New to designing print and mail postcards? Or maybe you just have a few questions about how to make sure your postcards look their best. We’ve put together a quick guide to uploading designs. If you have any questions about uploading your own files, leave a comment below or give us a call! Our expert customer service representatives are always happy to help.
RGB and CMYK? What are they and why does it matter?
When you create a design in a photo editing program (like Photoshop) or a publishing program (like MS Publisher), the file will, by default, be created in a mode called RGB. This is because computers use shades of red, green, and blue to display colors. However, printers use CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) pigments. Sometimes when the file goes from the computer to the printer, some of those colors will be poorly translated from RGB to CMYK (for instance, images that appear off-white in RGB might print yellow).
So what’s the solution?
When creating your design, be sure to create it in CMYK.
- In Microsoft Publisher you can find this option under Tool >Commercial Printing Tools>Color Printing and select the Process CMYK radio button.
- In Photoshop the option is under Image >Color Mode and select CMYK
- In other programs you can usually find an option to switch between color modes under either the tools or image menu
- Also note that images frequently appear darker when printed than they do on the screen. Keep this in mind when editing your designs, and call our customer service line if you need any assistance.
What kind of files can I upload?
Acceptable file types for uploading your own postcard design include .PNG files, Microsoft Publisher (.pub), Apple Pages, Adobe PDF (.pdf) files, and .JPG files (see below for more information on uploading .JPGs)
- You can download starter files for all of our products by going to the ‘Upload File’ page. Use these to make sure the dimensions of your image will match up with the dimensions of the postcard.
Can I upload my file as a .JPG/.JPEG?
Yes, as long as the image is at least 300 dpi and the dimensions of your .JPG match the dimensions of the starter file.
What is a “bleed” and do I need one?
When something is printed, you have two options: extend the image all the way across the paper, or leave a white border. The first one is a bleed image.
Bleed No bleed
If you want your postcard design to extend all the way to the edges (a bleed) you want to make sure that your design extends past the trim line on the starter file. In other words, when you place your design over the starter file, make sure your design extends into the outermost bright red border.
Uploading your own files is a snap once you know the basics. Once you have the right color mode, file type, and appropriate dimensions for your design, you’re ready to order your postcards. And remember that you can always reach us by clicking the green ‘help’ button or calling us at 1-800-260-5887.