Can I design my own file?

With the plethora of do-it-yourself software packages on the market today, it is not surprising that many people would like to design their own file and have us print it. And because of the promises of these software package to create “professional-looking images”, many customers are disappointed when we say their file is not printable on our presses. To save you from such disappointment, please read the following to see if your file will work in a commercial printing process, and if it won’t, how we can use your file anyway.


What kind of printing does DPI do?

DPI offers low cost, professionally designed and printed prayer cards for those in ministry. By “professionally designed”, we do not simply mean a “professional-looking design”. There are many software packages out there, including MS Office, which claim (and do) create professional-looking designs. However, though this software makes nice looking files, a commercial printing press generally cannot print them. With the exception of quick photo prints (which are developed as photos), DPI uses a commercial printing process for our cards (a “four color press”). This means that we need a professionally rendered file in order to print. This requires a precise bleed, an adequate gutter, the correct color space, and the exact resolution which will cover the card in 300dpi or 350dpi depending on the type of card. If you want to design your own card, you must understand what all of the above things mean and be able to do them exactly. In most cases, unless you are professionally trained as a designer and/or are using professional design software, it will be difficult to create a file usable in a commercial printing context. If you think you can create a full design and would like our specs and/or template for a particular type of card, contact us, and we would be happy to provide them for you.

What can I do with this file I have designed?

If you have created a file with your own computer but don’t think it will be printable, don’t despair!! You have several very good options! Probably the best thing to do is to give it to one of our designers and let them use it as a “mockup”. This means that they will create a professional design based on the one you made at home. Your card will still have many if not most of your personal touches, and the final product will be a professionally made card! You could also hire a designer to do this for you, though that could be a good deal more expensive. Finally, if you really want the design you created printed as is, you could also take it to your neighborhood copy shop (Kinkos, Copy Cop, etc.) and print it there on their laser printers. The quality will not be as good as a full commercial press, and it may ultimately be more expensive than what we can give you, but it would be your design as is.