File Setup and Preparation

Need help getting your ad file ready to submit? We invite you to navigate our comprehensive artwork FAQ to find answers on file preparation, resources and more.

General Information

What file formats do you accept?

We prefer to accept PDFX-1a files with crop marks and bleed but also accept flattened Photoshop files saved as CMYK tiff’s.

What is a PDFX-1a file and how is it different from a PDF?

A PDFX-1a file is a special type of PDF that is meant for high quality press printing. A PDFX-1a file makes sure your artwork is saved and exported safely. Think of it like shipping a valuable object bubble-wrapped and packed in a box vs shipping it in an envelope. They will both make it to their destination but one is far safer than the other.

How do I export my file from Photoshop?

We require flattened CMYK tiff’s for any artwork created in Photoshop.

What is a bleed? How do I set up a bleed?

For images or graphics that extend to the edge of the artwork we require a 0.125” bleed. The bleed is the area outside the edge of the artwork where content “bleeds off” so that when magazine is printed and cut there are no white lines at the edges of the page. Photoshop doesn’t have a bleed feature as it’s not a layout program. To add bleed in a Photoshop file simply add 0.5” to the height and width of your artwork and bleed your artwork into that space being sure to add crop marks to indicate the artwork size. Alternatively, you can download one of our ad templates here which has the bleed already placed in the document.

What are crop marks? How do I set up crop marks?

Crop marks indicate the edges of the artwork and are important for placement of the artwork in the magazine. Crop marks are added when you’re exporting your file as a PDF. For Photoshop, we require a flattened tiff file, so the crop marks need to be placed in the artwork.  

Type size and legibility issues

Here are some tips to make sure your artwork stands out and is easy for your audience to read. Your body copy shouldn’t be too small, no less than 8 pt. If it’s too small people won’t or can’t read it. Choose a readable font. Some fonts may look fun and beautiful but overly flourished type is hard to read, especially at small sizes. Use these kinds of fonts as display type and set your body copy in a more legible font. Be aware when running type across images. Be sure there is enough contrast to read the type and that the image isn’t too busy. A subtle drop shadow can help in these instances.

Can you help me design my file(s)?

Of course! We are more than happy to offer the skill and expertise of our design team! For design inquiries, please fill out our design services form.

Can I email to confirm that my files are set up correctly?

If you are unsure about your artwork please be sure to browse all our helpful videos and FAQ’s on this page. If you would like to have a designer review your artwork or make suggestions on legibility issues or colour, please fill out our design services form.

CMYK, RGB, and Colour Issues

What is CMYK? How is it different than RGB?

CMYK and RGB are completely different colour models and used for different media applications. CMYK is an acronym for the colours Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black – the inks used in printing. RGB is an acronym for the colours Red, Green, and Blue – the light used to display colours on-screen such as a TV or a computer. We require all artwork for print to be converted to CMYK to run on our printing press. Any artwork with RGB images will be flagged for you to correct. For information on how to create a CMYK file please see the following section How do I set up a CMYK file?. For more information on our specific CMYK profile and how to apply it to your images please see the section Do you use a specific CMYK profile?

How do I set up a CMYK file?

Depending on the software you’re using the process will be a little different.

Do you use a specific CMYK profile?

Yes we do! Converting to our specific CMYK profile will ensure that your images print as beautiful as possible! For the best colour quality you should always convert to CMYK from your original RGB file.  You can download and install the WedLuxe PDF settings here.

Help! My colours look different when I convert my image from RGB to CMYK or print my artwork on my printer.

This is completely normal. Viewing artwork on-screen is not an accurate method of proofing as there are differences in monitor calibration, types of monitors and the fact that you’re still viewing your image on-screen in RGB. Most images will have minimal to no shift in colour when converted to CMYK but some colours are more difficult to reproduce. Your personal printer is also not an accurate method of proofing colour. To accurately proof colour see the section Online proofs vs printed proofs and how to obtain a press proof for more information.

Do you print Pantone or spot colours?

No, we do not. All colours must be converted to CMYK. Any Pantone or spot colours will be flagged for you to correct.

Registration black

Registration black is used for crop marks and printer’s marks as it is made up of 100% Cyan, 100% Magenta, 100% Yellow, and 100% Black. It is not meant for use in artwork. Any text or content set in registration will print with all four colours and therefore runs the risk of thickening, being more oversaturated than other blacks, and if misregistered can have cyan, magenta, or yellow colour halos around it. All text must be converted to black or a rich black (recommended).

Rich black vs 100% black

For a nice saturated black we recommend using a rich black of 50% Cyan, 40% Magenta, 40% Yellow, and 100% Black. This rich black is good for use on logos, large type or full areas of black. For finer details like text smaller than 12 pt we recommend using only 100% black to keep the type clean and sharp.

Blue/Purple colour issues

Colours in the dark blue and navy range can shift to purple when printed CMYK. If you are using colours in this range it’s important to adjust your colours intuitively for this issue. Even though the colour may appear blue on screen it can shift to purple when printed. We recommend staying in this range for a blue colour, C 100, M 0-50, Y 0, K 0-60, and this range for a purple colour, C 0-60, M 80-100, Y 0-20, K 0-40.

Image Quality, Resolution and Vectors

Image resolution and DPI

There are basically two kinds of resolution, screen resolution (72 dpi) and print resolution (300 dpi). We require all images to be at least 300 dpi at actual size (100%). We can accept images as high as 350 dpi as we print our magazine on very high quality presses. Note that any images above 525 dpi will be automatically downsampled to 350 dpi in our output process. To maintain image quality we recommend you adjust your images to be 300-350 dpi at actual size (100%) in your artwork. Any images below 250 dpi will be flagged for you to correct.

Can I use images found on the internet in my artwork?

For the most part, no. Images on the internet are screen resolution, 72 dpi and we require print resolution, at least 300 dpi. Most images on the internet will not have big enough dimensions to be used on a printed piece.

How to resize images in Photoshop

It’s best practice to resize your images to actual size (100%) in Photoshop before placing in your layout software like InDesign or Illustrator.

Logo issues: Vectors vs JPG/TIFF/GIF/PNG

To ensure your logo prints as smooth and sharp as possible it’s best to use a vector file, like an EPS file. Vectors are infinitely scalable and will print smooth and sharp at 10% or 10,000%. Raster files like JPG, TIFF, GIF, or PNG are not scalable. These file types have a set resolution and a set amount of pixels and are not recommended for logos for printed artwork. If your logo is a 300 dpi JPG place in your InDesign file at 100% it will look fine but any bigger or any smaller and the logo will begin to lose its quality. We recommend using vector file formats whenever possible.


Print ad templates

We offer ad templates for you to use. These files have been set up as CMYK files with bleeds in place so you can begin designing right away! Click here to download a template.

Download the WedLuxe PDF settings

To make exporting the best PDF super easy you can download our WedLuxe PDF settings here 

Download the colour profile used by WedLuxe

At WedLuxe we print our magazine on high quality paper using the latest sheetfed printing technology and therefore we use a specific colour profile to achieve the best results. The profile we use is Coated GRACol 2006 and should come installed in your photoshop presets. If you can’t find the profile you can download it here.


What to look for when proofing your online PDF proof

After you have submitted your artwork to us, one of our design team members will send back a 150 dpi proof of your ad. This is for you to look at the placement of objects, images, and type to make sure everything is in place, as well as the accuracy of content such as correct photography credits and spelling mistakes. This proof is not to judge colour. If you would like to judge the colour of your ad a press proof is required. See the section Online proofs vs printed proofs for more information. If your proof is accompanied by a list of flagged corrections these issues must be addressed and a new file sent back to us.

Online proofs vs printed proofs and how to obtain a press proof

After you have submitted your artwork to us, one of our design team members will send back a 150 dpi proof of your ad. This is an online proof and therefore is not an accurate representation of colour. Printing the artwork on your printer at home or work is also not an accurate representation of how your artwork will look when printed professionally as quality, calibration, and colour profiles vary vastly from printer to printer. If you would like to see an accurate colour proof then a press proof is required. This is created by our printer and is as close as possible to how the artwork will look when it’s printed on press. There are instances where a press proof is beneficial but generally speaking a press proof isn’t necessary as quality and colour can be judged quite fairly on-screen. There is a fee associated with obtaining a press proof and they are required to be requested well in advance of our press deadline. For printed proof inquiries, please fill out our design services form.

My artwork has been flagged for correction, what do I do now?

If your proof has come back to you with a list of flagged corrections this means there are errors that need to be fixed before we will accept your artwork to be printed in the magazine. This can range from the use of Pantone or spot colours to low res images or missing bleeds. Please amend all issues before sending in new artwork. For more information on how to resolve specific artwork errors, please browse the full FAQ section.

I do not approve my PDF proof, what do I do now?

If you have received your 150 dpi proof from one of our design team members but do not approve the artwork please respond with a detailed note as to why the artwork is not approved and they can advise you on next steps.