Print file set-up checklist

We have created this simple print file set-up checklist for optimum results.


Does your file match your quote?

Please make sure that your artwork matches the specifications you entered in our price calculator before clicking ‘Add to Basket’. Common errors include having the correct number of pages, whether your page count is a multiple of 4, and whether your page designs are both the correct size and consistent throughout.

Page counts for printing

If you’re using a program like InDesign, the software takes care of size consistency for you.
If you are compiling your book from a variety of different files and sources, then there may be some inconsistencies.

If you are getting your book perfect bound, you will need to design a spine, or include additional space in the cover artwork. You can either use the spine measurement generated in the Artwork Dashboard.

Sample print quote from Mixam
Sample print quote from Mixam

Have you added bleed?

For best results, make sure your document has the correct amount of bleed outside of the page edge and there are no important parts of your design within the quiet area.

We recommend adding a 0.125" bleed area to the outside of your pages. Make sure all design elements that you want to extend all the way to the edge of the page actually extend into the bleed area. This includes all images and colored backgrounds.

Keep all important design elements 0.25" away from the page edge. We call this the quiet area. Doing this helps to prevent text and important images from being placed too close to the edge of the page or being difficult to see because of the fold of your booklet.

Full bleed printing set up

Example of bleed in a print file
Example of bleed in a print file

Are your images high resolution?

What looks good on the web doesn’t always look good in print. This is due to low image resolution. For the best results, we recommend that all images and print files have an image resolution of 300dpi.

While you can use images of a lower resolution, they can look pixelated when printed.

But bigger isn’t always better, either. While you can use images of a far higher resolution, anything beyond 400dpi will not improve the image print quality and will slow down the process instead.

Image resolution guide

Example high resolution image
Example high resolution image

Are you including any special options?

If you have chosen to use a special finish (such as a Spot UV effect) on the cover of your book, please make sure that this extra layer has been applied to your print file. This can be quite tricky to set up, so please read our guides on speciality finishes.

How to set up special options

Booklet cover with special options
Booklet cover with special options

Are you using CMYK color?

While our system automatically and intelligently converts RGB color to CMYK for printing, this can cause a color shift. This is why we recommend that you use a design program to change the color mode of your artwork from RGB to CMYK and then fine tune the CMYK values until you’re happy with them.

You can also set your design program to a CMYK color mode before you begin to create your artwork.
If you’re just starting to create your artwork, this is what we recommend.

Ink saturation can also affect the final look of your print job. Should you be printing in rich black or standard black for black and white projects? We know this aspect of printing can be challenging and overwhelming.

Fortunately, we have a number of guides to help you get your colors perfect for printing, and our print experts are always available to answer any questions you have.

Color guides for printing

The CMYK colour model
The CMYK colour model

How to submit your files

Uploading your print ready files to Mixam is easy. While we prefer high resolution PDFs, our system will accept a wide range of file types. But please be aware that there are potential color and resolution issues associated with other file types.

We recommend submitting the pages to be printed in the form of a single 300dpi high resolution PDF file. However, if you prefer, you can also upload a separate file for each page in your project.

If your artwork is set up as double page spreads, our system is smart enough to divide these pages up and treat them separately.

How to submit your files for printing

Supported file formats
Supported file formats