and bleed requirements.

Tips for Using Print Ready Files

When you’re preparing your files for printing, consider these features. Check with your printing company to ensure you meet all of the requirements for your particular manufacturer and product. 

  • Know your printer’s requirements. Printers have different file formats, resolutions, and color profiles preferences. Check the specifications of your custom printer’s requirements or reach out directly to clarify any questions. This ensures your files are compatible with their equipment and avoids delays or errors.

  • Choose the right file format. When it comes to saving your file, make sure you adhere to the accepted format. Accept a format that preserves formatting and ensures compatibility between printing systems, such as PDF, when saving your file. For most print jobs, PDF is the industry standard. For vector graphics, EPS or SVG files are ideal. Avoid using formats like Word or PowerPoint, as they lack the precision needed for high-quality printing.

  • Use vector graphics for logos and icons. Vector graphics can be scaled to any size without losing quality and detail. This makes them perfect for logos, icons, and any element that needs to be sharp at different sizes.

  • Check image resolution. Verify your file’s resolution before printing. Lower resolutions, such as 200 DPI (dots per inch), could create a blurry or pixelated print. For optimal print quality, use a resolution of at least 300 DPI.

  • Convert fonts to outlines. Embedding fonts within your file ensures consistent rendering across different systems. You can also convert your text to outlines (called “vectorizing”) for maximum compatibility and to prevent font substitution issues.

  • Use CMYK colors. Before submitting your file for printing, convert the file from RGB to CMYK color mode. Indeed, CMYK is the color mode that most printers use since it uses subtractive color mixing, where colors get darker as they are mixed. It is important to use CMYK for print because, in RGB mode, the colors may look different once printed since printers can’t reproduce the full range of RG colors. 

  • Consider file size and dimensions. Always take into account the file size when preparing for printing since a higher resolution image results in a larger file size. Don’t forget to match the dimensions of the final print to avoid any unwanted cropping.

  • Save multiple versions. Keep track of different versions of your file as you work. This allows you to easily revert to earlier versions if needed and avoid accidentally losing crucial edits.

  • Get feedback. Ask a trusted friend or colleague to review your file for any errors or areas that could be improved. A fresh pair of eyes can often catch things you might miss.

  • Proofread everything. Before you submit your print ready files, double-check your file for typos, grammatical errors, and any inconsistencies in color, layout, or spacing. A small mistake can be glaring on the final product, so take your time and be meticulous.

How to Use Kickflip’s Print Ready File Feature

If you are not convinced of the importance of print-ready files yet, check out Kickflip’s print ready file feature. Kickflip’s user-friendly print ready file functionality gives you access to a feature that will revolutionize your productivity. Imagine having a print-ready, high-quality PDF generated as soon as your customer hits ‘Add to Cart.’ Sounds amazing, right? Well, that’s what Kickflip does for you. With multiple print areas on products and automatic print file generation, you can sit back, relax, and watch as Kickflip takes care of all the hard work. The accuracy and quality of these print files will streamline your production process and wow your customers.

With Kickflip, your customers can upload images or files in a variety of formats (EPS files, AI files, PDF files, PNG images, JPG images, HEIC files), a choice not available with many other applications. But that’s not all; with Kickflip, you can set a certain area to fit your printing requirements. In addition, your customers will love Kickflip’s rotate and resize functionality. They can tweak, twist, and transform their chosen images to match their product dreams. Kickflip’s print ready files empower your customers to create exactly what they imagine.


To sum up, preparing a print ready file requires special attention to detail and understanding of the basic requirements. Choosing the right file format, sizing, and color system is crucial for creating print-ready designs. However, Kickflip makes this process easy and accessible with a stellar feature for print-ready files. Print ready files will help your business deliver the best quality custom products, satisfy your customers’ needs with detailed, accurate printing of their designs, and make your business soar. Explore Kickflip’s print ready file feature with a free trial.