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Adobe InDesign vs. PhotoShop?

Bookmobile's file guidelines are here. You don't have to use Adobe InDesign for layout, but our guidelines assume you are. If you can create a PDF from another application, that's fine, just make sure it meets the requirements of the bulleted list on the main support page (scroll down).

Working with Photoshop for your cover or artwork?

  • Please be sure the resolution is at least 300 DPI at 100%.
  • Make sure your image includes 1/8" bleed.
  • Do not embed profiles.
  • Do not mix color spaces.
  • Line art should be at least 600 DPI.
  • Flatten all transparencies.

Working with Photoshop for your cover or artwork? Even more info!

  • Always factor in 1/8" bleed on all sides when creating your files.
  • Images should be a minimum of 300 DPI at 100% size.
  • Line art (such as for stamping dies) is best created at a minimum of 600 DPI or as vector.
  • If you want the type you create in photoshop to remain vector, create it on its own text layer, do not flatten the file and then export your file as a PDF.
  • Once a file is flattened, all information is rasterized into pixels and becomes an uneditable image. If you want to maintain a file that can be edited, leave it in layers.
  • Don't embed profiles. The program will automatically try to embed a profile when you save. Click it off. 
  • Resolution:

    • Start your project at the resolution you want at 100% size.
    • File dimension and resolution are interlinked so be sure to check your file size again before you finalize your project.
    • When you reduce an image's size, the resolution goes up.
    • You cannot take a low resolution image at 100% size and increase the resolution. It will only make a big pixel into a bunch of smaller pixels that look the same. Photoshop allows you to move an image from 72 DPI to 300 DPI but you can't actually add new information.
  • Transparency and blending modes: 

    • If you are creating effects with transparencies for your image particularly with special blending modes, it is best done in Photoshop rather than in InDesign or Illustrator. The reason being that once the Photoshop file is flattened (rasterized), it is in a language the printer's RIP can easily understand.
    • Using some of the fancy transparency effects in InDesign or Illustrator creates a much more complex file for the RIP to interpret.
    • Transparency at the RIP takes place in the CMYK color space. Combining transparency with an RGB color space or with a Pantone color, might print differently than what you expect or different from what you see on your screen. Modern RIPS can handle a lot of common transparent issues but it is always helpful to either send a hardcopy or be sure you see a printed proof.