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Printable Invitations: The "How to" Guide

Thank you for your Cartamodello purchase! I hope you absolutely love it. Here are some initial notes about your file you might find helpful.

Invitations and other printable cards are generally set up in PDF format, “2-up” (two pieces per page), with .125” (3mm) bleeds and crop marks. The file is 300dpi (print quality). Your file is typically set up to print on a standard size page: US letter for those in the US, and A4 for pretty much everywhere else unless you let me know otherwise.

If you only need screen quality (i.e. for emailing), please let me know and I’ll send you a single 72dpi file (either JPG or PDF; whichever is smaller).

Important: If you require your file sent at actual size (e.g. 5"x7" or 6"x4" for printing at a photo print station, please let me know as soon as possible so I send you your file in the correct format.

Extra important: If you are printing with VistaPrint, an additional charge will apply to adjust the size of your file. VistaPrint uses non-standard sizing. Again, please let me know ASAP if you're printing with VistaPrint (or anywhere else that calls for a non-standard finished size).

All printable files are sent in CMYK format. CMYK colours don’t always display properly on monitors, so if you’re emailing your final file (not printing), I might set it up in RGB (screen) format instead.

Each piece also comes with crop marks. These are used to guide your ruler and give you a perfectly straight edge.

To summarise, unless requested otherwise...:

  • ... your invitation files will typically be sent to you with two images per PDF page. This file is designed to print on ISO A4 or US Letter size stock and then should be trimmed to size;
  • ... your artwork is in CMYK format, saved at 300dpi;
  • ... your artwork has been provided with 3mm (0.125" or 1/8") bleeds and crop marks.

The trim lines are marked and allow you to cut straight lines at home, and provide professional printers with cutting guidelines. Don't be concerned about cutting off this extra part of your image, as your design will only be the correct size AFTER it has been cut using these trim lines.

What you need

To print your invitations or other pieces at home, you will need the following:

  • Your digital file
  • A printer
  • Your choice of white stock (I recommend a heavier-weight card stock of at least 110# or 300gsm, but you might prefer lighter stock)—unless advised otherwise, you will be printing on to full size A4 or US Letter size stock
  • A self-healing cutting mat
  • A cutting tool (e.g. X-acto blade—make sure it’s sharp!)
  • A metal ruler (metal is best, because your super-sharp cutting tool can slice up plastic rulers. I know this from experience ;-))

How to print your artwork

Here’s a quick get-started guide to what to do with your file once it’s ready to print.

This guide is for printing at home or at a copy shop. If I’ve set up your file for a professional printer, they should know what to do :-)

  1. Open your PDF in a PDF reader, such as Adobe Reader or Preview for Mac

  2. Select “Print” from the File menu

  3. Check over your print settings. You need to make sure that your print quality is set to high; that you’ve selected the correct paper size (A4 or US Letter); and that your page/print size/scale is at 100% (not “Scale to fit” or anything like that!). If your printer can be set to print borderless, please select this setting. If you can't print borderless, or choose to not select this option, you may your trim lines are partially trimmed off at the edges. You should still have enough of the crop marks printed without this option!

  4. Make sure your stock is in the printer. Hit print!

Once your invitations are printed, it’s time to trim!

How to cut your artwork

  1. Line up your ruler with the crop marks. The marks should line up with the ruler at both top and bottom. Hold the ruler firmly in place.
  2. Place your blade along the edge of the ruler and apply pressure while pulling the blade down. You may need to do this twice depending on the weight of your stock.
  3. Avoid trimming right to the edge of the sheet—we want to keep the crop marks visible! Imagine you're simply trying to cut the invitations OUT of the page without taking the cut to the edge of the sheet.
  4. Repeat this process on all edges until you've cut your invitations out of the page.
  5. Ta-da! You hath made invites!

Professional printing

If you’re printing with a professional printer, you might need to receive your files in a different format. Please let me know ASAP if you need any of the following changes instead: single (i.e. NOT 2-up) file, no crop marks, different bleed size, NO bleed, etc. If printing with VistaPrint, just be aware that they use their own sizing, so their 5” x 7” invitations ARE NOT actually 5” x 7”, but something else. You will need to tell me ASAP if you are planning on printing with VistaPrint.

Using Cartamodello Papeterie Files

You may print the files as many times as necessary. However, please respect the time and effort I have put into my designs, and understand that the copyright for all items belongs to me. Purchasing this item does not transfer the copyright to you. By purchasing this product you have agreed that these products are for personal use only; not for commercial use. They are not to be altered in any way, and not to be resold. Thank you!

Thank you once again for your business; I hope I can assist you with your design needs in future! If you're comfortable sharing, I'd love to see photos of your finished work: please contact me if you'd like to share this with me :-) And if you're delighted with your purchase, please remember to take a few moments to leave feedback for me, and I'll be sure to do the same for you!

Laura Munro, Cartamodello Papeterie