FAQ: How do I properly prep my images for small format printing?


We recently discussed one of our most frequently asked questions, “How do I properly prep my images for large format printing?”  Now we’d like to touch on another common question regarding prepping images for small format printing.

While we’re more than happy to help out with, or even do the design work for your projects, we know many of our customers have their own design resources and send their projects straight to our Print Department.  In order for this to happen, a great percentage of work to create print-ready files for color copies needs to be done on the front end.

Color copy orders are categorized as Proposals/Spec Books, Booklets or Brochures/Flyers with each requiring a slightly different set-up process.

Here’s how to properly set up small format print-ready files for printing:

Proposals/Spec Books

  • Produced like a standard spec, the print file needs to be combined in a multipage PDF (not a portfolio) in the correct order according to the Table of Contents.
  • When submitting a multi-page pdf each section must end with an even number. In the cases of sections ending with an odd number, an additional blank sheet must be added; this rule is only negated if you are requesting simplex (single-sided) printing. Click here for instructions on how you can create a multi-page PDF with Adobe Acrobat Pro.


  • Since booklets are produced by printing multiple files to a page then folded and saddle-stitched, the print file needs to be combined as a multi-page pdf in the correct page order.
  • The total amount of pages MUST be divisible by four or a blank white page will be printed on the inside and/or outside cover.
  • The files should also contain NO crops or bleeds.


  • Brochures and fliers are produced as a single page (a single or double-sided) and sometimes folded.
  • Files should come as individual files with NO crops or bleeds.

Looking to save money on small format printing?

For our customers looking to save money, it’s important to note that there are ways to cut costs on small format printing. While standard sizes for small format printing can cost less money, odd shapes will raise the cost because they’re printed on larger paper and then cut down. So if you’re looking to keep costs to a minimum, you may want to rethink the dimensions. Feel free to give us a call for a quote to see if the size is impacting your cost.

Please Note: ALGX performs the Standard Level of printing on all orders unless noted differently on the work order. Any specialty needs, bindery options, paper options, laminated covers, colored divider sheets, tabs etc. will need to be noted on the print request.

Economy level of printing: Assumes the documents provided are accurate and meet the criteria as written above and printed as-is, no print-ready process required by ALGX; as noted on order.

Standard level of printing:  The documents provided DO NOT meet the criteria as written above and ALGX performs the print-ready functions

Did we answer your question? If not, please leave us a comment below so we can get back to you, or you can always contact us, and we’ll be more than happy to help!

Birmingham: 800-292-3806 • 205-252-8505    Montgomery: 800-463-5610 • 334-263-0529