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Five Common Printing Setup Errors to Avoid

Don't be like Phil

Don’t be like Phil

Have you ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? If not, allow me to give you a quick synopsis (and please get Netflix or visit the video store, it’s a classic).

Egocentric weatherman, Phil Connors, finds himself re-living Groundhog Day. At first, he is annoyed but ultimately realizes he should use the experience to help people and change his ways. As the same scenarios play out like a skipping record (or Compact Disc or out of control iPOD shuffle) he learns to improve the lives of those around him.

You’re thinking: I see a RedBox in my future, but how the heck does this apply to me?

We’re getting there!

Shubenacadie Sam does not like the polar vortex

Shubenacadie Sam does not like the polar vortex

Most have read Puxatawny Phil has seen his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter.  However, there is another famous groundhog that doesn’t agree.  Shubenacadie Sam, Nova Scotia’s leading weather expert, did not, sparking the first groundhog controversy of 2014.

For the record, we’re on Team Sam!

While these two furry prima donnas can’t agree, there is 100% NO DOUBT on these five common printing setup errors to avoid AND it’s easy to do so!


  • When setting up files for print, most applications default to the RGB color model (Red, Green, Blue). Monitors are setup to interpret RGB colors, when actual output of your design is in CMYK (Cyan, Magentra, Yellow, Black). Always be sure to work in the CMYK color mode to ensure that your output matches what you see on the screen.

Setting The Proper DPI (Dots Per Inch)

  • Typically, 72 DPI is standard for web images. When printing, 300DPI is the standard. At minimum, 150DPI is the lowest Cushing is generally accepts. DPI stands for Dots Per Inch, and the more dots, or pixels, per inch, the better your finished product will look. Remember to save your original image or artwork at a minimum of 150DPI, however 300DPI is preferred.

Send Your Images At Their Final Size

  • It is important to setup your images at their final output size. For example, if you are requesting a 24” x 36” poster, the file should be 24” x 36”. If the file sent to Cushing is smaller, we can enlarge it to fit the final size, however the image can appear pixilated or stretched.  To ensure a quality finished product, please keep this is mind when sending your files to Cushing.

Packaging Your Adobe InDesign Files

Uh Oh! Not again!

Uh Oh! Not again!

  • Always remember to package your Adobe InDesign files before submitting. We recommend packaging your file to a location that is easy for you to find. By packaging files, it cuts down on headaches and ensures there are no delays in the printing process. Be sure to double check your packaged file and then zip it for upload or email. Speaking of zipping files…

E-mail Attachment Size Limits 

  • You may be able to send larger attachments to friends and co-workers, but the printing company you choose may have a size limit. For instance, Cushing has a 5MB restriction. The best way to upload your job to Cushing, is through our Web Upload tool, Not only can you create an account, but you can upload much larger files, and receive a confirmation email instantaneous once your upload is complete.

Special thanks to the Cushing production team for their input!

Are there file or printing setup tips you find helpful? Drop them in the comments box and maybe we’ll dedicate a different blog post to them in the future.




Tom Cradick

Tom Cradick was born and raised in Chicago and a proud member of Cushing. One of Cushing’s On-Site Service Center Managers,  his primary responsibilities include maintaining several different types of printing equipment, coordinating large print orders, helping clients with daily print concerns and making sure the clients at his location remain happy. As an employee of Cushing for nearly 9 years, Tom‘s role is continuously expanding and recently, he has contributed to the company blog.

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