Back to Blog List

Topics/Previous Posts

How to properly prepare your files for printing

If you are or a coworker are tasked with creating documents, flyers, presentations, poster or more for print, you probably will fall back to using your most favorite program or application. Today, everyone has a PC (or Mac), laptop or tablet capable of producing PDF files. And if you can create a PDF file, you are part way to creating a proper (and predictable) print ready file. You may be a Microsoft Word pro, or a Publisher guru, it is always a good idea to check with your printer before you finalized your project. Years ago only professional graphic designers used programs like Adobe Indesign, but today you can rent professional software on a month-to-month basis. Regardless of whatever software you use, make sure you can export your final creation to a PDF (Portable Document Format, first created by Adobe). PDF files are portable and contain all the fonts, graphics and image files all in one single file. Most people are unaware that some programs (think PowerPoint) do not imbed your imported graphs, charts and picture, but link to them where they may reside on your hard drive. So when you take the PowerPoint file to get printed, often times it will not print as it printed at your home or office. Exporting to a PDF file helps contain all the elements of your project and helps the printer produce a printed page that more closely resembles your home or office print outs. If you are new to print, you probably aren’t aware of what the word “bleed” means as it relates to printing. Simply put, if your flyer or printed piece has a white border around the page before the edge, your page does not “bleed”. But, if you want the image, picture or graphic to go all the way to the edge of the paper with no white border, then your piece “bleeds” off the edge of the sheet. As you may be aware, almost all copiers, laser printers and digital presses can’t print to the full edge of the sheet. A white border is always left to accommodate the printing process. So us printers will print your flyers or posters on paper that is larger than the final cut size, allowing the image to print past the cutting edges so when we cut to the final size, your image “bleeds” off the page just as you designed. In a nut shell, if you want a final cut size of say 8.5” x 11” letter size with a bleed on all sides, you need to design your file to be about 1/8” larger than the final cut or trim size. Are you dazed and confused? Not to worry, give us a call at 602-263-0122, when would be more than happy to chat with you about the do’s and don’t of creating your PDF file.

Back to Blog List


  • What materials are commonly used for labels and stickers?

    Labels and stickers can be made from various materials such as paper, vinyl, polyester, and polypropylene. The choice of material depends on factors like durability, application surface, and desired aesthetic.

  • Can I customize the shape and size of my labels or stickers?

    Yes, AlphaGraphics offers customizable options for shapes and sizes to suit your specific needs. Whether you need standard shapes like circles and squares or custom shapes tailored to your brand, we can accommodate your requirements.

  • Are decals suitable for outdoor use?

    Yes, decals are designed to withstand outdoor conditions and can be applied to vehicles, windows, walls, and other outdoor surfaces. Our weather-resistant materials ensure longevity and durability even in harsh environments.

  • What printing techniques are used for labels and stickers?

    AlphaGraphics employs various printing techniques such as digital printing, offset printing, and screen printing, depending on the project requirements. Each method offers unique benefits in terms of quality, color accuracy, and cost-effectiveness.

  • Can you print variable data on labels and stickers?

    Yes, we offer variable data printing services, allowing you to personalize each label or sticker with unique information such as serial numbers, barcodes, QR codes, or names. This is particularly useful for product labeling, promotions, or event badges.

  • Do you provide design assistance for labels and stickers?

    Absolutely! Our team of experienced designers can help you create eye-catching designs for your labels and stickers. Whether you have existing artwork or need assistance with concept development, we'll work with you to achieve the desired look.

  • Are your labels and stickers easy to apply?

    Yes, our labels and stickers are designed for easy application. Depending on the type of adhesive and surface, they can be applied manually or with the help of application tools. We also provide instructions and guidance to ensure smooth application.

  • Can I order labels and stickers in bulk quantities?

    Yes, we can accommodate orders of all sizes, from small quantities to large-scale production runs. Our flexible printing capabilities allow us to meet your volume requirements while maintaining quality and consistency.

  • Are your labels and stickers eco-friendly?

    AlphaGraphics is committed to sustainability, and we offer eco-friendly options for labels and stickers. This includes using recycled materials, water-based inks, and environmentally friendly adhesives whenever possible.

  • What industries commonly use labels, stickers, and decals?

    Labels, stickers, and decals are used across various industries for a wide range of applications. Common sectors include retail, food and beverage, manufacturing, healthcare, automotive, education, and hospitality. They serve purposes such as branding, product labeling, packaging, safety signage, and promotional marketing.