Digital Specifications

Download these specifications as a PDF file

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Uploading Your Materials

  • Upload your files on a panel-by-panel basis:
    • Two files for postcards
    • Four files for greeting cards
  • Orient your files so you can read them, and Simplecard will assemble and flip them correctly for printing purposes. You’ll be able to view and approve a preview of your piece before you finish.

Layout Dimensions

Simplecard will automatically resize your layouts to include a bleed unless you build them to the exact size. If you want precision control over the size of your artwork, you need to upload each panel at the exact bleed size.

  • If you want your design to bleed off the page, make sure it covers the ENTIRE bleed area. Where your card will trim is a close approximation, not an exact science.
  • If you don’t want an element to bleed, make sure that it’s at least 3/16" in from the edge of the card to guarantee:  (1) it won’t get cut off/into, and (2) that your final pieces look even and consistent.
  • Avoid thin borders. And make sure that the border comes in at least 3/16" in from the edge of the card. Thin borders may appear inconsistent throughout your cards.

Flat Cards

  Trim Bleed
Standard 4.25" 5.7" 4.375" 5.825"
Deluxe 5.7" 8.5" 5.825" 8.625"
  • Build the 1/16" bleed into your page size: 1/16" on each side.

Greeting Card

  Trim Bleed
Front Outside Panel 4.25" 5.7" 4.3438" 5.825"
Other Panels 4.25" 5.7" 4.3125" 5.825"

Deluxe Greeting Card

  Trim Bleed
Front Outside Panel 5.7" 8.5" 5.7937" 8.625"
Other Panels 5.7" 8.5" 5.7625" 8.625"
  • Build the bleed into your page size: 1/16" on three sides and 3/32" on the front outside panel edge. The front outside edge has a larger bleed because it overlaps very slightly, creating a “lip.”

Image Quality

  • All images should be 300ppi at the final print size.
    • 300ppi is ideal, but anything above 200ppi should be fine.
    • Images pulled from websites are generally between 72ppi and 96ppi. This low ppi will not generally look great.
    • If you pull an image from the web, you cannot simply go in and change the resolution to 200ppi. (This will not increase the image quality.)
  • All 4-color images should be in the CMYK colorspace and tagged with our printing profile. You can download our printing profiles here: ICC Printing Profiles (Mac OS X and PC).
  • Note: Simplecard will invert the colors of any CMYK JPGs that have a printing profile attached (black will become white, etc.). We recommend that you use another file format, such as TIFF, if your image inverts when you upload it.

Proofs

  • We provide a detailed, online preview of your card (front & back/inside) prior to completing your order. This preview of your work will show the approximate trim of your piece.

General File Preparation Tips

  • Image quality is very important. Zoom in a little bit on your image and LOOK at it. Seriously. A quick visual inspection will reveal a lot, and is easily overlooked.
  • CMYK is good.
  • Do not use “spot" colors in your layout. If you must use a Pantone color, make sure that you’ve converted it to a “process" ink (CMYK).
  • Preferred File Types: Adobe CS Applications
    • Adobe InDesign: PDFs
    • Adobe Illustrator: PDFs
      • Please outline your fonts before you upload your file.
    • Adobe Photoshop: TIFF or JPEG (use TIFF if your image is CMYK with a printing profile attached, otherwise the colors will invert).
      • Please remember to FLATTEN your images before you upload them.
  • PDFs: If you’re generating PDFs, please download and use our Adobe CS3-CS4 PDF Export Settings. or use the built-in “PDX/X-1a” export settings if you see them. But please do not use Modern Postcard templates as they’re not the right size for Simplecard.
  • Mailing:If you intend on mailing your cards yourself and you are not using envelopes, remember to check postal regulations before setting up the backside. In addition to other layout requirements, current regulations state that the fold must be at the bottom when looking at the mailing panel. Please note that we will not be reviewing your layouts for postal compliance before we print them.
  • Whether or not you use the “best fit” or “crop” option, Simplecard will be hiding a small portion of the file when you’re designing it (the bleed, and the lip on the front exterior panel). You won’t see bleed while you’re in the design section of Simplecard, but know that it’s there.
  • Bleed is mandatory for all cards. Lip is mandatory for greeting cards. If you want precision control over the size of your artwork, you need to upload each panel at the exact bleed size. Or, Simplecard will automatically resize your artwork (slightly) to account for bleed.

    The page dimensions are above, but if you would like more detail (and math), read on. The example here is a Greeting Card, but the same logic applies to the Deluxe Greeting Card.
  1. Unfolded and flat, a Greeting Card trims to 5.7" x 8.5".
  2. Dividing the long dimension (8.5") in half will give you the trim size of each panel (5.7" x 4.25").
  3. Add a bleed of 1/16" (.0625") to all of the outside edges (three panels).
    1. 4.25" + .0625" = 4.3125"
    2. 5.7" + .0625" + .0625" = 5.825"
  4. Add a bleed of 1/32" (.03125") to the front outside panel edge only. This is for the lip that is going to slightly overlap the back exterior panel.
    1. 4.25" + .0625" (from above) + .03125" = 4.3438"