GIMP — How to set up a file for a commercial printing company.Home — TheInternetPrinter > Preparing files > GIMP — How to set up a file for a commercial printing company.
GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Program), just like Adobe's Photoshop, is really a photo manipulation software program. This means that GIMP is NOT realy designed to create brochure or business card or other printing files. Therefore, you will need to make a couple of adjustments to your GIMP file before you start any of the design process. This page will assist you in making those pre-design adjustments.
Steps in setting up a GIMP file for a commercial printing company:
- Create a New Document.
- Set up the file size and resolution.
- Outline the correct size of your job with trim-lines.
- Create your Safety margin lines.
- Design your printing job on your GIMP software.
Click on "File", then click on "New".
The above image is what the menu looks like on an Apple-Mac, but the process is very similar on a PC.
You will be asked to define the properties of your file (see above image).
First, set up the size, and you must be careful here, as this is where GIMP nees to be adjusted for its inadequacies. Simply put, GIMP does not allow for bleeds, and if you are going to have any colour or text going right to the edge of gthe finished job, then you will need bleeds.
The solution to the blleds problem is very easy; just make your file 6mm larger than the size it will be when it is finished. Some of the regular sizes, and the GIMP-adjusted sizes are:
- A3 — normally 420 x 297mm, but increase to 426 x 303mm;
- A4 — normally 297 x 210mm, but increase to 303 x 216mm;
- A5 — normally 210 x 148mm, but increase to 216 x 154mm;
- A6 — normally 148 x 105mm, but increase to 154 x 111mm;
- A7 — normally 105 x 74mm, but increase to 111 x 80mm;
- DL — normally 210 x 99mm, but increase to 216 x 105mm;
- Business cards — normally 90mm x 55mm, but increase to 96 x 61mm;
- Appointment cards — normally 90mm x 55mm, but increase to 96 x 61mm
Second, make sure the file resolution is at least 300 dots per inch (300 dpi). Ifv the resolution is any less, then your finished printing job will look pixilated (i.e.: it will look blurred or smudged).
Once the file size and file resolution are correct, and make sure the file size and file resolution are 100% correct, click "OK" and you will get a page similar to what is below.
The file that you have created allows for bleeds, but you do not know the correct size of your job's layout, and this must be outlined so you can better appreciate what the finished product will look like. So, you must now put in some trim-lines.
Place your mouse in the top "ruler". Hold down the mouse and drag it down 3mm. The 3mm mark can be seen on the left-hand menu.
Place your mouse in the top menu again, and this time drag the mouse down and release the mouse 3mm inside the bottom of the file.
The process is then repeated two more times, but you grab the mouse on the left-hand ruller, and place the vertical lines 3mm inside the left- and right-hand of the page.
You should end up withy a page similar to the image below, biut you will not have the coloured arrows.
So, what you now have on your GIMP file is an outline of where we will trim your job after it has been printed.
When you are designing your job, you must consider the following two simple rules:
- If a background colour or image is going to print right to the edge of your job, then you must place those colours or images right to the edge of the file (well past the trim lines that you have just put on your file;
- We will trim tyour job on the trim lines that vyou have just placed upon your GIMP file.
You now have to put in sime safety margin lines. These lines must be at least 5mm inside the trim-lines (or 8mm inside from the edge of the file).
When you are designing, you must keep all essential text and images inside the safety margin lines. You do this for one reasons: It ensures that we will not trim-off any important text when we trim your job.
Your are now free to design anything you want on your GIMP program. Just ensure that:
- All background text and images that will be printed to the edge of the page are placed so that they go right to the edge of your file; and
- All vital text and images are kept within the safety margin lines.
The below image shows a file that has been designed on GIMP and obeyed those two rules.
- The background colours have been placed right to the very edge of the file; and
- The important text and logo have been kept inside the safety margin lines.