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Printing File Sizes & PDF Boxes


Learn how to create your files in the correct size and how to set correct media boxes

Creating the file you like to be printed in the right size fitting to the settings of the ordered product is a significant must and ignoring this might lead to our Preflight Data Check sorting this file out and stopping the treatment with it.

Where to find the size of your product
You will be able to find the file sizes under the „Show Specs“ link of each product and further on within the „Specifications“ subpoint. Also, the PDF data sheet we are providing for each product lists the file size.

Final & Bleed Size
In general, there are two file sizes you need to take care of. First is the „Final Size“ which is equivalent to the size in which the product will be delivered to you. Second is the „Bleed Size“ which is always bigger than the Final Size and is meant as you have to create your printing data in.

For example, if you choose to order a product in the Final Size 18’’ x 24’’, the file that you are creating on your computer and finally transfer to our server must measure 18.2’’ x 24.2’’; you must add a 0.1’’ (1/10) trimming edge on all sides.

The bleed will be trimmed off
This margin is absolutely essential in order to compensate the trimming tolerance. The margin will normally be completely cut off. It is mandatory that background images or areas which are to reach to the edge of the page of your later printed product extend to within this 0.1'' margin, thus ensuring that no thin white margin will be left after trimming.

Don't stuck text to the very edge
In addition, it must be noted that texts and important information are at least 0.08'' (1/12) away from the Final Size. Otherwise they will appear to close to the later edge of the printed result or - even worse - there is a risk that a portion may be cut off!

Export to PDF
Typically, the PDF file format provides the possibility to include the different sizes in one file. They call them Boxes and in total there are four to meet all eventual requirements: Media Box, Bleed Box, Trim Box and Art Box.
According to the explaination above, the Bleed Box in the PDF document is what we call the Bleed Size as it includes the bleed, which is the name of the trimmed margin that will be cut off. And the later trimmed size or what we call the Final Size is represented by the Trim Box.

If you use Adobe layout software such as InDesign to create your designs, you will be able to define the final size and the bleed already during setting up your new document and to use the included PDF Exporter to change the export settings that this data will be conserved in the final PDF.

In other software tools like Illustrator or Photoshop you manually have to add the bleed to the final size and set up the document in the Bleed Size. Helping lines may assist you in respecting the different sizes during your design work in these tools.


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