Design Guides

Where we make every effort to provide with quality product, things can go wrong. Often times, such problems can be minimized during the design and file submission process. Below are some handy tips to help your product come out the way you want it.


Tip #1Pull all bleeds. If you have artwork that will extend beyond the edge of the printed piece, please be sure that your image is large enough to fully extend to the bleed edge. This includes backgrounds as well. Artwork that does not extend to the bleed edge will cause white strips to be around your product after it is cut.


Tip #2Be mindful of the safe zone. Because we can print to the edge, we do not recommend having important text or graphics being too close to the edge. To keep them from getting cut off, please adjust the design to have these elements well within the safe zone.


Tip #3Keep your file sizes small, but don’t scrimp on quality. Simply put, large files bog down our systems, slowing production time and it keeps us from delivering products in a timely fashion. When uploading artwork, please try your best to keep file sizes under 100mb. Given the nature of how they’re made, vector graphics traditionally use less memory than raster images, but overly complex vectors in backgrounds and images can be difficult to render. The same goes for images that are placed at 100% and then scaled to less than 15% in the layout. We recommend rasterizing complex vectors and placing them at or near 100% before your final output.


Tip #4Use high resolution graphics wherever possible. This may sound contradictory to the previous tip encouraging small file sizes, but in reality, using high resolution graphics is much preferred. You’ll be far happier with the final printed piece because the graphics will be clearer and easier to read. This only applies to raster graphics and not vector graphics as they are considered resolution-independent. A good rule of thumb to follow is that you can go from big to small, but not small to big.


As you can see from the illustration below, when we start with a 9 pixel array and scale it down to 4, the difference of 5 is unneeded and therefore discarded. If we were to scale the 4 pixel array up back to its original size of 9, the information contained in a new pixel is “borrowed” from the pixels on either side of it to try to replicate its original appearance. The result of these fake pixels is a lower quality image.


Tip #5Keep it legal. Gila Monster Printing, LLC's policy is to NOT reproduce any copyrighted or other proprietary materials without certification from the customer that he/she has the lawful right and authority to make such reproductions. By accepting these terms and conditions, you warrant and certify to Gila Monster Printing, LLC that you either OWN all copyright, trademark, and other proprietary rights in and to the materials you are uploading or that you have the requisite AUTHORITY from the owner to upload and reproduce these materials. Further, you agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Gila Monster Printing, LLC from any copyright infringement claims arising out of the use and/or reproduction of the materials you upload. Gila Monster Printing, LLC reserves the right to refuse to reproduce any materials.



Color: For the most accurate color printing, Gila Monster Printing recommends uploading files in CMYK.


File Types: You may upload a variety of different file types: PDF, EPS, JPG, PNG, TIF, PSD, AI. We do not accept files made in Pagemaker, MS Word, Powerpoint or Publisher. Please export files to PDF before uploading.


Optimal Resolution:  300 dpi. If unsure of resolution and all you have are pixel dimensions, try this handy tip. (Pixels ÷ 300 = Inches). If the number you get is greater than or equal to the size of the final product, then you’re in good shape. If it’s less, then the image will have to be scaled up before it is printed, potentially losing image quality. Please supply artwork that is high enough resolution.

Canvas Printing Help

All of our canvas prints come gallery wrapped, meaning your image will be wrapped around the wooden bars that frame your canvas. In order to upload files that print correctly please see this guide. 


On an 8"x10" Canvas you will need to upload a pdf that is 9.5" x 11.5" this will take care of what will be wrapped around your frame. 

The finished size that will show when looking at your canvas straight on will be 8"x10". The extra 1.5" on each side will be what is wrapped around your frame.